You’ve been through countless interviews and now – finally – you’ve landed on a job opportunity where the company in question is asking you to come on board. This is fantastic news! Not only does it signal the end of a long search, but finally someone is recognizing you for your talents as a skilled professional. Obviously, you are filled with a mixture of both relief and excitement, but don’t let those emotions get in the way of your response. There are a few things you need to consider before you jump entirely on board.
Consider You Response:
- Verify the job is real
It’s sad we have to put this as the first step, but in today’s world, if you receive a job offer for which you haven’t interviewed, chances are it’s a scam. There might be a time when you receive an offer from a company after you’ve submitted your application, and this can be deceptively thrilling if you’ve been on the job hunt for a while. Do not fall for it. Find out the company information listed in the offer and contact them to ensure the offer is legitimate. Even then, it’s advised to reject the offer because you don’t know anything about the company.
However, if you’ve already been through the interview process with the company it’s easy what to consider next.
- Be professional in your response
Whether you are receiving the offer through traditional mail, email, or even over the phone, it’s important to remember to be professional in your response to the company offering you the job. It may be tempting to be casual, but it is unwise. You need to consider your response thoughtfully. If you are writing an acceptance letter or email, be sure to proofread your reply and always include an official salutation. State clearly your intent, and do not stray from the subject matter.
- Show enthusiasm, but don’t be personal
Being professional doesn’t mean you have to be a drone, you can show your enthusiasm for the position and inform the company of your eagerness to get started, but remember: you are not talking or writing to your best friend. Briefly tell the company of your excitement and enthusiasm and then move on to the more important matters. If it helps, take a moment for yourself before you write down your response. If the offer is over the phone, have a response prepared in anticipation for the offer and stick to it. You can save the elated jumping up and down for later.
- Read the offer and ask questions
This is an important part not to forget – especially when the offer is in writing. You need to read the offer thoroughly so that you understand the terms of employment. You don’t want to accept the job right out of hand. Some job offers many not include a lot of information in them, so it is okay to ask questions concerning the position. When you inquire about the offer, make sure that your questions relate to the terms of employment discussed in your interview, as well as when you will start your orientation to the position.
- A special note for contract job offers:
It is critical that you read the contract thoroughly in order to understand the terms of your employment, obligations, compensation, and remedies when or if a dispute arises. If you don’t, you can put yourself in a very poor position when it comes to working for a company. Granted, not all companies are the boogie man, but you shouldn’t trust that they’re looking out for your interests – that responsibility lies with you alone.
- If you decide to reject the job offer
If your intent is to reject the offer, then your response will obviously be a little different than what’s implied above. You will want to remain professional and courteous, and abstain from any personal information that you’ve considered as to why the job is not right for you. Simply thank them for the offer and inform them that you have decided to pursue another opportunity. If you need time to consider their offer prior to sending a response, let them know this upfront before you make any decision to reject the job. Give them a time frame in which they can expect to hear back from you; never leave them hanging for a response.
- If you receive a job offer, but are waiting to hear back from another employer
If you wind up with a job offer from one company, but are expecting an offer from another, things can become a bit sticky. There are multiple things for you to consider, and you need to be able to juggle this delicate situation flawlessly. Here are some things you should do when you have competing offers:
First, never accept and then back out of a job offer. It’s considered unethical and it is very disturbing to employers. Some opinions might tell you that it’s okay, but this is poor advice. Employers do talk to each other, and you do not want a black mark on your name when applying to a job. If you accept a job from employer A, but receive a better offer from employer B, it’s too late and time to move on with employer A. Employer B missed their opportunity.
- Call employer B right away
If you have not accepted a position from employer A, but do receive an offer while waiting on one from employer B, practice diplomacy. Call employer B and let them know about your situation with employer A. Keep the information simple and factual; there is no need to mention employer A’s name, just that they have offered you a position. Express that you really want to work for employer B and ask where you stand in the evaluation process. Ask if they can provide you with definitive information on your potential hire before you are expected to reply to company A. You don’t want to put unnecessary pressure on company B, but if they are interested in you, you may help them speed up the decision making process.
- Call employer A right after employer B
Thank employer A for the offer and explain that you don’t have all the information you need to make a decision. See if they are willing to extend the deadline for your response. Do not wait until the last minute to ask this question. Be upfront with it. If they decline to extend the deadline, a lot a certain amount of time to pass before your expected response to employer A. If employer B does not respond in that time frame, proceed with employer A’s offer.
The key to executing this step gracefully is patience. You need to remain calm and professional, and thoroughly weigh your options to make a good decision. Remember: you are lucky to be in this position, so be grateful. Don’t blow off one employer in favor of the other. Be considerate.
No matter the job you’re seeking, following these steps can help you make a good decision when it comes to replying to a job offer.