Receiving a job offer is exciting—one of the biggest milestones in your life!—but you shouldn’t accept too quickly. To accept a job offer properly, it’s important to carefully review the terms, negotiate for your needs, and write a polite and professional reply. To make sure you get the most out of every new job, be sure to follow these 5 steps to accepting a job offer.
Some job offers begin with an informal phone call from the employer. In this call, they will indicate that they are interested in hiring you, and they will have questions about what compensation you would need in order to take the job. Things like the start date of the role, salary, and hours should all be discussed before you accept.
Thank the employer and express your enthusiasm, but don’t say “yes” yet. Once you have discussed the offer over the phone, the employer will send you a written offer with a formal description of the jobs and the terms of your contract. You should read this in full before accepting the job.
Once you have discussed the job by phone, the employer will send you a more formal offer in writing. This offer should contain all of the terms of employment, including compensation, paid time off, benefits, the length of the contract, and more.
Ask the employer when they expect a response, or request 24 to 48 hours so you can review the contract. It’s important to take the time to review these terms and make sure that they are acceptable. Is the salary what you expected? Are the benefits enough? Are there things in the contract that you haven’t discussed previously? Make sure you know exactly what you are agreeing to before you sign.
This is also your last chance to ask yourself whether this job is really right for you. Will it be good for your career? Will it be good for your family? Will it make your commute too long? There are many factors to consider outside of the role itself. Discuss any concerns you have with your family or with a mentor before committing.
The formal offer isn’t necessarily the final offer. If you feel that you deserve better salary or benefits, now is your chance to negotiate.
If you decide that you want to negotiate, request a phone call with the employer rather than sending your requests through email. It will be easier and more efficient to discuss details in real time, and the employer will appreciate your directness.
Before the negotiation begins, make sure you know exactly what you want and what you will be willing to settle for. Negotiating things like salary can be nerve-wracking, but if it results in a better compensation package it will be more than worth it.
Even if you have already discussed details over the phone, you should confirm your acceptance in writing. This will likely take the form of an email, though some companies may expect a physical letter as well.
For more advice on how to accept a job offer in an email, check out our article on How to Write A Job Acceptance Letter. Here are some quick tips:
Address the letter to the person who hired you, and make sure to sign off with your own name. Your name should also be in the email subject line. It should be clear who you are and who you are writing to.
Your reply email should be short and polite. As much as possible, adopt the same tone used by your employer throughout your contact with them. If the workplace seems traditional, you will want to stay formal, whereas if they are more easygoing, you can afford to be casual as well.
Thank the employer for the opportunity. You want to be clear that you are excited for the position and are looking forward to joining the team. The employer should have no doubts about their choice to hire you.
Remember to say explicitly that you accept the offer. Include a brief summary of the role you are accepting, the compensation you have agreed upon, and the date your employment will begin. It should be clear that you understand the offer and have agreed to the terms.
Remember to edit and proofread your letter carefully. A well written letter with no mistakes will show that you are professional and a good communicator.
Now that you have accepted the offer, it’s time to start getting ready for your new role. Give your current company your two-week notice, and begin preparing to take on a new position.
Make sure all the documents you need are ready, such as direct deposit forms, transcripts, a criminal record check, or anything else the company has requested. Be sure to ask the company what they will need from you so you will be ready to start work on day one.
Accepting a job offer is an important first step towards the next part of your career. To start your new job on the right foot, it’s important to accept the job offer the right way.
Ben is a writer and customer support specialist with 5 years of experience helping job-seekers create their careers. He believes in the importance of a great resume and the power of coffee.
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