10 Differences Between offer letter and appointment letter

Offer Letter vs Appointment Letter: Understanding the Differences

As a job seeker or an employee, you may have come across terms like “offer letter” and “appointment letter.” While they may seem similar, there are significant differences between the two. In this article, we will delve into these dissimilarities and emphasize the unique purpose each letter serves.

What is an Offer Letter?

An offer letter is a formal document issued by an employer to a prospective employee, officially offering them a position within the company. It outlines the terms and conditions of employment, including salary, benefits, working hours, starting date, and other relevant details.

Examples of Offer Letters:

  • An offer letter may state, “Dear [Candidate’s Name], We are pleased to offer you the position of [Job Title] at [Company Name]. Your starting salary will be $[Salary], and you will be entitled to [Benefits]. Please sign this letter to accept the offer.”
  • Another example could be, “Dear [Candidate], After careful consideration, we would like to extend an employment offer for the position of [Job Title]. Your annual compensation will be $[Salary], and you will be eligible for [Benefits]. Please sign this letter to indicate your acceptance.”

Uses of Offer Letters:

Offer letters serve the following purposes:

  • Provide a formal job offer and communicate essential details to the candidate.
  • Outline the terms and conditions of employment.
  • Set expectations regarding salary, benefits, and working hours.
  • Provide a legal document to protect the rights of both parties.
  • Confirm the candidate’s acceptance of the job offer.

What is an Appointment Letter?

After a candidate accepts the job offer and completes the necessary pre-employment formalities, an appointment letter is issued by the employer. This letter signifies the formal appointment of the individual as an employee of the organization and confirms their acceptance of the offer made.

Examples of Appointment Letters:

  • An appointment letter may include statements like, “Dear [Employee’s Name], Congratulations! We are pleased to inform you that you have been appointed as [Job Title] at [Company Name], effective from [Date]. Your gross monthly salary will be $[Salary], and please find attached the terms and conditions of your employment.”
  • Another example could be, “Dear [Employee], This letter is to confirm your appointment as a [Job Title] at [Company Name]. Your employment will commence from [Date], and you will be paid a monthly salary of $[Salary]. Kindly sign and return this letter as a token of your acceptance.”

Uses of Appointment Letters:

Appointment letters serve the following purposes:

  • Formally appoint the person to their designated position.
  • Provide details about the job title, salary, and other employment terms.
  • Confirm the start date and working hours.
  • Serve as an official document for record-keeping purposes.

Differences between Offer Letter and Appointment Letter:

Difference Area Offer Letter Appointment Letter
1. Nature Offer letters are preliminary; they propose employment before its formal acceptance. Appointment letters are final; they confirm the employment after the candidate’s acceptance.
2. Time of Issuance Offer letters are issued before the candidate joins the organization. Appointment letters are issued after the candidate accepts the job offer.
3. Purpose Offer letters state the terms and conditions of an employment offer. Appointment letters confirm the appointment and provide details of the employment.
4. Acceptance Offer letters require the candidate’s acceptance to become a legally binding agreement. Appointment letters confirm that the candidate has accepted the job offer and is now an employee.
5. Legal Status Offer letters are a legally valid document but are usually not enforceable in a court of law. Appointment letters have legal enforceability and can be used as evidence in a court of law.
6. Flexibility Offer letters may leave room for negotiation and changes in terms before acceptance. Appointment letters are usually non-negotiable as the employee has accepted the terms.
7. Details Offer letters provide a comprehensive overview of the job offer, including salary, benefits, and start date. Appointment letters contain detailed information about the appointment, such as job title, salary, and employment terms.
8. Scope Offer letters focus on making the employment offer and attracting potential candidates. Appointment letters signify the completion of the hiring process and the official appointment.
9. Amendment Offer letters may be modified or withdrawn by the employer before acceptance. Appointment letters are generally not modified after acceptance, except in exceptional circumstances.
10. Purposeful Termination Offer letters may lead to non-acceptance or rejection by the candidate. Appointment letters ensure the employee understands they are officially employed by the organization.


In summary, offer letters serve as a formal invitation to join a company, covering the terms and conditions of employment. However, appointment letters are issued after the candidate accepts the offer, signifying their official appointment to the designated position. While offer letters are preliminary and negotiable, appointment letters are legally binding and provide detailed information regarding the employment. It is crucial for both employers and employees to understand the distinctive nature and purpose of each letter.

People Also Ask:

1. What happens after accepting the offer letter?

After accepting the offer letter, the candidate typically goes through a background check and other pre-employment formalities. Once completed, the employer issues an appointment letter to formally appoint the person to the position.

2. Can an offer letter be rescinded?

Yes, in certain situations, an offer letter can be rescinded. This can happen if the candidate fails the background check, provides false information, or if the company experiences unforeseen changes or budget constraints.

3. Can appointment letters be used as proof of employment?

Yes, appointment letters are considered as legal proof of employment and can be used as evidence in case of any employment-related disputes or claims.

4. Are appointment letters the same as employment contracts?

No, appointment letters are not the same as employment contracts. Appointment letters mainly confirm the appointment and provide basic employment details. Employment contracts, on the other hand, contain more comprehensive terms and conditions, including probationary period, termination clauses, and other legal aspects.

5. Can the terms mentioned in the offer letter change later?

Usually, offer letters are subject to negotiation before acceptance. However, once the offer letter is accepted and an appointment letter is issued, the terms mentioned in the appointment letter generally remain unchanged unless both parties mutually agree to modify them.

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