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Get It In Writing #2: Job Offers

Six Reasons to Get Job Offers in Writing

So you get the call: the place you interviewed at last week would like you to start next Monday. You’re excited, relieved, overwhelmed, but do you accept the offer over the phone?


Instead you say something like, “This is great news. I’m very excited by the prospect of working there. Can you email me the written offer, or would you like me to come by and pick it up?”

Why is it so important to get the written offer?

1. Base salary/hourly rate. It’s a bad feeling when you accept a job, excitedly do the math to predict your paycheck size, and then when you get the first paycheck it’s much less than you expected. Either you’re really bad at math (let’s face it) or there was a disconnect between your expectations and reality. Or someone in HR made a mistake. But how will you prove it? Avoid the confusion and get a written offer.

2. Benefits. Many times there are deductions on your paystub that you weren’t aware of draining away your pay. “I thought they paid for insurance!” or “These retirement deductions are mandatory?” Getting a written offer lets you know beforehand how beneficial your benefits really are.

3. Probationary periods. It’s a little demeaning to realize after a few weeks that you are on a mandatory six month probationary period before you become a “real” employee. Know beforehand.

4. Vacation/personal/sick time. Time off is not always negotiable, but having it in a written offer prevents the company from changing its policies later and affecting you. Your written offer will allow you to be grandfathered in.

5. Job title. Because there’s a big difference between “Assistant Regional Manager” and “Assistant to the Regional Manager.”

6. The best reason is to give you a solid base from which to start negotiations of all of the above.

So start your relationship with the company on the right foot by setting a precedent of professionalism. Don’t be shy about asking for a written offer. Show them you mean business.