When you receive a job offer letter from a company, it can be quite tempting to share it with other companies that are hiring in order to negotiate a better salary. While this sounds like a good idea, you may be wondering “Are offer letters confidential?” Are there risks to using an offer letter in this way?
What Is a Job Offer Letter?
A job offer letter is an official letter stating the terms of employment for new hires. It includes the salary and benefits for the position. This information helps you decide whether or not the job is the right fit for you.
Offer letters can be sent after the hiring manager has already offered you the job verbally. It simply confirms what was discussed. You may also get an offer letter before being offered the job or possibly before the interview.
Job Offer Letters and Confidentiality
These letters are not confidential unless the company has stated otherwise within the letter. You are not legally required to keep your offer letter private. That being said, be aware that there could be repercussions for doing so.
Even if you have signed your job offer letter, these documents are not legally binding. They’re not the same as an employment contract. They don’t guarantee that you’ve got the job or the salary that comes with it.
You don’t owe the company that sent you the letter anything. They are simply giving you a job offer that you can accept or reject. You’re also able to negotiate this offer.
You can use these letters to negotiate with other companies or your current employer too. When doing so, include details such as your current salary and workload to help them create a counteroffer.
The Down Side of Sharing an Offer Letter
Not all HR departments are willing to negotiate, and many will hold a grudge against anyone who shares their offer letter for this purpose. When you share your offer letter, there’s a good chance that the company will contact the one who sent the letter to verify the offer. You could also have a current employer who wouldn’t think twice about sabotaging your job hunt by telling your prospective employer that you’re sharing a private letter.
💡If you do share an offer letter with your employer or other companies, keep it anonymous. Hiding the name of the company that sent the offer won’t impact your ability to use it for negotiation purposes, but it will protect your reputation when it comes to potential employers.
You can digitally or physically hide the company name in your offer letter. You can use a highlighting tool and choose black as the color in order to block their name.
Is It Okay to Share Offer Letter with Current Employer?
Look at your job offer letter as a negotiating tool. Be open to deals offered by your current employer, as well as potential employers. Using an offer letter may increase the amount others are willing to counteroffer.
Be straightforward when discussing your offer letter with your current employer. Your boss understands and anticipates conversations with employees about their salaries and benefits. There’s no reason to be afraid to bring up this subject.
The worst thing that can happen is that your employer rejects your request and you stay at the same pay rate you already have. By asking, you have nothing to lose, but everything to gain.
Is It OK to Share Offer Letter with Other Companies?
Negotiating a salary is a typical part of the hiring process. Companies that are looking to hire expect you to try to get the best possible deal when it comes to wages and benefits.
Being open about all of your offers can be beneficial for you and prospective employers. For them, it allows them to decide whether or not their budget allows them to offer a similar deal.
Keep in mind that the hiring process is focused on finding an employment agreement that works for both you and the company you’ve applied to. They know that you won’t be working there long if you feel like you are underpaid. Be open and honest about how you feel towards any offers they provide.
Related Article: How To Tell A Company You Have Another Offer (With Examples)
Make Your Expectations Clear
Whether you are showing your job offer letter to a current boss or a hiring manager of another company, make your expectations clear. If your goal is to get them to match the offer, say so. If you would like to see something more, tell them.
Being honest about what you want makes the entire process go quickly and smoothly. It’s also more likely to ensure that all parties involved are happy with the outcome. You don’t want to walk away from a discussion like this feeling as though they didn’t understand you.
These honest conversations take assertiveness. If that doesn’t come naturally to you, practice what you intend to say before approaching your employer or hiring manager.
Can I Share My Offer Letter on Social Media?
Before you begin the interviewing process, you need to edit your social media accounts to ensure that they represent you as a professional. Employers and hiring managers can look at these accounts at any time. Avoid sharing any job offer letters on social media sites, whether your are excited about them or not.
This could be misinterpreted by your current or prospective employer. They’ll question your discretion, misunderstand your intent, and wonder why you’re going public with this information before a final agreement has been made.
Wait to update your LinkedIn and other accounts until you’ve started your new job and have signed an official employment agreement. After you have made it through the first week, go ahead and announce your big move.
Are Offer letters Confidential or Not?
There are no laws preventing you from sharing your job offer letters with a current employer or a hiring manager. They are not confidential, and they aren’t big secrets you are forced to hide.
In fact, while searching for a job, you may come across a company asking for a competing offer letter. Go ahead and use your offer letter as a way to negotiate the best salary and benefits possible. Just be professional about it.