After perfecting your resume, submitting job applications and sitting through rounds of interviews, your hard work finally pays off when you receive a job offer. This exciting milestone means that you are one step further on your pathway to success, but your work is not yet complete. Before you kick back and enjoy a well-deserved celebration, follow these steps to ensure you are starting your new role on the right foot.
Request a Written Offer
It is likely that the employer will give you a phone call to share the good news and extend an offer. While a phone call is personal and legitimate, it is a good idea to ask for an official job offer in writing—most commonly through email. A written job offer is helpful for legal reasons, and it also allows you to review the specifics more thoroughly.
Share Your Timeframe
It can be beneficial to spend time reviewing and considering the job offer before officially accepting it. Communicate your timeframe with the employer so that everyone is on the same page. While it is a big decision that demands some thought, it is also important to be respectful of the employer’s time. We recommend waiting no more than 48-72 hours, unless the employer suggests a different timeframe.
Negotiate the Offer
After spending some time looking over the written offer, you may find that the offer is not what you anticipated. Negotiating a salary and benefits package is a common part of the acceptance process. In fact, employers often leave some wiggle room in the salary in anticipation of negotiations. Assess the offer based on average salaries of similar roles, additional benefits and your skills and qualifications. Schedule a meeting with the employer during your agreed upon timeframe to discuss the offer details. If there is no flexibility in the salary, propose an updated benefits package with higher 401k matching, more paid time off or a generous signing bonus. If you support your case with good research and skills, the employer may happily adjust the offer.
Write an Acceptance Letter
Once you and the employer agree on the terms of the offer, the next step is to accept the offer. Just as it is good to have the offer in writing, it is helpful to have a written acceptance letter. Start and end the letter with gratitude. The employer dedicated a lot of time to this hiring process, and their efforts should be acknowledged and appreciated. You should also include the terms of the offer in the letter. Restate the title, salary, benefits and start date from the offer letter to ensure consistency and clarity. Lastly, share how excited you are to become a part of the team and begin the onboarding process.
Inform Other Employers
If you interviewed with multiple companies at the same time—and maybe received multiple offers—it is important for you to notify them of your job acceptance. Thank them for their time and interest. Acting professionally enables you to maintain a positive relationship with them and can allow networking opportunities in the future. On the other hand, ghosting an employer and not informing them of your acceptance somewhere else leaves a bad impression. Many recruiters and hiring managers in the same area engage with each other at events and on social media. You should want them to remember you as a respectful and grateful job candidate, especially if you cross paths in a future job opportunity.
Approaching a job offer with care and enthusiasm sets you up for a smooth transition into your new role. The time you spend reviewing the offer, communicating with your new employer and informing other employers provides you with security in your position and can pay off nicely down the road. You can rest easy and celebrate knowing that everyone involved in the process is cheering on your big win.