What Is The Difference Between Appointment Letter And Offer Letter?

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Appointment Letter Vs Offer Letter

Put simply, the difference between the appointment letter and offer letter is much like water and lemonade. The confusion arises between the two because they look the same (almost) but taste different. Moreover, while the latter takes a bit of effort, the other doesn’t really require any effort.

Didn’t get the difference between an appointment letter and offer letter, yet? Let me break it up for you- Consider the offer letter as water and the appointment letter as lemonade. An offer letter is simple while an appointment letter is a bit complex (has more details). They both look the same at a glance but still are different from each other.

However, before we dive into the appointment letter vs offer letter concept, let’s look at what they are all about.


Appointment Letter

An appointment letter is more comprehensive than an offer letter and includes all the details regarding the job. It isn’t just a job assurance but also a letter that mentions a code of conduct, a basic company disclaimer for the new joiner. It is a contract that proves your job with the company.


Offer Letter

Offer letter is the first letter sent by the company upon selection of the candidate mentioning designation, CTC, desired joining date and more. The main purpose of this letter is to get acknowledgment from the selected candidate to join the company.


Difference Between Appointment Letter and Offer Letter

If I were to tell the difference in one line, I would have said that an offer letter is issued when a candidate is shortlisted and an appointment letter is issued after the offer letter format has been accepted by the prospective employee. However, when we do have the liberty to dive deeper, why not? So, let us together look at what both of these terms mean so as to understand the difference in a better way.

Basis Offer letter Appointment letter
Purpose Offer the job role Provide contract of employment
Time After interview After offer letter
Detail Superficial Comprehensive
Legal Not legal Legal
Acceptance Required Required
Rejection after acceptance Not good but still ok Very unprofessional and rude
Other Candidate Status Other candidates on hold Other shortlisted candidates are rejected

We hope this clear differentiation between appointment letter and offer letter cleared your concept.


How can workforce management software help?

The workforce management software can help in a myriad of ways. Some of them are-

  • Extending offer letter in a click 
  • Upon acknowledgment, extending appointment letter on the joining date or as set by you in the policy
  • Triggering onboarding workflow like assigning buddy, asset allocation task to IT and more


The Key Takeaway

Both the letters are formal but are sent with a different purpose.

The offer letter is the first step to get an employee on board and to express the interest of the company in hiring the candidate.

It is only after the candidate accepts the offer letter that the appointment letter is sent to him or her. The purpose of the same is to provide more detail about the position and company to the candidate.

The major difference between an appointment letter vs offer letter is-
The candidate can use an offer letter in his current organization to resign, however, the candidate is an employee after the appointment letter has been extended to him.

Please note that an appointment letter is given after the offer letter and not the probation period. The letter given after completion of the probation period is the confirmation letter.

Now, if you are an HR, look no further to download the appointment letter format doc; download it now from HROne

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Sukriti Saini

Sukriti Saini works as a content marketing strategist at HROne. She has done Bachelors in Journalism from Delhi University and carries several years of experience in content development. HR trends, Productivity, Performance and topics related to Employee Engagement garner most of her writing interest here. During leisure, she loves to write and talk about fashion, food & life.

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