Offer Letter VS Appointment Letter: What Separates the Two


One may confuse an offer letter with an appointment letter. But there are key differences between the two.

Is Offer Letter and Appointment Letter the Same?

An Offer Letter is different from an Appointment Letter. The main differences between an appointment letter and an offer letter are:

  • Candidates get an offer letter after clearing all rounds of interviews. But an appointment letter gets issued to a candidate only after they accept the offer letter.
  • An appointment letter gives more details related to the job role compared to an offer letter.
  • Offer Letter conveys the company’s interest in offering a job role. But an appointment letter provides a detailed contract of employment to a candidate. 

What is an Offer Letter?

An Offer Letter is a company document sent to a candidate if they get selected for a job. When a jobseeker clears all interview rounds, the company sends this letter to offer the role. It contains broad details about the designation for which the candidate had applied. There is no fixed template for this document. To know more about writing a compelling offer letter, companies can visit here.

What is an Appointment Letter?

It is a formal contract of employment sent by a company when the candidate accepts the offer letter. It has details like designation, responsibilities, salary structure, and terms of work. It is an official document, and candidates can face action if they break any conditions in the letter. This letter precedes the verification of documents to check the candidate’s details. An appointment letter serves as proof of employment for the job seeker.

The Major Difference Between an Offer Letter and an Appointment Letter

You receive an offer letter after clearing your interviews. Once you accept it, the company sends you an appointment letter.

The Purpose of the Letter

The difference between an offer letter and an appointment letter is its purpose. The former is to inform the candidate that they have cleared the selection process. It is also proof that they see the applicant as fit for employment. The latter gets issued when the candidate acknowledges and accepts the offer letter. It is a formal contract of employment from the company to hire someone for a particular job role. 

The Content of the Letter

The content of an appointment letter is more clear as compared to an offer letter. An offer letter gives basic details about the job title, salary, location, and start date. But the appointment letter is more detailed and comprehensive. This is because it is a formal contract between the company and the candidate. It includes things like roles and responsibilities, working hours, and health/insurance benefits. It includes terms of employment, conditions for terminating the contract, and other details.

The Timeline of the Letter Offered

The appointment letter always comes after an offer letter. A candidate gets an offer letter post their interviews and background checks. This document expresses the organization’s intent to hire the candidate. It is up to them to either accept or reject it. After they accept the offer letter, the company sends them an appointment letter. It is an official agreement between the company and the new employee.

The Two Versions of an Employment Contract with Unique Purposes

An offer letter is less detailed than an appointment letter. These legal documents are different versions of a formal contract of employment. A candidate must accept one to receive the other. To read more on offer letters vs. appointment letters and how to write them effectively, visit here

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