What Is an Appointment Letter? (And Tips on How to Draft It)
Updated March 10, 2023
Hiring managers use an appointment letter to offer successful candidates a role after an interview or assessment. This letter is a formal notice of the position, which is why it's vital that it communicates the relevant details. Understanding how to draft a job offer letter can help you effectively communicate with prospective employees. In this article, we define what an appointment letter is, outline steps on how to write one, highlight tips to consider when drafting an offer letter, and provide an example.
What is an appointment letter?
An appointment letter, also known as an employment offer letter, is an official document that hiring managers and companies use to offer candidates a job opportunity and outline a role. Hiring managers usually send this letter after a series of assessments and interviews in the hiring process. While you may use this letter to offer a job, it may or may not serve as the official hiring contract. After receiving the letter, the recipient can choose whether to accept the offer, allowing you to proceed to further onboarding stages.
As a hiring manager, give sufficient time to the recipient so that they can decide whether to accept the offer or negotiate it further. Allowing ample time also allows you to prepare for onboarding or create alternative plans if they decline an offer. Some details you might include in an offer letter are the job title, work hours, job description, start date, salary and benefits, and any additional employment conditions. If an offer letter is for a part-time role, it may include the employment duration and any clause to convert a part-time position into a full-time role.
How to write an employment offer letter
The following steps are useful to consider when drafting an employment offer letter:
1. Start with a header
Depending on your preferred template, place the header in the left or right corner at the top of the letter. This header information typically includes the company logo and location. Then list the sender's details, such as their name, e-mail, contact address, and phone number.
Include the date you're sending the letter for reference purposes. You might include a subject line detailing the letter's intent. For example, you can create a subject line like l**etter of appointment for the role of a loan officer. A subject line helps to clarify the topic and clearly outlines the content and purpose of the letter.
2. Include salutations
After drafting the header and subject line, introduce the letter content with a warm and friendly greeting. Begin with a salutation and address the candidate by their first name. Then thank the candidate for the time they took going through the application process and their patience while waiting for a response.
These details allow the recipient to understand that you appreciate their time and effort. Expressing appreciation and being friendly may make the recipient feel more valued and increase their chances of accepting the offer. Ensure you keep this section concise to communicate your message effectively. Restrict this section to a paragraph of about three sentences to maintain professionalism and make it easy to review.
Related: All about Job Offer Letters
3. Offer the position
You can offer the position to the candidate in the next paragraph while expressing your excitement. Then follow up with details regarding the role. First, ensure that you outline the correct job title and list of conditions. Then outline the content of the letter.
4. Outline the job description
Following the statement of an offer, you can provide further detail in the job description. The job description details the tasks and responsibilities of the role. This section is essential, as it helps the recipient understand the job in greater depth and learn what to expect from the role. You may include expectations for the position for the first week, month, or six months of employment.
Ensure you communicate these tasks and responsibilities such that the candidate understands the details of the role. For instance, you may itemize responsibilities in bullet points so they're easy to understand. While a job description may not cover all the duties that the candidate may fill in the role, it gives them an overview. Choose a format that expresses the full extent of the role's functions. The recipient may make negotiations or ask questions based on the job description.
5. Include a start date
Specifying a start date gives the candidate a timeline in which to consider the offer and provide a reply. When choosing a start date, consider how much time is ideal for the candidate to make a decision and prepare adequately. On average, start dates are from three to six weeks from the offer letter's date.
6. Communicate working hours
Next to the start date, outline the expected working days and hours. For a full-time role, the average working hours are 40 per week, from Monday to Friday. Working hours can also include weekends, holidays, or shifts, depending on the role. For part-time or internship positions, the work hours may range from 20 to 25 hours per week. You can also clarify if the role is entirely physical, hybrid, or remote.
7. Discuss salary and benefits
When drafting an offer letter, it's crucial that you communicate the remuneration and benefits of the role. For the base salary, include details of the salary structure. Clarify if the role compensates employees on an hourly or salaried basis. You might also outline any applicable commissions, bonuses, or overtime rates that apply to the position. After clarifying the compensation, you can outline the benefits. Some benefits might include health insurance, paid leave, dental insurance, or a pension. List the benefits separately so they're clear to the recipient.
8. Include additional information
Include any additional information that applies to the role as an appendix. For instance, you can include dress codes, work policies, confidentiality clauses, and probationary periods. Additional information provides context to help the candidate understand the role. You can also outline the next steps that the candidate can take to accept the offer. Clarify the most effective means of communication and which department they can send further correspondence to if they accept the offer.
Related: How to End a Letter
Tips for drafting an offer letter
Here are some tips you can consider when drafting an offer letter:
Create a checklist of onboarding documents
When sending an offer letter through the mail, you can create a list of accompanying documents that the new hire requires for the role. These are documents that the company requires for further due diligence and to complete the employee's database record. These documents might include bank details and proof of address to validate their appointment.
You can also send a soft copy of the contract the candidate can sign virtually and return with the rest of the documents. Creating this list within the offer letter helps the recipient remember and prepare these documents beforehand, preventing delays in the onboarding process. It also enables you to track these documents during further communications.
Forward a follow-up e-mail
You may not receive a response for a few days after sending an offer letter for various reasons. In these instances, you can send a follow-up e-mail to confirm that the recipient saw the initial letter. For instance, the recipient may have missed the mail, lost it, or forgotten to respond. Sending this follow-up e-mail ensures you perform due diligence before rescinding the offer or moving on to another candidate. It also helps the recipient to know that the offer is still valid despite the lack of response.
Example offer letter
Here's an example of an employment offer letter to guide you when writing your own:
228 243 7878
September 10, 2022
Subject: Letter of appointment for the role of a loan officer
Thank you for applying to this company. You impressed the team with the quality of your application, and the company wants to offer you a position as a Loan Officer at Clark Associates on these terms and conditions:
Position: Loan Officer
Job description: Help customers research loans and recommend personal and commercial loan options to customers. Assist customers in navigating the application, authorization, and closing process.
Start date: 17/10/2022
Work hours: Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Salary: $62,000 per year
Benefits: Health and wellness program and annual bonuses
Kindly review these conditions and reply within two weeks of receipt of this letter. You can contact the company's human resources department at firstname.lastname@example.org to indicate your acceptance or declination.
I look forward to your reply.
Hiring Manager, Clark Associates
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