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How to Accept a Job Offer

You spiffed up that resume, made a fantastic LinkedIn profile and cleaned up all of your social media.  The interviews went well and now you are being offered the job.  Here’s how to officially accept a job offer:

  • Let the hiring manager or recruiter know you are excited about the offer.
    • You’ve developed a relationship with this person during the interview process.  Let them know you are very interested in the position and to work at the company.
  • Ask for the offer in writing.
    • This might seem odd if you haven’t gotten official offer letters in the past, but a written offer outlines the job you are being hired for, the salary, bonus, benefits and any other items that the future employer wants to share with you.
    • An offer letter does not need to cover every aspect of the position. Employee Handbooks typically get into more details.  An offer letter is just that, a letter offering you the position.
    • Getting it in writing prevents any ambiguity about what you are saying yes to.
  • Review the offer, and get clarification on any items you don’t understand.
    • Does the offer outline the amount of Paid Time Off you will receive?
    • Are medical benefits included?
    • Is there a 401(k)?
    • Now’s the time to get answers, not after you’ve started
  • Negotiate any items that you are not completely happy with.
    • Before you accept the offer, you may be able to negotiate some terms of the offer.
    • Items typically negotiated on are pay rate or salary, amount of Paid Time Off available, job title and start date.
    • Not everything is open to negotiate, so don’t expect an employer to say yes to all, or any of your requests.
    • (I’ll cover offer negotiation more in a future article.)
  • Get a final offer letter that reflects any changes you negotiated for.
  • Think over the offer
    • Now you know the entire offer and have gotten all of your questions answered and any points negotiated.
    • Can you wholeheartedly accept this offer, as is, as written?
    • Don’t rush into anything, but provide timely responses
      • This is when you consult family and friends and see if the offer works for you and your loved ones.
      • I always say to think it over and sleep on it. Giving yourself a bit of time to really mull it over can provide great clarity about your interest in joining a new company or staying in your current situation.
      • But don’t take too long to make a decision. As deal makers say, time kills all deals.  That means that the offer could be revoked if you take too long to accept it.
        • I recommend getting back to the company the next business day, the earlier the better.
      • Once you are sure you can accept the offer as written, call and accept the offer verbally, following up with a signed copy of the offer.
      • Ask for a signed copy of the offer letter.

Once you have a signed copy of the offer, the job is yours—as outlined and agreed to by you and the company.  Congratulations on the new job!

Next,

  • Celebrate!

But remember, many offers are contingent on the successful completion of a background check and references.  Perhaps there is a drug test or pre-employment physical required.  If your background check pulls up something that the employer can’t accept, your references are awful, you fail the drug test or you can’t pass the physical, the employer can revoke the offer and you won’t get the job.  So, if it is contingent on these things, make sure you know that everything comes back clear before you quit your current job.

Welcome to your new position!  Next up, how to quit your current job gracefully–post coming soon.

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