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Responding to job offers

Responding to job offers

Responding to job offers

After the stress of applications, CVs and interviews, you might not give much thought to the actual matter of accepting a job offer. But do not rush into saying yes: once you have accepted an offer (whether verbally or in writing) you have entered into a contract with the employer. It is therefore worth taking a moment to make sure that you can fully commit to what the employer is offering you.

Confirmation

If you received the job offer verbally either by telephone, or from the employer during an interview, you will also need to receive written confirmation of the offer as well. The letter or email should contain the following:
  • Job title and location of work
  • Any conditions you need to meet, such as specific degree classification or references
  • Terms of the contract, such as salary and any benefits, holiday entitlement and notice period (both for you and the employer)
  • Start date, either confirmed or preferred
If you have not received written confirmation, or would like more details about the job, then contact the employer to request them.  

If you are unsure as to whether or not you want the job, remember to acknowledge their offer and let them know you are considering it. The company should be happy to answer any questions you might have, and it is perfectly acceptable to ask for a couple of days to consider their offer.

Negotiation

You may be able to negotiate elements of your contract, such as the number of work hours or even your salary. Drawing up realistic expectations is very important, so try and research how much the company currently pays other positions similar to yours. When presenting your offer, back it up with reasons such as the relevant costs and expenses you would be taking on by joining the company.

Acceptance

Once you are happy with the offer and certain that you want to take the position, contact the company as swiftly as possible - telephone and email are both acceptable - to confirm that you are taking the job. 

Due to the timescales involved in graduate recruitment, and the fact that you are likely to be applying to multiple companies, you may find yourself in the position of having received a job offer whilst still awaiting decisions from other companies.  This can be difficult, but remember that once you accept an offer - whether verbally or in writing - you are contractually obliged to that employer.

Whilst employers may not hold you to your contract if you later wish to withdraw your acceptance in favour of another offer, it is highly unprofessional and they would be within their right to hold you to your original acceptance if they so wished. Code of practice in graduate recruitment states that if you accept an offer, you should withdraw yourself from the application process with other employers.   If you are struggling to reach a decision, come and see us; we will not tell you what to do, but can help you decide.

Find out more

Prospects guidance on job offers
Targetjobs guidance on job offers
UK Government guidance on job offers and references