Why You Should Always Insist On A Written Job Offer

Why You Should Always Insist on a Written Job Offer

When you get that call or email offering a new job, your first instinct may be to say yes. You should reconsider and make sure all the details are in writing before you accept that offer.

Photo by Bruno Covas

The Muse advises that after you say yes based on just salary, it may be too late to discuss other matters:

That said, you'll also put yourself in a poor position to negotiate . . . Saying yes and then going back and pretending like you're reconsidering unless they meet you in the middle is the equivalent of showing your hand in a poker game.

The Muse has some other tips on how to politely ask for this important tool for deciding whether to accept a job offer.

Get it in Writing: Why You Absolutely Must Have a Written Job Offer [The Muse]


    Not just from a renegotiating position, I have had a workmate put in his notice because he managed to get a good job working in an industry more suited to him. As the job started 2 months later, he stayed on board (training replacement etc), however 2 weeks before he was due to leave, the job was pulled.

    No written contract was yet signed. It was all verbal and he assumed that a written contract would be signed upon the job commencing.

    The terrible part of this was the replacement was already here and contract formally signed so we couldn't keep him on.

    TL;DR - Make sure everything is in writing before you make the change.

    When much younger I was stupid enough to start a job as a junior system administrator without a written offer. Verbally agreed to a low starting salary for the first three months, with pay going up significantly after that. As a young kid, excited at the job and not thinking about much else I accepted without hard amounts being discussed.

    Got my first paycheck and was a bit surprised by how low it was. Did the math and worked out I wasn't even getting minimum wage (based on the job classification). Left not long after that, followed up by a claim for correct wages.

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