Artwork by: Olga Aleksandrova
You got the job! Great! Now what? In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to do to accept a job offer the right way, and get your career off to a great start!
After navigating the interview process, you've gotten a job offer. Congratulations! Now, you have to formally accept the offer before you start on the road to career success. But how do you go about doing that? You might worry that if you accept the job right away, you’ll come across as desperate. Or, if you take a few days to respond, will that make you seem uninterested in the job? And what if you feel like the contract terms offered need some negotiation, will you come across as difficult and demanding?
In this article, we will explore the best strategies to accept a job offer, including:
The process of receiving a job offer
Making sure the offer works for you
How to accept a job offer via email, written letter, or verbal offer
While every company is different, there are a few ways a company can offer you a job. Most companies will send an email with a formal job offer. Some may call you first to offer you the job, and then follow up with a confirmation email. The employer may provide a deadline in terms of a response. If they don’t mention a deadline, then politely ask if you can have a few days to review the offer.
Before accepting a job offer, take the time to review it carefully to confirm that your expectations align with the terms being offered. Some things to consider are:
Make sure that the salary is in line with your expectations or what was discussed with the hiring manager.
Ensure that the job duties and expectations are clearly stated.
Determine if there’s a clear path for career advancement, if this was discussed in the interview.
Do a little research and check to see if the company is experiencing high job turnover or restructuring.
While you don’t have to accept it on the spot, you do want to respond promptly, usually in one or two days. This will give you time to review the offer's terms and determine if there are any issues or "red flags." If you are certain this is the perfect job for you, you can accept right away, but it is not unreasonable to ask the employer if you can "sleep on it". If the hiring manager is pressuring you to accept the job right away, it might be a sign that it’s not the right opportunity. Don’t let them rush you — this is a big decision.
You’ll also want to keep in mind how much lead time you'll need before starting the job, and this should be made clear upfront. In general, most employers give their new employees two weeks after accepting a job offer. This allows you to provide your two weeks' notice to your current employer, ensuring you leave on good terms and giving the company enough time to find a new person for your role.
Ever wonder how many candidates accept jobs they’re offered? According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), the current average offer-to-acceptance rate is 69.3%, which means that about 69 of every 100 offers extended were accepted.
A verbal offer is an offer the hiring manager gives you verbally, most likely over the phone. While not every company does this, a verbal offer usually comes before a written offer. It will be a relatively brief conversation and include basic information such as your salary and starting date.
When responding to a verbal offer, you have a few options:
If you’re interested in the job but wish to negotiate some terms of the offer. “Thank you so much for the offer. I would like to discuss some details regarding the compensation package. Is now a good time for that?”
If you need some more time to think about the offer. “I’m very excited about this offer, but I need a few days to think it over. Is it possible to read the written offer and respond by the end of the week?”
If you’re ready to accept the offer. “Thank you! I’m really excited about this offer. I accept, on the condition that the written offer corresponds with what we discussed during the interview process. When can I expect to receive the written offer?”
If you’ve done your homework and the terms of the offer are acceptable, it’s time to say yes! Even if you have verbally communicated your decision, you still need to put this in writing. Reply to the employer in the same method they used to make the formal job offer, whether via email or "snail mail.” Ensure your acceptance letter includes the following:
Creating a clear and concise subject line ensures that your email doesn’t get overlooked. In the subject line, include your job title, the phrase, 'Job Acceptance', and your full name, i.e. “Operations Manager Job Acceptance – John Smith.” (Obviously, this is not required if you’re sending a written letter.)
Send the acceptance to the person who made the offer and make sure that their name is spelled correctly. If anyone else has been involved in the recruitment process, such as the HR Manager, you can cc him or her on the email, so they are in the loop.
Begin your job offer acceptance with a “thank you” to the employer for offering you the role, express how excited you are to join the team and further the goals/objectives of the company. Ensure you refer to the role via the full job title and include the company name.
Confirm the conditions of employment, including agreed job title, salary, and benefits as well as any terms you negotiated after receiving the offer. For example, “As we discussed on our phone call on DATE, I will be working from home two days a week.”
Confirm your start date and notice period with your present company if this is applicable. This will make sure everyone is clear on when you can start your new role.
End the letter on a positive and enthusiastic note. Use ‘Sincerely’ or ‘Best regards’ and then your full name below. You can also include a digital signature, and of course, make sure you proofread before sending!
Accepting an offer via a letter follows broadly the same layout – just keep the letter as professional, direct, and succinct as possible. Obviously, you don’t have to include a subject line.
Subject: [JOB TITLE] – Job Acceptance, [FULL NAME]
Dear [NAME], (Person who offered you the position)
Thank you for offering me the position of [JOB TITLE] at [COMPANY NAME]. It is with great pleasure that I accept your offer. I look forward to joining the company and contributing to your vision and mission.
As we previously discussed, my starting salary will be [SALARY] and [ENTER ADDITIONAL BENEFITS AND ANY NEGOTIATED TERMS].
I can confirm that my notice period will end on [DATE], so my start date with [COMPANY NAME] will be [DATE]. If there is any further information or paperwork you need me to complete, please do not hesitate to contact me on [MOBILE NUMBER].
I look forward to working with you soon. Thank you again for this amazing opportunity.
Remember, the job process can be stressful. If you’re fortunate enough to get an offer for a great job, it’s important to accept that offer in a professional manner. Starting a new chapter in your career is an exciting time — do everything you can to make sure it starts off smoothly.
To keep your career path on track, check out our Career Pathways tool!
Ensure you and the company are a good fit before accepting a job by doing your homework, including salary benchmarking, exploring benefits, and researching team culture.
Create a clear, concise, and professional acceptance email or letter and respond to the employer in the same method they made the formal job offer.
Don’t accept a job just because it’s been offered. Explore the areas covered in this blog to make the right decision for you and the company offering you the opportunity.
Jennifer Inglis is a freelance writer and content creator with extensive professional expertise in advertising, media analysis, teaching, writing, and literature. Prior to working for Career.io, Jennifer was a public school teacher, teaching courses in college and career readiness, writing, and public speaking. Jennifer has a master’s degree in Teaching, and is the author of two published novels.