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The variation in the magnetic hysteretic properties of rf‐sputtered amorphous Tb–Fe thin films as a function of the nominal film thickness was investigated, using Kerr magneto‐optic and Hall effect measurements. The results on the thickness dependence of coercivity, polarity of the hysteresis loop, and Curie temperature of films prepared at the same sputtering condition indicate that there is a change in the ‘‘effective’’ film composition. This composition change is believed to be due to microstructure‐induced variations in the short‐range order during the film growth.