How to accept a job offerCongratulations – you got the job! Your job application forms were flawless, you wrote a good cover letter, your CV preparation was perfect and your interview training paid off. Assuming this is a job you want, you need to make sure you accept it in the most professional and appropriate way possible. Remember things can still go wrong at this point so take no risks and don’t remove yourself from other recruitment processes until the contracts have been signed. Normally, you’ll get a phone call from a recruiter or line manager to let you know their decision, and during that conversation they will usually seek to obtain a verbal ‘yes’ from you and then shortly after that, a follow up letter will appear. The best way to respond is with integrity, by following a clear, ethical and measured approach.

Before Accepting

Think carefully and don’t act without giving it some time. Astute employers give candidates a day or two to evaluate the offer. They know that you need to make a considered decision and might be looking at other offers. If the employer doesn’t provide their own suggestions about a time frame, ask for at least a day to review the offer. Make sure that their proposal matches any verbal discussions you had with the hiring manager, and if anything’s unclear, or if you need to negotiate further, address those matters now, not after you’ve accepted.

Verbal Acceptance

A telephone call is a classy, personal touch – the person that called you to let you know has probably been your internal champion during the process, so expressing gratitude in a warm, friendly and professional way is a great start to your new employer relationship. If you haven’t received a written job offer, these conversations need to be treated with some caution; it’s not definite until you’ve agreed in writing. While it’s rare, things can change, and verbal offers can be withdrawn, so make sure your follow up in writing happens quickly and efficiently if you’re keen on the job and want to tie things up. Again, don’t let your verbal offer impact on other recruitment processes; follow through on them exactly as you would do without any offer at all.

Written Acceptance

In your acceptance letter, thank the recruiter or interviewer for the offer and tell them that you are happy to accept the terms of employment and salary stated in their letter. Make sure you include the date of their letter on your letter and that you’ve written directly back to the individual who wrote to you. In the second paragraph, let them know when you will be able to start working. It would be a good idea to identify and offer thanks for any special conditions that were agreed, for example a signing bonus, relocation reimbursement, gym membership or parking space. In the final paragraph, offer thanks for the opportunity again and express commitment and excitement. Make sure the email or handover of the letter happens by the specified time.

Fielding Other Offers

Once you’ve accepted a job offer in writing, stop your job search, cancel any pending interviews and let all other potential employers know that you’ve accepted an offer elsewhere. All that work on creating a LinkedIn profile, or writing a professional CV, can now stop. Try not to burn any bridges; be clear and polite, and if you’re cancelling interviews at short notice, apologetic. If you’ve received multiple offers, try to resist the temptation to get in a bidding war to up your salary; you might get an extra early bump in wages, but this tactic can sour your new manager’s perception of you. Building a positive and productive early relationship with your new employer will be far more profitable in the long term.

To complement our team of excellent CV writers and interview coaches, City CV have trained coaches on hand to help you with confidence building to get through interviews, salary negotiations and more. We tailor our sessions to your needs. There’s advice and information on our website, or call +44 20 7100 6656 to talk through some options, or email us at enquirires@citycv.com.