Job offer letters can be tricky and should be read very carefully. Here are a few red flags to raise when you receive an offer letter that’s just not right:
Details are unclear
If you can’t lock down some concrete information, there’s probably a reason to be a little suspicious. When you sign an offer letter, you’re agreeing to do what the job involves. How can your employer expect you to confidently sign an offer letter when they’ve provided a vague job description, or have been unclear on your compensation package? It’s not only important to have clear information before you take the job, but it’s also important that you have that information down the road when your position begins to evolve, or you start looking for new opportunities.
A long waiting period for benefits
A 2014 federal rule states that there is a 90-day maximum limit that employers can impose before health coverage becomes effective. Although many employers have a waiting period for you to qualify for benefits, if they exceed the 90 days you may be able to negotiate for your company to pay for COBRA, or other health insurance expenses.
Shorter than average PTO/Vacation
Vacation and PTO varies by industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, American workers receive an average of 10 days of paid time off per year (or two weeks), after they’ve completed one year at the company.
However, it’s good to know that there is no federal requirement for employers to provide their employees with vacation time. PTO and vacation benefits also vary by state.
Inconsistencies in the job description
If the job description seems inconsistent with what was discussed during your interviews, it could signal a few different things. If the hiring team explained the position a certain way that is not clearly stated on your offer letter, this could signal a lack of communication internally. If you’ve received a few different descriptions of the job that the offer letter only vaguely matches, it could signal that the position itself isn’t sufficiently built out.
Having a clear and straight forward job description allows you to better see yourself in the future at the company and gives you a better idea of the performance goals you’ll be expected to accomplish.
A non-compete agreement is a contract between an employee and an employer that limits your ability to work for competitors once your position with that company ends. A non-compete agreement is typically in effect for a certain period after employment ends.
You should typically only sign a non-compete agreement if you’ll have access to confidential information or trade secrets that could harm the business once your employment with them ends.
Lower salary than discussed
Be aware of companies that may try to lowball you during the job search process. Although it may be sometimes necessary to accept a new position with a lower compensation than your previous job, you should still be paid at market value.
The cost of not negotiating your salary is more than you think. According to a ZipRecruiter survey, someone who negotiates their salary up from $40,000 to $45,000 and enjoyed an annualized rate of growth of 5 percent over a 45-year career would earn about $750,000 more during their lifetime than if they’d stuck with that first offer.
If you’re ever curious to see what the market value of your position is in your area, check out our Salary Guide.
You’re not excited about the offer
Trust your instincts. If you’re having doubts about the work you’ll be doing, consider reaching out to the hiring manager and ask for a more detailed break-down of what your day-to-day life will look like at the company. If you’re not sure why you’re feeling hesitant, try making a list of all the potential pros and cons you feel about accepting this new job offer. Either way, if you feel like something is not right when reading over an offer letter, don’t just ignore it!
If you’ve received an offer letter that has any of these red flags, you may have better luck working with one our recruiters to help find you a new role. Our recruiters help make your job search easier in several ways, including negotiating your salary. See what positions are open today and apply at CyberCoders.com.