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How to respond to a job offer

job offer

So you’ve been through the interview process and received a job offer, but what is the next step? We’ll look at how to respond to a job offer, how to formally accept a written job offer and other questions that need careful consideration. We recommend that you take your time to formulate your initial response and whether this is your dream job or a step towards your career goals, you can ensure that you respond to your job offer correctly.

We’ll assume you’ve received a initial job offer from your potential new employer and that they have made a formal offer for your consideration. Congratulations! The first step is to consider whether you need further clarification on any aspect of the job role or the new employer before you decide whether to officially accept the job offer. You may be delighted to have been offered this new job, or you may have some concerns around leaving your current employer. Either way, it’s worth taking your time, checking the starting salary and benefits package, and considering every aspect of the new position before you accept.

Job offer acceptance process

You’re probably exhausted by the whole process of applications and interviews. The recruitment process is often long and arduous. Don’t feel pressured to jump straight into the next phase of accepting a job offer, take your time to consider every angle. You can reply to a formal offer and sound appreciative as well as clarifying all of the details of the offer, such as the compensation package and professional development opportunities. But it is also important to respond to your job offer in the correct way. Rather than hurriedly agreeing to whatever the prospective employer is proposing, take a moment to breathe and check the terms and conditions. Whether you can’t wait to get your start date, or want to politely decline, you need to continue to make the right impression. At CareerWise, we are experts in recruitment, and we’ve designed this guide on how to respond to your job offer.

Receiving an official job offer

A job offer will often come over the phone first, to be followed up by a formal written offer. Feel free to ask them to put their offer in writing when you get that call as this will give you time to think. Try and remember, you are under no obligation to say yes straight away. Any experienced recruiter will expect you to want some time to consider things carefully when you receive a job offer letter. So when you receive the job offer, call and thank them, and tell them you will let them know your decision very soon. There is no better time to negotiate the terms of your employment than before you have agreed to their job offer. Once you sign on the dotted line you are unlikely to be able to change the terms of your employment.

Deciding on your response to a job offer

A full time job is a big commitment, so you should consider many things when making your final decision. Ask yourself if the job offer is all you’d hoped for – in terms of pay, but also paid vacation time, job title, pensions, and other benefits. If it isn’t, does something else compensate? Perhaps you would be working in a field you are particularly interested in, or you feel you would have a chance to build a great network for the future. Finally, consider the role in the context of your home life. How do things such as commute and working hours affect how you feel about it?

Salary negotiation for your new job offer

If you are not satisfied with the starting salary you have been offered, this is your opportunity to negotiate. You can acknowledge the job offer you have been made and ask to discuss your salary expectations, perhaps suggesting a higher salary and giving all the details about why you feel this is justified. You can discuss any aspects of your job offer before you formally accept the new job so be prepared. Research and demonstrate the market average salary as part of your negotiations, and consider the benefits package you are being offered as there may be some benefits that are more valuable than a slight increase in basic salary. Now is your best chance to negotiate the terms of this job. Once you have acknowledged the offer, and have considered the terms, you could put in a counter-offer and see what they say. Perhaps you just can’t justify the commute without slightly more pay to cover the travel; or perhaps you need them to be flexible on working hours so you can fulfil a family commitment. Whatever is holding you back from accepting, now is the time to approach your prospective employer and tell them what you need to make it possible for you to accept a job offer.

Response time to accept a job offer

Although you should take time to consider your position carefully, be sure to reply to the job offer within a reasonable time frame. Three working days could be a ballpark time allowance, but if you are unsure, check if your prospective employer needs a response by a certain date. You should acknowledge the offer straight away, thank them for it, and make clear when you will give them your final decision. Most employers will appreciate your careful consideration and thoughtfulness and will be happy for you to take this short time to ensure you are making the right decision about whether to accept a job offer. The way in which you proceed here can also be useful as establishing clear and regular communication from the outset is vital to fostering any good relationship.

How to accept a job offer and write your resignation letter

Having made your big decision, accepting can be swift and simple. Make sure that your job offer acceptance letter or email of acceptance contains a clear message that you accept the job offer. Communicate your excitement at the prospect of the job, and be sure to maintain your professionalism. Confirm your agreed-upon job title and start date. You will likely need to sign a formal contract once you have accepted the offer, so you can keep this initial acceptance email short and sweet. You should be sure to clarify how much notice you need to give your current employer when you confirm your start date, and your job acceptance letter should be positive and clear. You can include the subject line ‘job offer acceptance letter’ or ‘job offer acceptance email’, depending on the format you are using, and you will find a job offer acceptance template online if you require further guidance here.

Of course, the next step will be to write a resignation letter to your current employer and give written confirmation of your notice period with them. You should explain that you have accepted a written formal offer from another employer, although you do not have to share the company name if you have concerns about doing so. Confirm your new start date and sign off with kind regards, and then you can start looking forward to taking up your position with your new employer.

Declining a job offer 

Finding the right way to decline an offer can be a little more tricky. It is best to stay formal and to the point. Thank them for the job offer and make it clear that you are appreciative. It is optional whether you mention your reasons for not taking the job; you certainly don’t have to divulge personal details and could instead tell them that you have ‘decided to take a different direction’. It makes sense to conclude your message by saying that you have enjoyed meeting them and that you’d like to keep in touch, or perhaps work together in the future. It is always a good idea to leave your options open and although this job offer hasn’t worked out, it may still provide you with opportunities or connections in the future.

Before you accept a job offer

Take your time to think carefully about how you respond to a job offer and make sure you have all the details confirmed before you either decline or accept. Check out details such as proposed salary, company culture and team dynamic before you write a job offer acceptance email or acceptance letter and you’ll be more likely to be happy with your job offer. Ask for a written offer to give you time to think and do your research fully rather than simply being swayed by the company name. Don’t be tempted to ignore your financial needs for a desirable job title, it is fairly common for new employees to negotiate terms of the job. If you accept a job offer, your life will change and you need to consider whether this will be positive for you overall. Give yourself time to recover from the job search process and make your job offer response the right one.

Are you looking for a job in Ireland? 

CareerWise is Ireland’s leading specialist recruitment firm, based in Cork, Shannon, Galway, Mayo and Dublin and we can help you to find your ideal new job in Ireland. Many of our roles feature a hybrid element. We specialise in the Engineering, Supply Chain, Science/Pharma, IT and Accounting industries in Ireland, and we look forward to working with you.

Contact us online now or call us on +353 (0) 21 206 1900 to arrange a consultation.



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CareerWise Recruitment. EastGate Village, EastGate, Little Island, Cork.

Phone: +353 (0) 21 206 1900