How to Accept a Job Offer

In Job Search
May 17, 2016

How to Accept a Job Offer

Job hunting can be stressful and time-consuming, so its important to learn how to accept a job offer professionally when the time comes.

You’ve been searching for weeks, or possibly months, for a new position for higher pay, a better location, better benefits, or some else. No matter what your reasons for leaving are, it feels great when you finally start getting offers for the positions you’ve been working so hard to attain. But don’t put the cart before the horse when it comes to a major decision like this.

How to Accept a Job Offer:

1. Show Gratitude & Respect

It may seem obvious, but when you’re chosen for the job, you ought to be thankful and excited to get started. Companies spend thousands of dollars trying to fill just one position, so it goes a long way to building a healthy relationship with your new employer when you appear to be grateful for the opportunity, even if it doesn’t really phase you.

This simple step will make them even more sure they want to put you on their payroll, and will push the salary negotiations further in your favor. Dispel any doubts they may still be having and make them feel secure in their decision. They don’t want to start the process over to find someone else who fits well.

2. Ask for a Formal Letter

Whether its electronic or written, you want the offer in writing, including all relevant information to the position. Formal job offers may or may not include a start date and salary, or it may still be in need of negotiating. This serves a very important purpose as it (1) ensures all parties involved are on the same page and (2) serves as a sign of commitment from the employer that they’re serious about bringing you on.

If the employer is acting as if the world will end if you don’t give them a response immediately, take that as a sign to take a step back and reevaluate your options. If they’re trying to pressure you into making a hasty choice on a life-changing decision, what do you think they’ll be like once you start. If you have a personal life, you can pretty much kiss it goodbye.

Regardless, be safe when transitioning from one position to the next by getting it in writing.

3. Ask the Right Questions

After you’ve received your written offer, make sure to go through it with a fine-toothed comb. What you may have discussed about the position in the past with them may not be what’s reflected in the official offer. Before giving your response to the prospective employer, make note of any points that aren’t consistent with what you were expecting and bring them to the employer’s attention.

It’s important to be thorough here to avoid any curve balls in the future, so don’t skimp on the details! List questions about work hours, vacation/sick day, paid time off, and other benefits if there is any ambiguity in the mix. Making assumptions about anything can lead to undesirable situations in the future.

4. Red Flags to Avoid

Sure, it feels great that you just got a job offer, but there are certain warning signs that you should look for before responding. Were you expecting to get the offer, or was it seemingly at random? If so, you may want to take a step back to gather your thoughts and figure out what your next move will be. If the employer is quick to offer you the position, there’s usually a reason.

It could be that they are short staffed and need someone ASAP. If that’s the case, be sure to use it to your advantage when it comes time to negotiate your salary. In most cases, the employer will go through the necessary steps of writing a detailed job offer that you’ll receive via mail or email that reiterates the position, expected duties, benefits, company policies, and other information pertinent to you.

Other reasons for quick and unexpected job offers are more sinister in nature. Scammers use job boards all the time, tempting people with seemingly too-good-to-be-true opportunities, that many still take the bait on. Don’t be one of those! If you get a job offer that seems unprofessional and/or unwarranted, do some quick research on who they claim to be. Most job seekers have become keen to these scams and a quick Google search of their emails address can take you to posts where others have reported getting similar emails. Most importantly, do not respond to these kinds of emails until you have more information to go on!

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