Put Your Job Offer in Writing

Keyboard canva

“Put it in writing, or it didn’t happen.” This advice applies to many areas of life — especially when accepting a new job. Let me share a personal story.

When I first began my career, I was working in the Twin Cities, but after about a year, I wanted to return to the St. Cloud area. I applied for a job, interviewed, and was offered the job at a particular wage. I gave my two-week notice in the Twin Cities, gave my notice at my apartment (month-to-month lease), and signed a lease for an apartment in St. Cloud. The Friday before I was to start, my soon-to-be boss called me and said the Board did not agree with his pay offer, and he would have to pay me less than he offered. I felt I had no choice, because I had already given my notice in the Twin Cities and signed a new lease in St. Cloud. Thankfully, the offer was not a lot less, but this taught me a lesson.

Many companies will provide new hires with an official offer letter, but what if your new company does not do this? In this case, it’s important to send a letter of acceptance.

Letter of Acceptance

Like the story I shared, writing a letter of acceptance is especially important if your job offer was made orally but you have not — or did not — receive confirmation of the offer in writing. An effective letter of acceptance includes clarification of four key pieces of information: job title, salary information, details of benefits being offered (if any), and start date.

You can also clarify the date that the job offer was extended, as well as any additional information the company needs from you — or that you need from the company — before starting the new job. Address the letter to the person who offered you the position.

Don’t let what happened to me happen to you.

Image by Canva @freedigitalphotos.net

Video Interview Tips

Video interviews are on the rise. In fact, a colleague of mine informed me that a recent screening interview she had with a local company was conducted by video versus phone or in person. Video Interviews

With more and more hiring managers using video platforms for first-round interview, here are some tips to help you improve your interview:

  1. Prepare for a video interview as you would a one-on-one interview (research the company, practice possible interview questions, write down some accomplishments/examples that may set you apart, and jot down a couple questions to ask them).
  2. On the day of the interview, dress like you would for an in-person interview.
  3. Be in a quiet room where there will be no interruptions (barking dog, small children, etc.).
  4. Turn your cell phone on silent, and if you have a landline, unplug it during the interview.
  5. Think of the background. You don’t want it too busy so it distracts the interviewer.
  6. Natural lighting is the best. Avoid overhead fluorescent lights.
  7. Be sure your computer has a high-quality web cam. In addition, familiarize yourself with the video program the company will be using.
  8. Don’t sit too close to the monitor. It’s best to sit back a little — you don’t want just your face showing.
  9. Be sure to look at the camera and not the computer screen. However, this does not mean that you should look at the camera all the time. If you need to glance down at some notes occasionally, feel free to do so. (Tip: use sticky notepads for notes, and place them at the bottom of your computer monitor.)
  10. Finally, have somebody else conduct a mock interview with you via a video platform. Ask for their feedback on ways to improve the quality of the interview.

Finally, as with a phone or in-person interview, be sure to follow up with a thank you. Best of luck!