What Is a Conditional Letter of Employment?

Many job-offer letters contain conditions.

Many job-offer letters contain conditions.

After surviving the job application process, including interviews and the nervous waiting, you finally receive a letter from the employer offering you the position. This is great news, but read the letter carefully. Although you zero in on the important details, such as salary and start date, the job offer probably comes with conditions. Most job offer letters contain conditions, some that must be met before you begin your new job, and others that carry over into your employment with the company.


Regardless of the name, the conditional letter of employment is a formal job offer. The offer is conditional, but the letter confirms the details about the position you are being offered. The letter states the job title, salary, start date and the company’s expectations of the new employee. The conditional letter allows an employer to make the job offer to a desired applicant, which ideally removes the applicant from the job market and start the hiring process while awaiting the required information.


The conditional letter of employment protects the employer by clarifying the conditions of the job offer for the applicant and demonstrating that the job offer is not a contract for employment. Although most states have at-will employment laws, companies that include conditions in job offer letters may more confidently rescind a job offer or terminate a newly hired employee if they discover negative information.

Standard Conditions

Nearly all job offer letters are conditional to some degree since most contain conditions or contingencies which, if not fulfilled by you, can result in forfeit of the job offer even after you have already started work. Successful completion of probationary period, also a condition, includes omissions or false information on applications and resumes and no unsatisfactory results from background checks, drug tests, reference checks or skills tests.

Pre-employment Conditions

The heading “conditional letter of employment” on your job offer letter signals that the employer intends that the conditions listed are met before you begin work. The letter might require you to sign and return enclosed personnel documents, such as authorizations for background checks, or to sign and return the conditional letter of employment by a specified date. Your letter might contain conditions specific to you, such as the submission of official college transcripts, certification documents or proof of relocation.


About the Author

Gail Sessoms, a grant writer and nonprofit consultant, writes about nonprofit, small business and personal finance issues. She volunteers as a court-appointed child advocate, has a background in social services and writes about issues important to families. Sessoms holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal studies.

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