How to Write and Format an Appointment Letter

An appointment letter refers to a formal document addressed to an individual to whom an offer of appointment or job is being made. A lot of information, discussion and facts of the job, its responsibilities, start date, working hours as well as days is provided in the letter. Basically, there are three common types of appointment letters namely; Fixed Term, Temporary and Continuing appointment.

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Fixed Term appointment letters are meant for employees who are hired for a limited time period of one year or more. In these letters, the employment may be extended up to two years. Temporary appointment letters are formed for employees hired for a short term period of below one year. The period after extension should amount to eleven months of service.Continuing appointment letters are for employees who work thirty two hours a week.

The purpose of an appointment letter is to provide a newly hired employee with a written letter mentioning the status of employment falling under categories such as regular or probationary, temporary or contract employee. This letter is to formally welcome the employee after accepting the offer of employment.

The elements of a professional appointment letter are as follows

1. Welcoming the employee

The first paragraph should be written with the purpose of congratulating the employee on securing employment with the organization and welcoming them into the company. This not only confirms employment but also conveys that the company is happy to have employed the individual and looking forward to their joining the company for immediate deployment.

2. Expectations, Terms and Conditions

Generally, it is good to describe the expectations such as a brief explanation of the job responsibilities and working hours. Terms and conditions pertaining to the date of joining and the salary or compensation agreed upon should be written out in the letter.

3. Essential information

In addition to the salary, joining date and responsibilities, the appointment letter should also contain information such as the job title, rate of pay, benefits plan and the reporting structure for the job title. The information should not be detailed and should just be an overview covering the topics to ensure understanding between the parties.

4. Employment “at will”

This statement is included in all appointment letters and the meaning and purpose of employment “at will” is basically the right of the employer to terminate the employee without having to state or explain the cause of terminating of employment. This should be included in the letter.

5. Other formalities

Organizations usually mention the process of back ground checks for education and previous employment records during the interview process and also inform the employee of any medical or physical tests to be taken thereafter. If the employee agrees to co-operate with the process, only then is the offer made. This process should be highlighted in the letter and it should be mentioned that the discussion was agreed upon earlier.

The following are the steps for formatting an appointment letter

Step 1. Addressing the letter

Write the date on the first line after which you should leave four spaces and start the second line. The second line
should mention the employee’s name and address. Each line should have single spacing between lines. After the address is written, move to salutations or greetings by skipping two spaces after the address lines. Address the person by first name and use the word ‘Dear’ before the name. Take another two spaces before starting to write the body of the letter.

Step 2. Welcome paragraph

The first paragraph should confirm the appointment, and then it should contain a congratulations sentence followed by the welcome to our company note. This paragraph should be of only two or three lines.

Step 3. Basic information

The second paragraph should contain the information related to job title, responsibilities, working hours, start date
and reporting structure. The third paragraph should mention the salary and benefits package discussed during the interview process. . A deep explanation is not required, just points will do for this paragraph. About four to five sentences may be included here.

Step 4. Signature and Conclusion note

Request the employee to sign in the provided space and write the date under signature. End the letter with a positive conclusion conveying that the company is looking forward to having them on board. Leave two spaces and end the letter with ‘Sincerely’ and leave four spaces before including your signature and space for employee’s signature.

Here’s a list for your reference:

  • Address of the employee
  • Salutations
  • Congratulation and welcome paragraph
  • Essential information
  • Signature and date

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