What’s the Difference Between An Offer Letter And A Contract

Job & Careerby Mashum Mollah27 November 2020

The “job for life” has become a rarity. Consequently, it is not uncommon to see a huge number of highly-qualified people fighting for secure positions with attractive salaries. This has been highlighted in 2020, with the coronavirus pandemic hobbling hospitality and other service industries, shrinking the job market further. Once you receive the offer letter it means you have accepted the job.

Despite the difficult conditions, the struggle to find a good job continues. You distribute your resume, cover letter, and undergo both testing and possibly a series of interviews over a period of weeks. Finally, you get a call with the news; you got the job! An offer letter will be sent through shortly. Once you have accepted the offer, HR will often then set to work drafting a contract.

So how do contracts and Offer Letters differ, and why is the distinction important for employees as well as employers? Read on as we explore the difference between an offer letter and contract, show where you can get an Offer Letter sample, and see how PDF contract and job offer letter templates can be drafted, edited, and distributed in minutes using Lumin PDF editing software.

What’s the difference between an Offer Letter and a contract?

As mentioned above, the Offer Letter often comes as your prospective employer is first confirmed, signaling in writing the intention to hire. Often details such as start date, base salary, direct report, and broad job description are included. Offer letters can vary in formality but are often (depending on state laws and specific legal language used) not legally binding. Even if you have signed an offer letter, there is no iron-clad guarantee that the job will materialize.

In contrast, a contract has greater weight. It contains some of the same information present in the offer letter, but is more involved, using all the necessary legal jargon and outlining some of the worker’s rights and also conditions that must be met by the worker to retain employment.

You may be wondering why an offer letter is needed at all if the contract outlines all details. As stated before, an offer letter is no guarantee that the relationship between potential employer and employee will progress. The candidate can indeed turn down the job, or negotiate on some of the initial terms, such as salary and duration of employment. The initially written terms provide the basis for negotiation, which can then lead to contractual arrangements if both parties are satisfied. Offer letters are also more friendly and welcoming than a dense contract, making the first official contact a more relaxed one.

It is obvious that employees need to know what goes in an offer letter or contract as they (or their team) will be drafting them, but for candidates, it is also good to know the format of an offer letter. For one, it allows prospective employees to distinguish professional companies from less-trustworthy ones and also know which information should be transparent about the job from the very start.

Where can you get an Offer Letter template or contract sample?

offer letter

Rather than reinventing the wheel and writing one from scratch, it is easiest to find a contract or job offer letter sample that can be customized. Some people look for job offer templates or job acceptance letter samples to edit in Microsoft Word, but there can be problems, namely that formatting can change or certain parts of logos, images, and tables can disappear when opened on the device of the recipient. To make sure that formatting stays consistent and to give a professional look, PDFs are used.

While PDFs used to be distributed mainly as view-only documents, the decline of paper storage and the rise of computer literacy has made PDF editing software indispensable for many. Lumin PDF is one of the leading companies that provides the necessary functionality to edit, manipulate, and collaborate with others using the PDF file type. Lumin PDF allows users to edit text directly in PDFs, highlight and comment sections, add e-signatures, and compress, merge and split documents. Integration with Google Drive, OneDrive, and Dropbox means documents can be stored in the cloud and easily shared for collaboration, with real-time syncing and auto-saving.

Best of all, Lumin PDF has a contract and simple job offer letter samples on their website for free download.

Adapting an Offer Letter format with Lumin PDF

So you have your job Offer Letter format and also the tools to customize it, the rest is easy. In minutes you can add images, your company logo and personalize the text provided. If you have stored the PDF letter in the cloud, you can share it with a colleague to check or make changes to, before it is sent out.

While in Lumin’s form section there are no appointment letter templates for employees or sample letters for declining a job after accepting it, there is an easy solution – go to Google and search for a template! If the sample is in PDF format, then it can be uploaded to Lumin’s storage and easily edited. If the template is in Word format, this is not a problem either. With Lumin, you can convert Word documents to PDF and then edit as you would normally.

What An Offer Letter Imply?

The offer letter highlights the fact that you get the job offer from an organization after cracking their interviews. All your salary pay scales, your leaves, and all the norms of the company will be mentioned there. If you sign it then it implies that you are accepting the job that you have been offered. It does not mean that you are doing the partnership with any company.

Document handling with confidence

Document handling

In this article, we have learned the difference between an Offer Letter and a contract, what it means for employers and employees, and why the PDF file type is the best way to display these documents. Using editing software such as Lumin PDF, you are not limited to simple job offer letter formats in Word, but can easily create, edit and distribute professional and reliable PDF documents to be viewed using any device or browser.

Mashum Mollah

Mashum Mollah is the man behind TheDailyNotes. He loves sharing his experiences on popular sites- Mashum Mollah, Blogstellar.com etc.

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