After a long interview process and an even longer wait, your dream company has finally offered you the job. This is a great opportunity, and you are excited to accept. But what is the best way to respond to a job offer?
A job acceptance letter is an important correspondence that helps determine the kind of relationship you and your boss-to-be will have. To set yourself up for success at the new job, it is important to begin with a polite and professional job acceptance letter.
Don’t get swept away in the excitement of your job offer accept the job without thinking. Take the time to read the offer carefully. Double check the job title, benefits package, start date, acceptance deadline, and how they ask you communicate your response. You don’t want to accept a job before realizing that it’s a step back in compensation, for example. Before accepting the offer, you must be certain that you really want the job.
Always express gratitude. Remember, you were not the only applicant for the job. You may have impressed the hiring team enough to get an offer, but that doesn’t mean you can get cocky. A polite show of appreciation can create more goodwill than you may realize.
Keep it simple and brief. This is not the time to write a four-page letter waxing poetic about how excited you are. The point of an acceptance letter is to accept their offer. That’s it. One or two paragraphs are sufficient.
Are you happy with the salary, title, benefits, and any other conditions? Say so. Show that you clearly understand the offer.
Proofread. Proofread three times, and then ask someone else to double-check. Any mistakes made in a simple communication such as this will reflect poorly on you, no matter what job you have been offered.
Start off on the right foot with your new employer by expressing thanks. You can say something simple such as “Thank you so much for this opportunity…” or “I appreciate your thoughtfulness throughout this process and I am excited to join your team.” The point is to communicate that you are a decent person who is excited for the opportunity.
As you write your acceptance letter, be sure to officially accept each piece of the offer. As Indiana University Southeast says, “You are restating a verbal contract of employment and making sure there are no misunderstandings… concerning the agreement”. Specify that you are looking forward to taking on the role mentioned. Accept the salary, acknowledge the start date, and address any other items as appropriate. If you are uncomfortable with any of the terms, discuss them with the employer before you accept the position. If the terms of the offer change, specify the altered items in your letter. This way you won’t be surprised when the terms of your employment become clear.
A simple close to your letter helps you start your job on the right foot. An enthusiastic but polite ending lets your new boss know how professional you are and how happy you are to be joining his team. For a sign-off, try the standard “Sincerely,” “Kind Regards,” or “Thank You,”.
Sometimes a job looks ideal right up until the offer comes, revealing a lower salary or worse benefits than you were expecting. Even if you decide to decline, remain professional and appreciative. After all, you never want to burn a bridge that you may need to cross later. Be polite but clear, thank them for their time and consideration, share your reasoning if you feel it’s appropriate, and be brief.
There are any number of reasons why you might need extra time to make up your mind. For example, you may be waiting to see if another position you interviewed for will also make an offer. In any case, feel free to ask for a little more time. The worst they can do is say no, but as long as your request is reasonable and professional, it shouldn’t impact their opinion of you. You can request an extension by phone or email.
This is a time when you don’t need to explain yourself. You can say something simple like “I am waiting on a few details to come in that will help me make this decision. May I respond to you within a week, rather than by tomorrow?”
James is the CEO of VisualCV. He has spent the last 10 years building businesses, from window cleaning to software. His passion is helping individuals create the careers they want.
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