When offered a new position, should you resign from your current job prior to receiving an offer letter?

The simple answer is no. An offer letter confirms the terms of the verbal agreement by the hiring company.

The simple answer is no. An offer letter confirms the terms of the verbal agreement by the hiring company. At the very least, it should include your position title, starting salary, bonus potential, start date, reporting relationship, and an outline of benefits.

In extreme situations, there can be unforeseen extenuating circumstances that have nothing to do with you that might prevent the hire altogether. Verbal offers can be withdrawn.

There may be details that catch you by surprise that were overlooked during the interview process and offer discussion. Maybe the reporting line wasn't exactly as it was described or the vacation time was less than you thought.

Wait for the offer letter and review it with your closest advisor. If you worked with a recruiter, ask them to clarify any questions you may have with the hiring manager. This is often the only opportunity you have to get things straight from the start. Exercise restraint with your resignation until you are certain that what you see in writing is what you want, need, and expected.

Once you've signed the offer letter and send it back to your new employer, you can resign with confidence and clarity.

Rachel Schwartz is SVP of RRD Search.

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