How To Accept a Job Offer
Updated 28 April 2023
When looking for a new job, it is important to be prepared for every stage of the recruitment process. If you've recently been offered a job and want to accept it, you may want to learn how your response should look like. In this article, we cover how the job offer process looks like, what it means to receive conditional and unconditional job offers from an employer and show you how to accept a job offer.
The job offer process
After your final interview with a potential employer or recruitment manager, there are a few things you may expect, this includes receiving an offer notification or being asked to provide additional information for a background check, such as references or proof of driving licence. There are no formal rules regulating how long it will take your potential employer to notify you about the results of your final interview, it is therefore perfectly acceptable to follow up if you haven't heard from them in three or four business days.
It is important to remember that a job offer doesn't need to be sent to you in writing, but it is a good idea to request an offer in written form.
Conditional vs. unconditional job offer
Receiving an unconditional job offer means that your potential employer is satisfied with your recruitment process and the company is ready for you to join the team. In this case, there are no additional steps required from you and therefore, accepting an unconditional offer typically marks the official start of your employment. From that moment, both you and the employer are legally bound to the employment contract.
If an employer has made you a conditional job offer, this means they still need to gather more information about your background and experience to make the final decision in the recruitment process. This indicates that you may be asked to provide additional documentation, such as your proof of right to work in the United Kingdom or references from previous employers.
How to accept a job offer
Once you are satisfied with the details of the job offer that the employer has made, it is time to send an official letter of acceptance to the company. Here are some steps you can follow when accepting a job offer:
1. Acknowledge the job offer
When you receive a conditional job offer, make sure to acknowledge it by sending a letter to the employer that contacted you. In the letter, thank the employer for the opportunity and let them know when they can expect a decision from you. Review the terms of the offer and ask any follow-up questions if there is something you don't understand. Otherwise, indicate that the terms are clear to you. Typically, it is best to respond in writing, either via email or by delivering a hard copy of the acknowledgement letter to the office.
2. Carefully review the offer
Ensure you review all aspects of the offer and consider how each section relates to your career goals or any competing offers you may have. Even if an offer meets your salary expectations, it's important to make sure you're satisfied with things such as sickness allowance, insurance plans or benefits offered. At this stage, you may also want to research the employer again to think if the company's values and goals are suitable for you and your career path.
3. Begin drafting a reply
After you've reviewed the offer terms and are ready to accept, start drafting your reply. Keep the tone of the response letter professional and lead with a statement of gratitude thanking the employer for the opportunity and the offer.
In the acceptance, list the final offer details as you understand them, including your expected job title, a summary of the salary and benefits you've agreed to and the expected start date. This is to ensure clarity during the job acceptance process. Finally, officially accept the company's job offer and close the letter with a professional statement, for example: "Sincerely," and your legal name.
4. Proofread your response
Be sure to proofread your letter of acceptance several times to spot any mistakes and see if there are any sentences that you'd like to rewrite. Once you're happy with the response, you may want to ask your friend or family member to help you review the letter.
5. Address the letter to the appropriate party
Typically, you want to address your letter of acceptance to the person who sent you the offer. If you received a physical copy of the job offer, you will find the name and address of the appropriate party there. If the offer was sent to you via email, address your response to the person who contacted you. In most cases, this would be the company owner or recruiter and their contact details would be found in the email signature.
6. Decide how you will respond
If the employer sent you the conditional job offer via email, it is perfectly acceptable to respond with your letter of acceptance in the same way. If the company sent the offer in the post, the best practice is to do the same and post a physical copy of the acceptance letter to the return address on the envelope. In this case, you may want to send an additional email with the same message to the employer or recruiter to ensure they see it promptly.
Negotiating a job offer
Receiving a job offer from an employer typically means that you will be presented with the details of your potential employment contract. If you're seeing them for the first time, a common part of the acceptance process is negotiating things such as your salary or benefits package. Use this moment to think about your needs and review the details of the job offer to see if they match your expectations.
If you have decided that you'd like to request some changes, contact the employer or recruiter to set up a call or a meeting to discuss it. Keep the message concise and professional, like the following:
"I've reviewed the offer and I would like to discuss the details more carefully. When can we set up a time to speak?"
During the meeting with the employer, be prepared to list your requested changes and provide additional information to back up your requests. If you'd like to discuss your compensation, make sure you research salaries for your position and industry in the United Kingdom and give the employer a reasonable range for your experience level.
Final job acceptance steps and tips
After your new job offer has been approved and you have signed the new employment contract, the next step is notifying your former employer about this decision and preparing for your first day at the new company. Here are some tips that will help you make this process simple:
Deliver a resignation letter to your former employer. Writing an official resignation letter will allow you to thank your former employer for the valuable experiences gained at the company and preserve the relationship that you have with them.
Start preparing for your first day. Ask your employer about the onboarding details and any documents you need to complete or review before the start date.
Ask about orientation details. To understand how your first days or weeks may look, contact your employer and make sure you've got access to the online tools or items such as access cards that you'll need.
Plan your commute. If you will drive or use public transport, make sure to check how much time it will take you to arrive at the office on a business day and leave early to avoid traffic.
Related: How to Change Careers
Example job acceptance letter
I would like to formally accept your offer for the Finance Associate position at River Tech.
As agreed, my starting annual salary will be £54,200 with 28 days of paid annual leave. I understand that my health, dental and vision plans will begin upon the start date with the option of a flexible spending account.
I look forward to joining the team on Monday, July 20th. If there are any documents or other information I should come prepared with on my first day, please let me know. My sincerest appreciation again for the opportunity—I can't wait to get started!
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