What Is a Job Offer?

Definition & Examples of a Job Offer

Businesswomen discussing a job offer.
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Job offers are made by employers when hiring and include key details about the job, compensation, and benefits. They can be delivered verbally or in writing, and employees can respond by accepting the offer, declining the offer, or negotiating the terms of the offer.

Learn more about job offers and how they work. 

What Is a Job Offer?

A job offer is an invitation for a potential employee to work in a specific position for an employer. Job offers typically contain the details of the employment offer, including salary, benefits, job responsibilities, and the reporting manager's name and title. The offer letter may also cover the expected work hours, the desired start date, and additional details that are important for the prospective employee to know.

How a Job Offer Works

Some job offers are verbal and informal. Depending on the scope and complexity of the position, a verbal job offer may suffice, but in many cases, a job offer letter also should be provided to address the finer points. Prospective employees who receive a verbal job offer can request the offer in writing.

A job offer email might look like the following:

Job Offer Example

Subject: XYZ Inc. Job Offer

Dear Jane,

XYZ Inc. is pleased to offer you the position of Executive Assistant.

Your start date will be June 1, 2020. I’ve attached our welcome package, which outlines your salary and benefits as well as our policies and procedures. Please confirm receipt of this email and your acceptance of our terms.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions. We’re excited to welcome you to the team!

Sincerely,

Ellen Smith
Human Resources
XYZ Inc.

The prospective employee needs to review the terms of the job offer and accept or decline. They should respond to the job offer to make the hiring and the terms official.

The job offer may be negotiable, depending on the position. Early career to mid-level job offers may not be as flexible because they likely have established salary ranges and standard benefits, but it doesn't hurt to ask.

Many positions have at least some flexibility in terms of pay range and other benefits to attract potential employees. Although it can be intimidating to make a counteroffer, job candidates have the right to negotiate with prospective employers. They may want to ask for a higher salary, more PTO time, or flexibility when it comes to their schedules. Most employers expect employees to negotiate.

Making a Counteroffer

Potential employees may make a counteroffer immediately or they may tell the employer that they need a couple of days to think about the offer. Asking for more time can be helpful for potential employees, allowing them time to research and consider what they want.

Potential employees who are making a counteroffer should make it clear that they are serious about the position and interested in working with the company. Rather than negotiating every aspect of a job offer, they may want to focus on one or two important areas. They should also have a back-up plan if the employer won't budge.

Let's say a potential employee wants a higher salary. In the counteroffer letter or discussion, they should make a case for why they deserve a higher salary. If the employer can't increase the salary, the candidate may want to ask for something else that's important to them, like being able to work from home one day per week or starting with two weeks of vacation time instead of one.

Once the candidate responds to a job offer, employers will decide if they wish to continue negotiations. If the employer and potential employee are too far apart, negotiations may stall. In many cases, though, common ground can be reached so both parties are satisfied.

If you're nervous about negotiating your salary in person, consider practicing what you plan to say with a trusted mentor or friend.

Key Takeaways

  • Job offers are made by employers when hiring and include key details about the job, compensation, and benefits.
  • Job offers typically contain the details of employment, including salary and benefits.
  • Some job offers are verbal and informal. In some cases, a verbal job offer may suffice, but in many cases, a job offer letter also should be provided.
  • The job offer may be negotiable, depending on the position.