Are you unsure how to accept a job offer? With all the stress of writing an application and preparing for an interview, you might not have thought about how you are meant to actually accept an offer ready to start working.
Much like university place offers, job offers can be conditional or unconditional. Conditional offers mean that you will only get the job if you meet a condition that they have decided on — usually this will be getting a certain grade in your course, passing a background check, or passing an internal exam. Unconditional offers have no such requirement, meaning that you can start the job regardless of any of the above. In this article, we will focus on everything you need to know about accepting an unconditional job offer.
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- Verbal or written acceptance?
- Accepting a job offer step by step
- The structure of a job acceptance email or letter
- Job offer acceptance email or letter template
Verbal or written acceptance?
It's not uncommon for you to get a job offer over the phone after an interview, or even sometimes at the end of an interview. Maybe you accepted the job offer straight away, but you will still usually get a formal job offer by email or post. It's always advisable to reply to this formal job offer in writing, even if you have accepted it over the phone. This is called sending in a formal acceptance. Not only is it professional to respond to the letter or email in writing, but this also means that you don't have to trust one person to remember that you have accepted. You can find our template for a job offer acceptance email further down in this article.
Accepting a job offer step by step
Here are the recommended steps for accepting a job offer:
1. Acknowledge the job offer
The first thing to do is to acknowledge the offer if you haven't already accepted it over the phone. Basically, all you need to do is thank the employer for the offer and let them know when they can expect your decision. Be sure not to ask them to wait too long, but it's fine to state that you're going to take a few days to decide. This is also a good opportunity to ask any final questions that you want to ask about the job role or anything that came up in any of the interviews that you want to clarify.
2. Review the job offer
If you need some more time to review the job offer, you can ask for it, though you should be sure not to ask for too long to decide as this might make them move on to another candidate. You should go over all the details of the offer, including the job title, salary, benefits, duties, and more. This could have changed since you originally applied for the job, so it's important to make sure this is what you expected.
If you are not happy with the offer, you can look at negotiating for a better deal. Take a look at our guide on how to negotiate to get some ideas on what the best techniques are. This can help make sure that you get a salary and job that you are happy with — or at least that you and the company compromise on the offer. It's not always going to be possible to get your ideal employment offer, especially if you are fresh out of university.
Again, you might have questions to ask now that you've looked over the offer in detail. Some good questions to ask at this stage include:
- How many days of annual leave you will get
- If unused days of annual leave will carry over to subsequent years
- If the salary is negotiable
- If there is room for the salary to increase over the first few years of the job
- What benefits are included
- What options there are for further training and development
- What you will need for your first day or week
If you do negotiate and get the terms of the offer changed, it's vital to make sure that you get a new written offer with the new details. Having a proper paperwork trail and proof of the offer is important in case there is any confusion or issues down the line.
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3. Write Your job acceptance email or letter
It's a common courtesy to respond to the offer in the same way you receive it. That is, if you received the offer by email, it's good practice to respond with an email. If you received a letter, send them a letter back. You can use our acceptance letter or email template below to help you draft your letter. You should also be sure to get someone to proofread your letter or email before you send it.
The structure of a job acceptance email or letter
While there isn't a strict requirement for how you lay out your acceptance letter or email, the general layout should be as follows:
1. Thank your new employer
The first thing is to thank the employer for the offer. Be sure to mention the position and company as listed in the formal offer so that they know what you are referring to.
2. Accept the job offer
The next step is to actually accept the offer. You should always sound upbeat and enthusiastic in this section to make sure that the employer knows how keen you are on the job.
3. State salary, benefits and start date
Next, state all the important details, such as the salary, benefits, start date, as well as your notice period, if you have one. Again, this just helps make sure that everyone knows what to expect and ensures that there can be nothing lost in communication.
In conclusion, come back around to your enthusiasm to work for the company. Try to state some specifics about what you are looking forward to, though be sure to stick to things that you know for certain. Don't list things if they might not be in your duties.
Job offer acceptance email or letter template
Still unsure how to accept a job offer email or letter? You can use this template to help you frame your acceptance letter. Be sure to make all the details work properly with the role you have been offered. Try to interject some of your own personality and excitement into the letter as well, as this will be part of the reason why the employer wants to hire you. Remember, even if you accepted the job over the phone already, you should send a formal letter of acceptance.
"Dear [Their name],
Thank you for extending the offer of [Job title] at [Company name]. I am writing to formally accept this offer. I am excited to start working with [Company or team] in this role, and I look forward to seeing how I can help the department.
As already discussed in our previous communications, this role comes with a starting salary of [Starting salary], as well as [Number] days of annual leave. On top of this, we discussed [benefits] and the fact that this role comes with a [Length] probationary period.
My notice period is [Number] days, meaning that I will be able to start any time from the [Date]. Please let me know when you would like me to start, as well as anything that I need to bring with me for the first day.
Again, thank you for offering me this opportunity. I am looking forward to joining the team and working with everyone.
Accepting a job offer doesn't have to be scary. It should be the last step of the job hunt and hopefully one of the least stressful parts, but it's still important to make sure that you do it right. You should be in regular contact with the person offering you a job, and while it is fine to want a couple of days to consider the offer, tell the person when they can expect your response. After this, check over the job offer and negotiate on any points that aren't what you hoped for. Finally, you can make your acceptance letter or email and formally accept their offer.
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