A silly question. I obtained an offer letter, but the name on it is spelled incorrectly. Should I ask for a correction or simply sign the document and then return? If I ask for a correction, how long should I wait for a reply?

  • 23
    The problem with that Joe is if they already have data in their system, it's probably wrong too. Forcing them to make the change at least ensures that people are actually aware of the problem and hopefully can change it in their systems as well before he's fully onboarded. – Chris E Oct 13 '16 at 14:33
  • 7
    "A beginning is the time for taking the most delicate care that the balances are correct." – Dan C Oct 13 '16 at 15:55
  • 12
    @JoeStrazzere I once received an offer letter but the salary was too low. I added a few zeros myself, signed it and returned it. Seriously, if it is a pain for them to send you a new corrected offer letter, then you probably don't want to work for them. – emory Oct 13 '16 at 22:27
  • 2
    You're clearly headed for this exact situation :) youtube.com/watch?v=fN4_NiCIdcw – Deepak Oct 14 '16 at 14:36
  • 1
    @emory They might have changed the currency to the Vietnamese dong and had the last laugh. – Deepak Oct 14 '16 at 14:43

I definitely would try to get a fixed/revised offer if I were you, you avoid a lot of potential problems in the future both within the company and externally.

Just give the person listed on the letter a call or potentially email if they have been responsive and ask.

  • "Hey, I am absolutely interested in accepting this but there is one small and awkward clarification, can you correct the spelling of my name? I don't know if it's a big deal or not but I would like to get that fixed prior to accepting"

Note that you are making it very clear you plan and want to accept. Framing your request this way makes it seem less awkward.

I've known people who have spent a while with HR trying to get their name fixed in all the different systems... email, ids, logins, etc.

Regarding timeframe, it's somewhat dependent on how long you have to get back to them. If they gave you 24 hours, you should call rather than email 100%. If it's longer you have more time - realistically the "how long should I wait?" piece is fairly dependent on how long you have.

This becomes important because of a variety of situations:

  • Employment verification
    • A lot of processes require this (I had an issue with my mortgage aplication because my company screwed up my employment verification and that wasn't even with a misspelled name!)
  • Depending on where you live, the level of enforceability of the job offer may vary based on how accurate it is
  • If anyone ever needs your offer as proof of something and compares to an ID it will look suspicious at best if they don't match
  • Your email/id/login may depend on your name spelling
    • This process can be awful at larger companies from my experience if you need to fix it

The risk behind a misspelled name and the above are not worth the small amount of work in order to get it fixed.

|improve this answer|||||
  • 3
    Regarding it being a pain to change later, definitely! I had a coworker once who changed her last name on company records while I worked with her. It had been long overdue and neither name was her maiden name, which was a source of confusion for a lot of her contacts. – called2voyage Oct 13 '16 at 16:00
  • 14
    "Your email/id/login may depend on your name spelling" As an IT tech. this is a huge reason to get the correction. The longer you wait, the more arduous it will be to correct your user account later, – user30031 Oct 13 '16 at 16:06
  • 1
    Absolutely get this fixed before you sign anything. In the worst case, the company sent you a letter that should have gone to somebody else, because they mixed up two applicants with similar names! – alephzero Oct 13 '16 at 16:50
  • 31
    @AaronHall I'd say that any company willing to reconsider their offer because THEY mispelled your name on an official document is a bullet dodged... – Erik Oct 13 '16 at 17:22
  • 1
    "I don't know if it's a big deal or not but I would like to get that fixed prior to accepting" It is a big deal. You should lose the equivocation. "Framing your request this way makes it seem less awkward" I don't know; calling it awkward makes it awkward. – Lightness Races in Orbit Oct 14 '16 at 9:25

Call them, tell them that your name is misspelled on the contract and ask what they want you to do.

|improve this answer|||||

It's best to request a correct job offer letter, with your name spelled correctly.

If you ever sought to apply for a mortgage or lease, or you had to cross U.S. borders into another country for work related reasons, a formal and correct job offer on company letterhead is still considered an official document, as much as your letter of resignation would be.

It's a small typo and should be a quick fix. You're best off to keep all your ducks in a row, from the time you enter a new job until the day you resign.

|improve this answer|||||

A minor mis-spelling would not be something that I would be concerned with. I'd sign the letter, making a point of printing my real name next to the signature. If they deem the mis-spell is worth a corrected offer letter, they will send me the corrected offer letter on their own.

|improve this answer|||||
  • 8
    (I wonder where this answer would be if it didn't have gratuitious political stuff on the first draft?) – Aaron Hall Oct 13 '16 at 17:58
  • 1
    This is a pretty good answer, I wonder why it's doing so poorly... Sees @AaronHall's comment How bad could the original post have been? Views edit history Oh... – user1717828 Oct 13 '16 at 20:20
  • After viewing the edit history: Upvoted. – Thorsten S. Oct 13 '16 at 20:57
  • 2
    I think this is too subtle. There's a good chance that they won't notice the spelling correction and you'll have to deal with the problem again. – David Richerby Oct 14 '16 at 7:57
  • 2
    @David Richerby - I can live with my name being butchered on the offer letter. I cannot live with my name being mispelled on my paychecks. My name never gets mispelled on my paychecks because the first thing HR does on my first day on the job is to have me fill out the tax collection forms. – Vietnhi Phuvan Oct 14 '16 at 14:14

You could take following actions

  1. Print your correct name clearly where you sign the offer letter
  2. In the cover letter, mention that you have spelled the name correctly in the letter and request them to correct the records before the job becomes official.
  3. Mention that you are ready to sign the corrected job offer letter if it is necessary to do so. In that case, they can issue revised job offer letter or get you sign it when you go for joining.
|improve this answer|||||

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.