There aren’t many things more exciting than receiving a formal offer of employment. All the hard work that you put into the process is finally paying off.

But before you sign on the dotted line, it’s critical that you review every last detail of your employment contract. Signing on the dotted line before doing so could lead to confusion and trouble down the road.

Here are the types of details to focus on when reviewing an employment contract:

  • Compensation: This includes more than what you’ll actually receive in return for your services. Look into details such as overtime, additional forms of compensation and how you’re paid.
  • Benefits: Your salary or hourly rate is important, but so is your benefits package. This can include things such as health insurance, life insurance, retirement benefits and vacation days. Don’t focus so much on your compensation that you overlook the types of benefits you’ll have access to.
  • Non-compete: Your employment contract may have a non-compete clause, which can make it difficult to secure a position in the event that you leave the company. It’s okay to sign a contract with a non-compete clause, but you must make sure it’s not overly restrictive.
  • Job description: When you take on a new job, you assume that you know your tasks and responsibilities. After all, you probably discussed this during the interview process. However, you need to double-check the job description. You can do this by reviewing your employment contract in great detail. It will outline your responsibilities if you accept employment. Should it differ from what you were expecting, it’s important to discuss your concerns with the HR department and/or hiring manager.

While no two employment contracts are identical, most of them include the four details above. As you focus on these, pay close attention to any other language that could affect you now or in the future.

In the event that your employer breaches the contract at some point, learn more about your legal rights and the type of action you can take. You don’t want to sit back and let them get away with it.