How to Respond to a Job Offer (According to 4 Managers and HR Experts)

Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on twitter
Share on email

Is there a proper way of responding to a job offer? Should you accept it immediately?

Matt York

Matt York

Founder, Queen City Buyer

You should never accept an offer on the spot.

Thank the offering company and show as much appreciation as possible. You should never accept an offer on the spot.

When you receive a job offer it’s usually a surprise, or at least exciting. When you’re in this state of mind you’re no longer thinking rationally, your emotions are too involved. Even if you are a stone cold negotiator, this is still not the time to do so.

The offer, the benefits package, flexible hours, etc. needs to be looked over thoroughly so that you can come back with a calculated counter offer that makes sense.

Although they’ve already offered you the job, a manager can get a bad first impression if you accept an offer without taking time to look it over first. Are you going to fly by the seat of your pants and treat your job this way too!? Take your time, look over the details, ask for more (It’s the only time you get to do this), and show gratitude.

Thank you so much Mr./Mrs. employer.

I’m absolutely thrilled that you see me as being a great fit for the position.

Before I make my official decision, I would like to look the offer over with my family and explore your offerings. If this is okay, can you please tell me how long this offer is good for and who I should contact in case I have questions? Can you also send me all the benefits information as it pertains to my position?

Thanks again for this opportunity and I look forward to speaking with you again in the next days.

Monica Eaton-Cardone

Monica Eaton-Cardone

Co-Founder & CEO, Chargebacks911

Whether you are accepting or declining the offer, respond with a brief email.

When you accept a job offer, you should respond with a brief email explaining your appreciation for the opportunity, your understanding of the employment package, your acceptance of the job, as well as your confirmation of start date. Above all, your email should have a clear statement of whether or not you accept the position with a brief explanation of your decision.

If you’re declining a job offer, though, it’s important to maintain a positive relationship with the employer. After all, you never know whether you’ll come in contact with them in the future. The email should relay your appreciation and include a statement explaining that you’re declining the position, along with a brief explanation as to why.

Related: How to Politely Decline a Job Interview

Joe Bailey

Joe Bailey photo

Operations Manager, My Trading Skills

Send a response letter to the company.

When accepting a job offer, best practice dictates that you craft and send an acceptance letter to the company. This letter should be brief, positive, and should include a formal acceptance of the job, gratitude at receiving the offer, a summary of the employment package, as well as your confirmation of the start date.

If you are declining a job offer, a letter declining the job offer is considered professional. The letter should include an expression of gratitude for the offer, a polite refusal to accept the offer, as well as your reason for declining.

If you truly want to work at the company but find the offer unattractive, you can negotiate for better terms in this letter by stating your preferred employment terms and package details.

Always remain polite and optimistic in your response letters to job offers.

Ciara Van De Velde

Ciara Van De Velde

Client Engagement Manager, Employment BOOST

Always take the time to review the job offer before accepting.

Determine if the pay is on track with what you are looking for in the next step. Review the total rewards, including monetary and non-monetary benefits, such as compensation, health care, PTO, incentives, etc. Are these benefits compared to your current benefits? If the compensation does not match what you are currently earning but if the additional benefits exceed your current ones, consider the payoff before asking for higher pay.

Don’t be afraid to negotiate a salary offer but keep your expectations realistic and have specific information that backs up why you are seeking higher compensation.

If the employer agrees to match your desired compensation or any changes in benefits you are seeking – be prepared to accept and don’t come back with additional changes.