You have reached the point in your job search process when you have received an oﬀer, possibly even several. Remember, the job search is not yet over. You still have to accept an oﬀer, and let other employers know you are no longer a candidate. Below are some things you should consider when accepting or declining an employment oﬀer.
Accepting a Job Oﬀer
Congratulations! Now that you have secured an oﬀer, take some time to consider the following factors when evaluating job oﬀers:
- Type and size of business
- Financial condition, stability, and future
- Philosophy, value system, and mission
- Company or organization reputation
- Typical daily routine
- Typical work hours; anticipated overtime
- Room for advancement and professional development opportunities
- Supervisor, co-workers, and colleagues
- Required and desired skills
- Size of department
- Salary, signing bonus, or other perks
- Relocation budget
- Vacation time (i.e., paid time oﬀ)
- Savings plan (e.g., 401K or 403B)
- Health beneﬁts (e.g., medical, dental, and vision)
- Tuition reimbursement (for self and family)
- Pension or retirement plan
- Vesting time (i.e., when a company’s contributions fully belong to you)
- Commuting expenses
- Pre-tax options (e.g., commuting, childcare, etc.)
Once you’ve accepted an oﬀer
Even if you have accepted an oﬀer verbally, you should follow up your acceptance in writing as a chance to:
Conﬁrm the agreed upon salary, and date you will report to work
Outline the terms of your employment
- Ask any questions you may have
Close the letter with an expression of your appreciation at joining the organization.
Remember, accepting an oﬀer (either verbally or in writing) is a binding commitment. Once you have made an acceptance, notify all other organizations/companies that have made oﬀers, and inform them of your decision.
Declining a Job Oﬀer
If you are not interested in moving forward with an oﬀer from a company, there are some things you should keep in mind:
Be positive when declining an oﬀer. You may have to work with the organization professionally, or may want to contact them again about employment in the future
- Always express your appreciation for any oﬀers extended and for the interest and conﬁdence the employer has shown in you
- If appropriate, tell the employer where you will be going to work or where you have enrolled if you are continuing your education
- You do not need to share why you have accepted another position or what the salary oﬀered
Reneging: What is it?
There is a diﬀerence between declining an oﬀer received and retracting a previous oﬀer acceptance (or reneging); you may decline an oﬀer of employment you have not yet accepted.
Retracting your previous acceptance is considered very unprofessional, so don’t do this. Be sure to exhibit professional behavior throughout the negotiation and acceptance process. You want to show your most ethical and professional behavior to your future co-workers.
If you are currently employed, you need to give notice to your current employer when you accept a new oﬀer. Two weeks is standard. Some companies may not want you to stay that long once you have given notice. Other companies may allow or prefer a longer transition of three or four weeks. It is in your best interest to follow your employer’s standards, allowing you to leave on a positive note. Spend your remaining time wrapping up projects, transitioning your work, and generally making your exit as smooth as possible.