Hi all,
I have gone through lots of discussion threads where two terms are always refered i.e. Offer letter and Appointment Letter. My question is:
1. What is difference between Offer letter and Appointment Letter?
One difference that I know is Company issues offer letter to candidate after selection and candidate can accept or reject the same. and Once employee joines the company then on the DOJ company provides Appointment letter.
Please let me know if there is any other difference?
2. From the legal aspect what is difference between Offer letter and Appointment Letter?
3. Many employers don't provide appointment letter, why?
versha rajan

From India
Hi there,
There is a big difference between appointment letter & and offer letter.
Offer Letter: Its given to candidate after Interview & selection which states the offered salary package, designation, grade, department working, no of days entitled for leave.
Should you accept what has been offered then you are provided with contract/ agreement that has all your entitlements and company basic rules. Should you accept and you start working then You are given
letter of appointment confirming that your are an employee to that company under the terms and conditions agreed. This document can be give immediately at appointment or some companies keep this letter until you have successfully completed you probation then they give you letter of appointment

From Oman, Muscat
Offer Letter speaks about the deal which is confirmed during the interview.
It depends upon the candidate to accept / reject the offer letter if any thing mismatches what he had asked or intimated during the interview.
Appointment letter is confirmation letter stating the benfits & compensation,designation,role & profile more in detail than the offer letter. Its very much ellaborated.
However, both the documents are legal.
Many companies provided the OL during the employees probabtion period & after the probabtion period an appointment /confirmation letter is issued.
I hope this makes your doubt clear.
Gaurav Vedak

From India, Bangalore
Of late, these two terms are more applied in INdia. Earlier we have heard of only appointment order. After the arrival of MNCs we started hearing Offer letter. Of course, a double work for HR department and unnecessary entries to be made. We can just stick to one mode as usual. Legally they differ, but why to get entangled in it?

Offer letter is a document given to the successful candidate stating that the company is pleased to give a job offer with the position, grade, salary etc. Based on this letter, the candidate can resign his current job with his employer. Once he joins the company and signs the forms, he is automatically appointed.

Appointment letter is a document that states that the candidate is appointed from this day for the position on this salary and is bound by the terms and conditions. It is not that you are appointed after the probation period. You are appointed on day one itself. It is after the probation that you offer confirmation letter. Many have misunderstood this process.

Whatever it is, a candidate becomes an employee, only when he fills and signs the Joining formality. When these two systems are followed, some companies forget to issue the Appointment letter and the employee keeps begging and I have seen this myself. By that time he would have completed a year of service and would have reached the first promotion.

So let's not confuse with it, issue OL with a clause: "This offer letter does not give you the employee status of our company. Your appointment comes into effect only after completing the joining formality with us".

Long ago on a TV show 'Boss's day out' , Infosys Chief, Mr.Narayanamurthy was shocked to learn the paper work on the first day and instructed their HR to reduce paper work to the maximum. He said 'One document will do'. Let's be Indian as usual.

Just because wedding invitation is printed and distributed, the bride and groom do not become a couple. After the wedding knot, they automatically become husband and wife. That is confirmed.



From India, Madras
Dear Versha,

Good Day

Its an important question that many of our people overlook or ignore. I have a personal experience in this regard while i was in New Zealand. Unfortunately, in developing countries like ours, the importance and the differences are not valued. I noted that many responses would have confused so far. Its simple as follows:

1) Appointment letter is an invitation to join a particular organization to work for. You may accept or reject and let them know. It doest have much legal weight and its usually brief and one page in size. (for ex: there will be no details of salary or whatsoever.) If you accept an Appointment Letter following a successful job interview..You will get a:

2) Job Offer/Employment Agreement/Offer of Employment are different names for one thing..

Its usually detailed..including your wages, period, benefits, responsibilities etc. This document has to be signed by both.. (remember a employment offer always should carry signatures from both parties..) It has more legal weight and you can go to court. I dont know about our country but in developed countries there are specific labour court to handle this sort of cases.

For more details: for migration purpose, Immigration Departments will ask you for a Job Offer (detailed) and not the Letter of Appointment.. So be cautious to get your Job Offer/Employment Agreement from the company that you work for. It will give you some legal protection, when issues arise.

Yes, many employers do not prefer to give Empoyment Offer because they become legal bound upon signing by both parties. You know that many employers try to exploit wheerever possible, not all employers though.

Hope this would clarify your confusion. Let me know pls.


Razeen Assan

From Sri Lanka, Colombo
Dear Rajan,
There is a difference between Offer letter and appointment letter. When a candidate is selected Company offers him an offer of joining the company on or before certain date. This is because he can submit his resignation letter and join the company on the date specified. Company is binding herself upto that day and suppose the person did not join the company cancel the offer letter and look for the next person. Company never gives terms and conditions or salary details or other matters in the offer letter. Only the list of documents to be submitted by the person on joining.
After joining the company, company issues appointment letter after collecting the documents and induction/training starts from that day. In the appointment letter all legal terms agreement mentioned.
Hope this is clear.
Govind Desai

From India, Mumbai
Dear All,
Offer Letter can provide to the candidate at the time of his final round interview so that the candidate gets the confirmation of his offer and give resignation to his company. It consists of designation, location, date of joining, place of posting, Salary. The candidate can accept or reject the offer. It is not confirmation of any employment.
Appointment Letter is the only evidence that the candidate is get appointed by the company. It consist of benefits, legal terms, and salary break ups, leave entitlement, duty hours, transfer terms, responsibility, termination / resignation clause.
Hope it gives you clear picture of difference between offer letter and Appointment.
Mahua Samanta
HR Manager

From India, Calcutta
Dear Rajan,
there is a lot of difference between a job being offered to you (for which you stand a chance to reject or accept) and you being appointed or confirmed for a job from the date of joining.

From India, Mumbai
Offer letter and Appointment letter are both are legal.

When a candidate is selected, Company offers him/her employment and tentative date of joining the company. In offer letter, mostly salary details are not mentioned as many candidates take offer letter from one company and shows to other company for higher pay, before actually joining the company. In offer letter only the date of joining and the documents to be submitted at the time of joining are mentioned. The company may not appoint or select any person for the position once offered to a candidate and waits till the candidate join the company. Company spends time and search for selecting the candidate required and if the candidate is not joined on the scheduled date, it is a loss to company as company has to look for another candidate for the vacant position. The candidate is orally informed about the terms, leaves etc.

Appointment letter is given on the date of joining the company with full terms and conditions of employment, with full written package offered to the employee, and induction and training starts.

Govind Desai

From India, Mumbai
Dear All,

There is a vast difference between Offer Letter and Appointment Letter.

1) Offer Letter includes:

=> DOJ

=> CTC

=> Designation

=> Job Placement

OBJECTIVE: The main objective behind givimg the offer letter is that the organization is offering the job to the candidate. Then it is depend upon the candidate whether to accept the job or not. If the job offered by the organization is accepted then the acceptance signature should be done by the candidate and revert back to the organization and if not then not signed.

2) Appointment Letter includes:

=> All details of offer letter.

=> Minimum employment of terms

=> Probation Period

=> Leave & Attendence rules

=> Rules & Regulation of the organization

=> Policies in brief

::::> In our organization the "Appointment Letter" is given after 15 days of joining.

For getting the Appointment Letter, the Documents must be submitted by the candidates for varification of the candidate.

During the period of 15 days before giving the Appointment Letter, the behaviour, attitude, work, sincerity, etc... are checked by the organization. So that, the wrong candidate will not appointed. This is the main objective behind issuing the Appointment Letter.



(HR Executive)

From India, Pune

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