When making a job offer, companies will often give a candidate a verbal offer first, to speed things along and facilitate the negotiation, following it with a written offer if it seems like the candidate and the company are close to agreement on the terms of the offer. The written offer takes the form of an document offer letter, which is just the summary sent to the candidate, typically with an expiration date and other details and paperwork.
Although companies often want you to sign right away to save time and effort, if you’re doing it thoughtfully you’ll also be talking to the company (typically with a hiring manager, your future manager, or a recruiter, or some combination) multiple times before signing. This helps you negotiate details and gives you a chance to get to know the people you could be working with, the company, and the role, so that you can make the best decision for your personal situation.
When you are ready to accept the terms of the offer letter, you can go ahead and sign.
Things to look for in the offer letter include:
While the details may not be included in your offer letter, to get full information on your total rewards you’ll also want to discuss:
A few general notes on these components (credits to Cristina Cordova for some of these):