How To Accept a Job Offer
When looking for a new job, it is important to be prepared for every stage of the recruitment process. If you’ve recently been offered a job and want to accept it, you may want to learn how your response should look like. In this article, we cover how the job offer process looks like, what it means to receive conditional and unconditional job offers from an employer and show you how to accept a job offer.
After your final interview with a potential employer or recruitment manager, there are a few things you may expect, this includes receiving an offer notification or being asked to provide additional information for a background check, such as references or proof of driving licence. There are no formal rules regulating how long it will take your potential employer to notify you about the results of your final interview, it is therefore perfectly acceptable to follow up
Conditional vs. unconditional job offer
Receiving an unconditional job offer means that your potential employer is satisfied with your recruitment process and the company is ready for you to join the team. In this case, there are no additional steps required from you and therefore, accepting an unconditional offer typically marks the official start of your employment. From that moment, both you and the employer are legally bound to the employment contract.
If an employer has made you a conditional job offer , this means they still need to gather more information about your background and experience to make the final decision in the recruitment process. This indicates that you may be asked to provide additional documentation, such as your proof of right to work in the United Kingdom or references from previous employers.
How to accept a job offer
Once you are satisfied with the details of the job offer that the employer has made, it is time to send an official letter of acceptance to the company. Here are some steps you can follow when accepting a job offer:
1. Acknowledge the job offer
When you receive a conditional job offer, make sure to acknowledge it by sending a letter to the employer that contacted you. In the letter, thank the employer for the opportunity and let them know when they can expect a decision from you. Review the terms of the offer and ask any follow-up questions if there is something you don’t understand. Otherwise, indicate that the terms are clear to you. Typically, it is best to respond in writing, either via email or by delivering a hard copy of the acknowledgement letter to the office.
2. Carefully review the offer
Ensure you review all aspects of the offer and consider how each section relates to your career goals or any competing offers you may have. Even if an offer meets your salary expectations, it’s important to make sure you’re satisfied with things such as sickness allowance, insurance plans or benefits offered. At this stage, you may also want to research the employer again to think if the company’s values and goals are suitable for you and your career path.
3. Begin drafting a reply
After you’ve reviewed the offer terms and are ready to accept, start drafting your reply. Keep the tone of the response letter professional and lead with a statement of gratitude thanking the employer for the opportunity and the offer.
In the acceptance, list the final offer details as you understand them, including your expected job title, a summary of the salary and benefits you’ve agreed to and the expected start date. This is to ensure clarity during the job acceptance process. Finally, officially accept the company’s job offer and close the letter with a professional statement, for example: “Sincerely,” and your legal name.
4. Proofread your response
Be sure to proofread your letter of acceptance several times to spot any mistakes and see if there are any sentences that you’d like to rewrite. Once you’re happy with the response, you may want to ask your friend or family member to help you review the letter.
5. Address the letter to the appropriate party
Typically, you want to address your letter of acceptance to the person who sent you the offer. If you received a physical copy of the job offer, you will find the name and address of the appropriate party there. If the offer was sent to you via email, address your response to the person who contacted you. In most cases, this would be the company owner or recruiter and their contact details would be found in the email signature.
6. Decide how you will respond
If the employer sent you the conditional job offer via email, it is perfectly acceptable to respond with your letter of acceptance in the same way. If the company sent the offer in the post, the best practice is to do the same and post a physical copy of the acceptance letter to the return address on the envelope. In this case, you may want to send an additional email with the same message to the employer or recruiter to ensure they see it promptly.
Negotiate and Make a Decision
Thoroughly consider the offer in front of you
Understand what’s holding you back
If you’re still considering the opportunity, don’t be afraid to approach the recruiter or hiring manager again. Ask for additional information about the job description, the team, and the company you’d be joining. Once you have a better feel for the role and the company, you may feel more inclined to accept or decline the terms of the offer.
In many cases, the new job is a great fit and one you’re excited about accepting. But there might be something that’s holding you back. Maybe the salary is below what you were expecting, or you believe you provide greater value than the offer.
It could be that the company’s proposal doesn’t mention benefits or equity, something that you’re keen to explore. In this case, the best option is to make a counteroffer and enter salary and benefits negotiations with the recruiter. Our guide on salary negotiations can help you formulate your value, make a request that feels comfortable, and negotiate with confidence.
Move forward with the process
Once you’ve made a decision and negotiations are complete, you can formally respond to the written offer with either an acceptance or non-acceptance letter. Remember, you can still change direction even after you’ve accepted the offer. If you discover the role isn’t a great fit for you later in the hiring process, you can renege on the job offer politely and keep your options open.
How to Provide Your Decision
Accepting a Job Offer
It’s best to make this confirmation in writing. It’s up to you whether you’d like to write a letter or send an email. If you’ve been negotiating or communicating via email, it often makes sense to continue the conversation there.
You’ll want to keep your email or letter concise and focused on your acceptance. Avoid anything that sounds ambiguous — if you’re unclear on any specifics, discuss this before you hit send. Here’s what to include in your email or letter to your new employer:
It’s crucial to include any health, education, or other benefits that you’ve negotiated here, so it’s clear which version of the offer you’re accepting. Include your phone number within your letter or email signature, too, so the recruiter can easily reach you if they’d like to clarify anything.
Declining a Job Offer
Sometimes the role just isn’t right for you, or you’ve been offered your dream job at another company. If that’s the case, you’ll want to decline the job offer politely and offer your appreciation.
Keep your non-acceptance letter or email short and sweet, making it clear you won’t be taking on the role. You can share the reasons why if you feel comfortable doing so, but you don’t have to. If you’re declining the position because the company was unwilling to negotiate salary and benefits, mentioning this may make them reconsider if they don’t want to lose you. Reiterate your thanks to the recruiter, interviewing panel, and company for their time and consideration.