Accepting a job offer is not as simple as some people may think. You can’t just say, “I’ll take the job! When do I start?”
Before anything else, making sure you and your employer have covered all the bases, and there’s no confusion, is very important.
So, how do you accept a job offer? Here are some helpful insights plus sample acceptance letters, as shared by experts.
Founder & Executive Director, Professionals In Transition
Most people don’t realize that you have one final chance to negotiate with your letter of job acceptance. This is true especially if they have you sign a boilerplate contract.
Be sure to read your contract very closely and then cross out any of the verbiages that you do not like
Don’t be afraid of making changes unless they are huge and way out of bounds. In my case, I received a boilerplate contract that would have endangered my future and the entire time that I was at the organization. Some of the key things that I crossed through:
- All written articles become the property of the company when published in any medium.
- Will not work for a competitor for a calendar year.
- When on television or any other media, I must identify as a representative of the company and have prior approval.
- Other restrictions were harsh or unnecessary in my opinion.
Write an ‘Acceptance Memo’
City, State, ZIP
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to work at the XYZ company.
Per your directions I have reviewed the contract that you gave me on (date). In reviewing the contract I made a few modifications and the explanation is as follows:
(1) Sentence 4. Crossed out “quote word for word.” This is because I am already under contract by the ABC publishing company for a book that is in progress.
(5) Sentence 2. Crossed out “quote word for word.” This is because I am only a part-time adjunct and because of North Carolina being a “right to work state,” feel that this clause does not apply to me.
And so on, until every phrase crossed out is covered. Then end with a sentence that says something like please initial each crossed out phrase.
I will be happy to discuss any concerns that you may have.
Thanks again for giving me the opportunity to work at the ABC company.
Certified Professional Career Coach | Founder, Eliana Goldstein Coaching
Make sure the offer reflects what was discussed during the interview
One of the keys to accepting a job offer is first ensuring that a number of items have been discussed during the interview process.
The candidate must have a clear understanding of:
- The salary structure, i.e. base, bonus (if applicable) and if bonuses are available, the candidate should ensure they understand the maximum available and goals needed to be met to get the full bonus.
- The expected job functions: what everyday tasks are expected of the candidate? What long term projects are expected? What a typical day might look like? What teams the candidate may be collaborating with?
- The path for growth. A good company and a good candidate will discuss during the interview process what an internal growth path at the company might look like. What does a 1, 3, 5-year plan look like for the typical employee? Is there an opportunity to make internal department changes?
- What is the expected start date?
Having all this information before the job offer is accepted sets the employee up for success. It also ensures that the candidate and future employer are aligned which is key for a healthy working relationship.
Once all of these items have been thoroughly discussed, the candidate has reviewed any offer letters or contracts sent, and the candidate is comfortable with the salary offered, they are ready to accept the offer.
Get on a call with the hiring manager before accepting the position
If the candidate has to give an answer by a certain date, make sure you set up the phone call for a day or two before. On the phone, you’re confirming the four bullets above. It might sound something like this:
Thank you so much for hopping on the phone with me. I know you are looking for a final answer by tomorrow and I’m looking forward to giving it to you then. Before I do, I just wanted to finalize a few things we had discussed during the interview process and ensure we’re on the same page…
Send a short outline via email
From there, I recommend the candidate also send a quick email to the hiring manager outlining the same things they did in the call. The email can say: it was great chatting, to summarize what we discussed….This creates a paper trail and ensures the candidate has something to reference in a year from now when it’s bonus time or when considering an internal move at the company.
If the candidate can’t get the hiring manager on the phone, that’s completely fine. Email is most important as it helps to create that paper trail.
Make sure to communicate acceptance of the job by the expected timeline
If the hiring manager has asked for a call by x date, they should make sure to be respectful of that and get back to them by that date, or even before if possible. If they’ve asked for an email, send an email. It’s important to follow specific instructions.
Strategic HR Business Partner, Gannett (USA Today Network)
Congrats, you got the job; now sign here!
It is extremely tempting to just sign on the dotted and seal the deal; however, you have the most leverage before an offer is signed. With that being said, you must review and understand the employment agreement top to bottom.
Assuming you’ve asked your questions and completed any negotiations, in most instances, your first acknowledgment of the job offer will be verbal. The majority of HR and recruitment departments will place a call to the candidate to offer the job, but make sure to follow up with a written email or letter.
Once verbally accepting, follow these steps:
- Your first response should be to express gratitude and thank the employer for this opportunity verbally. Be grateful that you were offered a job out of hundreds of prospective candidates.
- Ask the recruiter about the next steps and inform them if you need/would like more time to consider the offer. It’s to your benefit to ask them to give you a timeline for accepting the offer rather than just stating you’ll let them know in X amount of days.
- Upon receiving the formal job offer in writing, respond to the offer formally via email. Be polite, and be brief! Not only do you want to demonstrate how thankful you are, but you also want to explain why you’re particularly excited to work for the organization. You should also share how you desire to contribute to the team or how you believe in their mission.
Mental note, proofread and then proofread again.
You don’t want to create any last-minute reasons for the employer to rescind the job offer, such as a sloppy or unprofessional email or letter.
Matthew Warzel, CPRW
President, MJW Careers, LLC
Accepting an offer can be quite the adrenaline rush, but it’s important for the candidate to remember that knee-jerk reactions can get you into trouble down the road.
Think in terms of your livelihood and impact your initial offer makes on any future salary increase negotiations
Edging out an additional hundred or even thousands of dollars upfront can make a large difference in future earnings. Your percentage of pay increases going forward with the company is dictated off that initial job offer.
So take your time, breath, tell the hiring manager/HR member you’d like to consider the offer for 24-48 hours after consulting with key people in your life, and come back after you’ve completed your thinking.
Consider adding benefits, such as a company car, gas card or even cutting leads times between performance reviews, into your salary offer and negotiation.
Do not become burdensome in terms of waiting for your decision
The longer you wait, the more irritated the hiring team may become and thus may lead to an offer retraction, so make sure to balance that timing just right. After you have full confidence in your decision, it’s time to sign the dotted line, put on your hard hat and get to work.
VP of Marketing & Sales, Boster Biological Technology
Show gratitude and double-check the salary as well as other benefits
The best way to accept a job offer is to write a brief email that expresses your gratitude as well as covers all the critical aspects of the job, such as salary, benefits, job title, and starting date of employment.
Dear Mr/Ms/Mrs [Recipient’s Name],
Following our recent conversation on [medium], I’m thrilled to formally accept the [position] at [company] – with a starting salary of [amount] and life insurance benefits that will be provided after 30 days of prohibition period. I aim to make a positive contribution with the rest of the senior management team at [company], on [primary requirement of job role].
I look forward to commencing work with [company] on [date] and would love to come in to meet the team before as well. If there is other paperwork or documentation you need from me beforehand, please let me know so that I will arrange them as soon as possible.
Again, thank you for this job opportunity.
Executive Vice President, Frank Recruitment Group
The drama of receiving a job offer can spark a rush of excitement and emotion, particularly if you’ve been searching for the right role for some time. An offer of employment is an achievement in itself, and that initial burst of elation is well deserved.
When the dust settles, however, there are a few essentials you need to bear in mind to alleviate any doubts you may have and cement a deal that works for you as well as your future employer.
Whether you applied through an agency or individually, it’s important to ensure that expectations are managed on both sides. Making sure you’re fully aware of what your own roles and responsibilities are, as well as the employer’s, will rule out any nasty surprises for either.
If clarification is given and challenges are overcome throughout the process, the amount of time required to consider any offer should be reduced.
Verbal acceptance is not official until written
Initial interest and even a verbal acceptance, in principle, provide the hiring company with a good statement of intent, but it’s not until you put something in writing that the wheels start turning from an HR perspective.
Hold off your final decision with caution
With that in mind, if you’re planning on holding off on your final decision, perhaps waiting out a better offer from elsewhere, then do so with caution. Your reputation is on the line at this point, and leading a company on can undoubtedly work against you.
Write a formal acceptance letter or email
Once you’ve researched the firm in question, received satisfactory answers to any queries you may have about the role, and are happy with the terms of their offer, write a formal acceptance letter or email. Once it’s been mailed, follow it up straight away with a call to your point of contact.
Partner and Head of Development, PopShorts
Receiving a call that you were offered a position at a new job is very exciting. But, it is important to know how to accept that job offer before immediately saying yes.
Make sure that you have a thorough understanding of the offer
It is important that you fully understand what the offer entails such as salary, hours, benefits, etc. It takes time to fully review exactly what you are being offered and whether or not you’ll be satisfied with that offer. You want to accept a position that makes you happy and confident to be joining the company.
Prepare a response to the employer about your plan to review the offer
State that you are thrilled to receive the position but would first like to look over the offer before accepting the position. Then inform them that you will be in touch soon with your response to the job offer.
Whether you choose to decline or accept, it is important to always follow up and inform the employer of your choice. You always want to maintain a positive relationship with the company in case you are ever to be in contact with them in the future. Establishing good relationships with employers is key when searching for new job positions.
Business Expert | Founder, Arnett Designs
Accepting a job offer is exciting which is why you want to make sure you do it correctly.
For starters, thank the person and the company for the opportunity they have given you
You can also ask for additional steps you need to take before your start day especially since many companies ask you to come in to fill out paperwork beforehand. Make sure you sound excited and that you have a clear understanding of what your role consists of as well as knowing what is expected from you in that role.
Always summarize or touch base on the salary you agreed with and the benefits that come with the position
This is done to make sure you understand what you are accepting. If you are accepting an offer over the phone, make sure you speak professionally and ask as many questions as you want to avoid misunderstandings regarding the job offer.
Career Development Manager, Mint Resume
Be brief and show you’re thankful
Your job acceptance letter should be brief. It should demonstrate how thankful you are for the new job opportunity. You might also briefly explain why you’re particularly excited to work for the company. For example, you may share your desire to contribute to their sales team, or your passion for their mission.
You can write something like:
Thank you for offering me the [Job Title] role at ABC Company. I’m thrilled to formally accept this job offer. I’m looking forward to working with you, and the rest of the team at ABC.
As discussed, my start date will be [Month Day, Year], with an annual salary of $XXXX, and X weeks of paid annual leave. [State any other terms and conditions]
I’m looking forward to seeing you next Monday. Please let me know if there is any additional information or paperwork you need from me beforehand, or if there is any documentation I should bring along on my first day.
I’m always available on email, but feel free to call if that’s more convenient [your phone number].
Again, thank you so much for this opportunity.
Business Development Consultant, MyTrading Skills
Always respond with a brief, polite email to the offer
Your email should entail your appreciation for the offer, your understanding of the role and the entire job package, as well as a formal acceptance of the job.
Take enough time to review the job offer, before sending the job acceptance letter
This will show the recruiter you are seriously considering the job, and that you do not make hasty decisions. Do not take too long to make a decision as this might make the recruiter rescind the offer.
Bottom Line: Send your acceptance of the job in the form of a formal, brief letter to the recruiter, but before that, ensure that you take enough time to review the job offer.
President & Chief Strategist, Avidon Marketing Group
As the CEO and the sole person in charge of hiring for our SEO company, I read acceptance letters and they go a long way towards proving the person is the right fit for our company.
Emphasize how you can contribute to the company’s collective growth
Many applicants see the acceptance letter as a mere option to say “Yes, thank you!” or “No, thank you!” but it can be so much more. The letter provides an opportunity for them to get started on the right foot by telling us how they plan to contribute to our collective growth, what excites them the most about the opportunity, and what they want to accomplish professionally in the near future.
This helps management identify employees’ goals and how to help get them there, as well as showcase how excited they are about joining.