How to accept a job offer

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When accepting job offers, it’s hard to know where to start. As experienced recruitment specialists, we’ll walk you through every step.

There are many formalities, which can pose a few confusing questions.

How long should I wait before accepting a job? How formal does my acceptance need to be? Do I still need to write an acceptance letter, or a job offer acceptance email, or will a verbal acceptance suffice?

You want to get to the point and make sure your response is clear and appropriate. We’ll show you how to accept a job offer, how to negotiate a job offer, and how to hand in your notice.

How to accept a job offer: Summary

 

 

1. Receiving a job offer: First stage

Be it a graduate job or a more senior role, most employers will offer you the job by phone call, either personally or via a Recruitment Consultant.

First, after receiving the offer, take some time to think. Accepting a new job is a big decision, and you have a lot of power in your response. So, make sure to ask the employer or recruiter any questions you can think of at this stage.

If you want the job but are unhappy with some of the terms, it may be that you spend some time negotiating at this stage before accepting the job.

Scroll down to find out more about how to negotiate your job offer.

Of course, you may know exactly what to do with a job offer. If you’ve been waiting excitedly for the call, and you know that everything about this job is right for you, you can verbally accept it over the phone immediately.

When accepting a offer verbally, say ‘thank you’ for the opportunity, show how excited you are, and make sure to clarify any question marks you have.

It’s not a problem if you haven’t been able to confirm your start date yet; just inform the employer or Recruitment Consultant that you will let them know as soon as you can.

After this first communication, you should receive a written formal offer, either by email or by post.

It’s important that you have written confirmation. So, if the employer or Recruitment Consultant doesn’t inform you of this during your phone call, ask them about it or request that you receive the offer in writing, even if they weren’t planning to send one.

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2. How to accept a job offer via email/letter

When you receive a written job offer, it’s polite to respond to it via a offer reply email or a job offer acceptance letter, even if you’ve already verbally accepted it.

So, how do you accept a job offer by email? A job offer acceptance letter can be fairly brief, but needs to contain the following:

  • An expression of your gratitude for the job offer and the opportunity
  • Written formal acceptance of the job offer
  • The terms and conditions (your salary, job title, and any other benefits)
  • Clarification on your starting date

It’s also important to make sure it’s a well-constructed and formal email. See it as your chance to show the employer that they made the right decision in offering you the job.

So, when writing a response to a job offer email or job offer letter, make sure you use proper language (no slang), address the Hiring Manager directly, and use a spell check to ensure proper spelling and grammar.

If you’ve applied for an internship, it is also common courtesy to write an internship acceptance thank you letter or email.

For an internship confirmation letter, you can use exactly the same format as you would for a job offer acceptance.

Use the email template below to get started:

How to accept a job offer template

 

Subject line: [*Your name* – Job Offer Acceptance]

Dear [Their name],

Thank you for your offer of [Job title] at [Company name]. I am delighted to formally accept the offer, and I am very much looking forward to joining the team.

As discussed, my starting salary will be [Agreed starting salary], rising to [Increased salary] following a successful probationary period of 3 months. I will receive [days] annual leave, and private health insurance after probation.

I can confirm that my starting date of employment will be [Start date]. If there is any additional information you need prior to this date, please let me know.

Once again, thank you very much for the opportunity, and I look forward to working with you.

Kind regards,

[Your name]

Job offer acceptance template

 

[Your name]

[Your address]

[Your phone number]

[Your email address]

[Today’s date]

 

[Hiring manager’s name]

[Company name]

[Company address]

Dear [Hiring Manager’s name],

I am writing to formally accept your offer of [Job title] at [Company name]. I am very grateful for the opportunity, and delighted to be joining the company.

As discussed over the phone, my starting salary will be [Agreed starting salary], with [percentage] commission, as well as [days] annual leave, and private health insurance.

I will be able to start work on [Start date]. If there is any additional information, or paperwork you need me to complete prior to then, please do let me know.

Thank you very much for the opportunity.

Yours sincerely,

[Your name]

Once you have written your job acceptance email or job acceptance letter, make sure you run through it several times, checking for any grammar or spelling mistakes. If you’re really struggling with writing formally, try adding a free assistant like Grammarly to your browser.

You want to give the best impression of yourself at every opportunity. A job offer reply that is poorly written and littered with errors won’t impress your new employer.

3. How to negotiate a job offer

After getting an offer, employers expect candidates to have questions about the role, the company, and the terms of the  job offer (usually the salary).

In order to negotiate your salary successfully, make sure you’ve done your research on your market value. And consider what your absolute minimum would be (it’s unlikely you would have gone this far if you aren’t happy with the basic salary, or you haven’t discussed your salary expectations).

If you do wish to negotiate salary, ask the Hiring Manager or Recruitment Consultant whether there is any flexibility, as well as how often salary reviews will take place.

If they say no, take time to consider the offer as a whole, including other benefits and room for progression.

If they say that there is some flexibility, explain to them how your worth – your experience, qualifications, and knowledge – justifies this higher salary.

Don’t get disheartened if the salary offer is lower than you expected, or if the employer won’t budge, especially in entry-level graduate jobs.

A lower offer doesn’t mean that the employer doesn’t value or respect you. And there are plenty of other things to look for in a company besides salary.

4. Questions to ask an employer before starting a new job

When you reply to a job offer, make sure you take nothing at face value. Ask questions to find out if this is really a company you want to work for.

  • Is the salary negotiable?
  • How many days annual leave will I receive?
  • Does annual leave carry over if it’s not used?
  • When do you need a decision by?
  • What benefits are included in the package?
  • What opportunities are there for growth and professional development?
  • What are the working hours?
  • Will I be required to work outside of these hours at all?
  • What paperwork do I need to bring on my first day?

Of course, questions will also be industry dependent. If this is a marketing job, for example, you may want to get specific clarifications on the software and tools you’ll be able to use.

If you’re wondering how to know if you should accept a job offer, this sort of information will help you reach the final decision.

5. How to hand in your notice

Working out how to accept a job offer is more tricky if you’re currently employed. If you’re already working in another job, you will need to officially resign, usually in the form of a resignation letter.*

*Processes for handing in your notice differ from place to place, so if you’re unsure, check your contract or staff handbook; these should tell you how to resign.

 

What does a resignation letter need to include?

  • Details of the position you are leaving
  • How much notice you are giving (this needs to be whatever is specified in your contract, usually 1 month for entry-level or graduate jobs)
  • When your last day will be
  • A thank you for the opportunity to work at the company
  • Finally, wishing the company good luck/a concluding sentence

These letters are important as a part of procedure, and are good demonstrations of your professionalism. Many people are left wondering, ‘can you accept a job offer while employed?’: the answer is a yes, but only if you do it respectfully.

Use the resignation letter template below to get started:

Resignation letter template

[Your name]

[Your address]

[Your phone number]

[Your email address]

[Today’s date]

 

[Your manager’s name]

[Company name]

[Company address]

 

Dear [Manager’s name],

Please accept this letter as confirmation of my resignation from the position of [Your position] at [Company name], effective from one month from today’s date, [Today’s date].

I am very thankful for the opportunities, guidance, and ongoing support you have provided me.

I am keen to ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible, so please let me know how I can be of assistance.

Thank you again, and I wish you and [Company name] all the best for the future.

Yours sincerely,

[Your name]

 

6. Accepting a job offer – next steps

After you’ve verbally and formally accepted a job offer, finalised all details, and handed in your notice, it’s time to prepare for your first day!

Chances are, you’ll receive some communication from either the Hiring Manager or Recruitment Consultant you’ve been speaking to before your first day at your graduate job.

They’ll let you know if there is any paperwork or things you should come prepared with.

The process of searching for graduate jobs doesn’t end once you’ve received an offer.

Knowing how to accept a job offer verbally, how to accept a job offer by email, how to write a job offer acceptance letter, and how to negotiate a job offer will stand you in good stead in your new role. Good luck!

We hope you found this guide helpful.

And what if you’re still job hunting? If you’re still looking graduate jobs, we have plenty.

Now you know how to accept a job offer, start applying today!

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