Having survived the interview process and fought off the competition, you are rewarded with a job offer. All your hard work and preparation paid off. However, before accepting job offer letter read it carefully. As the offer letter is a legal document, it can be difficult to make changes once it’s been signed. To ensure that your terms of employment are in line with what was discussed, you should check the various components of your job offer letter thoroughly. We list down basic important elements in your offer letter that you should pay attention to before making any decision.

Basic Details

Job Responsibilities: Ensure that all your job responsibilities are clearly outlined and described in the offer letter. This is important so that if in the future your boss tries to change your responsibilities or downgrade you in some way, you have it in writing what you are supposed to be doing.

Job Title and Department: One of the elements that you see on your job offer email is the information about your job title and the department you’d be working with. Read this section carefully to ensure that you are being offered what was discussed. If you think the job title you are being offered is not in sync with what was discussed, bring it to the notice of your hiring manager before accepting the offer.

Joining Date and Location: Your job offer letter should clearly state your joining date and location of the office where you would be reporting on your first day. Make sure that you are being given enough time to serve your notice period in your current organization.

Salary Package

This is the most important section of your job offer. You might have already discussed salary on the phone or in an email, but now’s the time to make sure that it’s mentioned in offer letter, too. If you didn’t discuss salary and the numbers are lower than expected, you have the right to negotiate your salary. In any case, where the salary listed in the offer letter is lower than discussed, it’s important to follow up with the organization, either to correct an error or get more information about the offer. A company that tries to trick you out of compensation during the hiring process may continue similar bad-faith actions during your employment.

Joining Documents

The offer letter should list all the documents that are required for joining. It should clearly mention the documents you are required to carry for joining formalities. Some of the documents such as experience letters are given to candidates only after they leave an organization. In such cases, it’s better to inform your prospective employer of the same.

Accepting or Declining a Job Offer

Once you receive a job offer email, the first thing that you should do is to acknowledge the job offer. Though employers expect to receive your final decision as soon as possible, however, you should never decide in hurry. Take your time, go through the basic elements in your job offer letter and inform the employer within the timeline you’ve given. If you find a red flag in your offer letter, consider your options carefully. For some issues, you can negotiate. Most employers expect new hires to negotiate on issues like salary or benefits, anyway. In other cases, you cannot negotiate. Finally, remember that you can always turn down an offer letter if you spot warning signs.

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