What‌ ‌Is‌ ‌A Job Offer? (With Examples)

By Chris Kolmar - Nov. 4, 2020

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You’re looking for a new job and you get a job offer from a company. What exactly does that mean?
Does it mean you’re hired?

Or are there other steps involved?

When you look at the words, job offer, it seems like they’re giving you the job. This could actually be the case, but it can also be a little more confusing than that. It all depends on the job, the offer, and other details around the position. Let’s look a little more deeply so you understand all the nuances of a job offer.

Definition & Examples of a Job Offer

A job offer is defined as an employer inviting an individual to work for them. It can actually be that simple and straightforward. Let’s say you run into your old friend Jim, who now owns a construction company and Jim says, “Hey, why don’t you come work for me.” That’s a job offer. It’s a very informal job offer but it does count.

On the other end of the spectrum, let’s say you’re an actress and you’ve auditioned for a role three times. You finally receive a phone call from the director, and she says:

“We’d love to have you be the understudy for the part of Juliet in our production of Romeo and Juliet, and on Sunday afternoons you will perform the role. Otherwise, you will be on standby in case the lead actress cannot go on. For this you’ll receive full compensation of $100 for each hour you perform and only $10 per hour for the hours you aren’t performing.”

Whew, that’s a lot to consider and it might not be a job offer you want, I mean you really wanted that leading role. No matter what you choose, both situations are job offers.

What Is a Job Offer?

You can see from our examples above, a job offer can be for any work and it can be very detailed with the days you’ll be working, the hours, your compensation, your benefits, and a whole lot of other details.

They can also be as straightforward as Jim asking you to work for him.

Now, while we like the simplicity of Jim’s invite, we highly suggest you go a step further when you’re looking for a job and try to get everything in writing. This will help protect both parties, in the long-run, and it will clarify all of the details so you never have to wonder if Jim actually said he was going to pay you or if he was just suggesting you help him out. With a written job offer and an acceptance, those questions are easily answered.

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

How a Job Offer Works

So, how does a job offer work?

The offer is made, and it can either be accepted, rejected, or you might want to go back and negotiate a little. That’s kind of the beauty of a job offer, it’s not binding you to anything just yet.

There’s still time for you to negotiate your salary requirements, you can discuss vacation time, the hours you work – just about anything can be discussed but that doesn’t mean that you’ll get everything you ask for. It just opens the doors so you can figure out a plan that both parties can agree to.

What’s Included in a Job Offer Letter

As we mentioned before, it’s best to get your job offer in writing, especially if it’s the final offer and it’s the one you want to accept. You’ll already have determined all the details, like your salary requirements, vacation days, benefits, and such. And those items should be included in the job offer. Some companies will briefly state them, and others will have long forms or welcome packages that lay out all of the details.

In addition to the details, the offer letter should give you an overview of the position, what hours you’ll work, what you’re expected to do and they might go as far as to list a few of their future goals for your position.

One thing to check for on your offer letter is a list of contingencies, if there are any. Sometimes a job is offered with the stipulation that you have to do something – like pass a drug test, go through a background check, or have proper work documents prepared. If there is a contingency, then it needs to be detailed in the offer letter because your failure to comply can mean the job offer is rescinded or taken away.

Many job offers are open ended, meaning there’s no time limit on them and you’ll continue to work for the company until you decide to quit or until they decide to let you go. Some jobs are contract based, so they have a set time limit or they’re only in effect until a project is completed. If you’re working on a contract-based job, then the start date and the end date needs to be in the letter, or the scope of the project must be included.

Job Offer Letter Templates

Let’s take a look at a couple different job offers. One will be rather informal and the other, more involved.

Job Offer Template #1

01/01/2021

Candidate Name
Candidate Address
City, State, Zip

Dear Candidate,

We were impressed with your resume and our interview and would like to offer you the position of Janitorial Assistant at ABC School during the month of February, while our regular Janitorial Assistant is on medical leave.

As discussed, this is a contract position for one month only, during which time you will report directly to the Head Janitor, Bill Smith, and be paid $30/hour. Your hours will be from 8:00am to 5:00pm with a one-hour, unpaid lunch break.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly. We’re excited to welcome you aboard and look forward to seeing you February 1st.

Sincerely,

Jane Doe
Human Resources
ABC School

Job Offer Template #2

01/01/2021

Candidate Name
Candidate Address
City, State, Zip

Dear Candidate,

We were impressed with your resume and our interview and would like to offer you the full-time position of Janitorial Assistant at ABC School with a start date of February 1, 2021. This offer is contingent upon passing a drug test, which will be administered at your convenience at XYZ Labs before January 20th, 2021.

You will be reporting directly to Bill Smith, who will be your direct supervisor. Bill said he will meet you at the front doors to the school at 8:00am.

In this role, you will be required to sweep, dust, mop, and vacuum as needed. You will also be responsible for removing trash from the classrooms and cleaning the bathrooms. As discussed previously, Bill will walk you through the procedures we use and there will be two weeks training.

The starting pay for this position is $30/hour to be paid weekly, on Friday. After three months of employment you will have a chance to talk to our human resources office to discuss being added to our benefits package.

Your employment with ABC School will be on an at-will basis, which means you or the school can terminate employment for any reason at any time. This letter is not a contract or a guarantee of a specific work timeframe.

Please confirm your acceptance of this offer by signing and returning this letter by January 15, 2021.

We are excited to have you join our team and I’m here to answer any questions you may have.

Sincerely,

Josh Waltz
Hiring Recruiter for ABC Schools

Candidate Name
Janitorial Assistant

Signature: ______________________________________
Printed Name: ________________________________
Date: ___________________________________________

Accepting a Job Offer

It seems like you just need to say “yes” and away you go – off into the world with a new job. But that’s not necessarily the case. You can see that the second template is more formal and asks you to arrange for the drug test on your own and to sign and return the job offer. Obviously, these things must be done before you’ve formally accepted the position.

In the more informal offer above, it doesn’t even ask for you to accept the job offer but you should anyway. Let’s assume the contract position offer was emailed to you, it’s in your best interest to email back and formally state that you are accepting the position. Then, keep that email just in case you need it later.

If you’ve been given an offer and you need to think about it for a while. That’s okay, too. If you still have some questions or you want to negotiate a bit more, then you’ll need time to discuss that. If you’re just not sure, let them know that you appreciate their offer and you’ll give them an answer – and pick a day when you’ll answer. It’s not fair to leave them hanging too long, so you should respond within a couple days.

https://www.zippia.com/advice/how-to-accept-a-job-offer/

It sounded good at first, but once you met with a few people and learned more about the compensation packages, you decided that this really isn’t the job for you. Now you need to decline a job offer. How do you do that when you’ve gone through so many steps to get the job?

It’s never easy to say no, you might even feel a little guilty for wasting their time, but you shouldn’t. Landing a job is just as much about you finding the right fit as it is for them. It would be worse if they hired you and then discovered, down the line, that you were unhappy and not going to do your best job or stay long, anyway.

The best way to turn down a job offer is to be straightforward and honest. Tell them promptly once you’ve made the decision. Thank them for their time and let them know you truly appreciate the offer, but it’s just not the right fit for you at this time. No reason to be specific about your decision.

Sometimes, it’s beneficial to stay in touch – maybe this is a job you’ll want later or someone you’ll work with in the future.

Take the hassle out of your job search & get an offer faster
Chris Kolmar

Author

Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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