Job hunting as a recent graduate isn’t easy. When you’re applying and interviewing for many different graduate jobs, s
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Congratulations – you’ve got a job offer! Now, all you have to do is accept it.
While accepting a job offer seems like it should be a relatively simple process, there are a series of formalities to adhere to, which can pose a few potentially confusing questions.
How long should I wait before accepting a job? How formal does my acceptance need to be? Do I still need to write an acceptance letter / email, or will a verbal acceptance suffice?
To ensure there’s no confusion on either end, read on to find out how to accept a job offer, how to negotiate a job offer, and how to hand in your notice.
Most employers will offer you the job by phone call; either personally or via a Recruitment Consultant. Accepting a job is a big decision, so take some time to think about it, and ask the employer or the recruiter any questions you have at this stage.
If you want the job but are unhappy with some of the terms of the offer, it may be that you spend some time negotiating at this stage, before accepting the job offer.
Of course, if you’ve been waiting excitedly for the call, and you know that everything about this job is right for you, you can verbally accept it over the phone at this stage.
When accepting a job offer verbally, say ‘thank you’ for the opportunity, show how excited you are about the offer, and make sure to clarify any question marks you have regarding the offer. It’s not a problem if you haven’t been able to confirm your start date yet; just inform the employer or Recruitment Consultant you will let them know as soon as you can.
After this first communication, you should receive a written formal offer; either by email or by post. It’s important that you have written confirmation of the job offer; so if the employer or Recruitment Consultant doesn’t inform you of this during your phonecall, ask them about it or request that you receive the offer in writing, even if they weren’t planning to send one.
When you receive a written job offer, it’s polite to respond to it, even if you’ve already verbally accepted the offer.
A job acceptance email or job acceptance letter can be fairly brief, but needs to contain the following:
It’s also important to make sure it’s a well-constructed and formal email – see it as your chance to show the employer that they made the right decision offering you the job.
Use the job offer email template below to get started:
Subject line: [*Your name* – Job Offer Acceptance]
Dear [Their name],
Thank you for your offer of [Job title] at [Company name]. I am delighted to formally accept the offer, and I am very much looking forward to joining the team.
As discussed, my starting salary will be [Agreed starting salary], rising to [Increased salary] following a successful probationary period of 3 months. I will receive [days] annual leave, and private health insurance after probation.
I can confirm that my starting date of employment will be [Start date]. If there is any additional information you need prior to this date, please let me know.
Once again, thank you very much for the opportunity, and I look forward to working with you.
[Your phone number]
[Your email address]
[Hiring manager’s name]
Dear [Hiring Manager’s name],
I am writing to formally accept your offer of [Job title] at [Company name]. I am very grateful for the opportunity, and delighted to be joining the company.
As discussed over the phone, my starting salary will be [Agreed starting salary], with [percentage] commission, as well as [days] annual leave, and private health insurance.
I will be able to start work on [Start date]. If there is any additional information, or paperwork you need me to complete prior to then, please do let me know.
Thank you very much for the opportunity.
Once you have written your response job acceptance email or job acceptance letter, make sure you run through it several times, checking for any grammar or spelling mistakes (try adding a free assistant like Grammarly to your browser). A formal job offer acceptance that is poorly written and littered with errors won’t give your new employer the best impression.
Employers expect candidates to have questions about the role, the company and the terms of the job offer (usually the salary).
In order to negotiate your salary successfully, make sure you’ve done your research on your market value; and consider what your absolute minimum would be (it’s unlikely you would have gone this far if you aren’t happy with the basic salary they offer, or you haven't discussed your salary expectations).
If you do wish to negotiate salary, ask the Hiring Manager or Recruitment Consultant whether there is any flexibility, as well as how often salary reviews will take place. If they say no, take time to consider the offer as a whole, including other benefits, and room for advancement.
If they say that there is some flexibility, explain to them how your worth - your experience, qualifications and knowledge - justify this higher salary.
Don’t get disheartened if the salary offer is lower than you expected or if the employer won’t budge; especially in entry-level graduate jobs, a lower offer doesn’t mean that the employer doesn’t value or respect you – and there are plenty of other things to look for in a company besides salary.
If you’re already working in another job, you will need to officially resign, usually in the form of a resignation letter.*
*Processes for handing in your notice differ from place to place, so if you’re at unsure check your contract or staff handbook; these should tell you how to resign.
A resignation letter should include:
[Your phone number]
[Your email address]
[Your manager’s name]
Dear [Manager’s name],
Please accept this letter as confirmation of my resignation from the position of [Your position] at [Company name], effective from one month from today’s date, [Today’s date].
I am very thankful for the opportunities, guidance and ongoing support you have provided me.
I am keen to ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible, so please let me know how I can be of assistance.
Thank you again, and I wish you and [Company name] all the best for the future.
After you’ve verbally and formally accepted a job offer, finalised all details, and handed in your notice, it’s time to prepare for your first day!
Chances are, you’ll receive some communication from either the Hiring Manager or Recruitment Consultant you’ve been speaking to, before your first day at your graduate job.
They’ll let you know if there is any paperwork or things you should come prepared with.
The process of searching for graduate jobs doesn’t end once you've received an offer. Knowing how to accept a job offer verbally, write a job acceptance email or job offer acceptance letter, and negotiate the terms of your offer, will stand you in good stead in your new role. Good luck!
Still on the lookout for Graduate Jobs in London? Now you know how to accept a job offer, get applying for graduate jobs!