4 Things You Need to Know Before You Accept a Job Offer

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Laura Berlinsky-Schine2.3k
April 12, 2024 at 8:34PM UTC
It's exciting when a company sends you an offer letter for a position, particularly one that seems like a good fit for you. 

Should you accept a job offer right away? While you may want to respond "Yes!" immediately, it's important to take some time to consider the offer, position and other factors before immediately sending your acceptance letter. We're in the middle of the Great Resignation, after all, and you may have plenty of terrific offers on the table or on the horizon. Plus, there's a lot to think about: does the offer address your priorities? What’s the environment like? Is there room to negotiate?

4 Things You Need to Know Before You Accept a Job Offer

1. What does the full offer entail?

Consider all the details of the offer, including salary, benefits and other factors that could affect your decision to accept the job or not, such as the environment (remote, in-person or hybrid). If you have any questions or concerns about the salary or other terms involved in the position, make a list before contacting the hiring manager.

2. Are there any outstanding questions or details?

Respond to the hiring manager. First, express gratitude, and describe how excited you are about the offer. Politely ask your questions. If you're discussing the position over the phone, the hiring manager may need some time to discuss your questions with a supervisor or human resources, so be respectful, and understand that you may not get an answer right away. 
Also, it's a good idea to ask for a timeline for when your prospective employer wants your decision. Most employers will want to bring the hiring process to a close as soon as possible, so they will probably ask you to accept the job offer (or decline it) sooner rather than later. Do your best to work within the timeline the hiring manager requests, because it's important to be respectful—plus, you don't want your prospective employer to rescind the offer. Still, it's a good idea to take some time to consider, even if you're pretty sure you're going to accept the offer. That way, you can research your potential employer and make sure it's the right move for you before making your final decision.

3. Is there room to negotiate?

During the Great Resignation, there is likely more room to negotiate because many employers are hungry for talent and will want to do their best to land top candidates. So, how do you negotiate after receiving a job offer? If you're excited about the position but aren't comfortable with some of the terms, voice your concerns and preferences to your prospective employer before accepting an offer. It's fine to ask for a better salary or other benefits. If you do decide to negotiate, it's helpful to bring a counteroffer to the table and explain what other employers are offering. If your current employer or another potential employer has offered you more money or better benefits, that can help your case.  

4. Do I want this job?

When you accept the job offer, it's a good idea to submit your final decision in writing. You will probably need to sign a contract and other paperwork later on, but an acceptance letter is a good starting point. Clearly state that you are accepting the offer, and include the agreed-upon salary, other important benefits you've discussed and your anticipated start date. If there are any other terms that seem important to you, include those details as well. Express your gratitude and enthusiasm for the work, and keep your letter professional and courteous.

Example job acceptance letter

Your name
Your mailing address
Your phone number
Your email address
Date
Manager's name
Company
Company mailing address
Manager's phone number
Manager's email address
Dear [Hiring manager or HR representative]:
I'm delighted to accept the position of [position title] at [company], beginning on [date]. I'm looking forward to working with you and the rest of the team to [mention a few duties]. 
As we agreed on the phone, my starting salary will be [salary], and I will receive [benefits] beginning on [date]
Thank you again for this fantastic opportunity. I'm very excited to get started! Feel free to contact me with any questions.
Sincerely,
[Your name]

What do you say when you accept a job offer over the phone?

Assuming you’ve asked your questions and completed any negotiations, you can verbally accept a job offer over the phone, but make sure to follow up with a written email or letter. Here’s what to say.

1. Accept.

Immediately inform the hiring manager or HR specialist that you're accepting the job: “I'm happy to accept the role of X.”

2. Reiterate the terms.

“Thank you for agreeing to a salary of X plus Y benefits.”

3. Express enthusiasm.

“I'm so excited to begin working with you.”

4. Confirm your start date.

“I'll see you on [date] at [time].”

5. Pause.

Pause to allow the manager to speak. They will likely congratulate and welcome you to the company. 
Then celebrate! This is a huge and exciting step in your career. Congratulations!
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This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

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