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How to accept or reject a job offer

24 Sep 2018

Being offered a job is great news but before you get carried away and say ‘yes’ straight away, even if you know you want the position, it is still advisable to give yourself time to ponder your response.

Giving yourself time to ensure that the job is right for you, and to determine whether the compensation package you are been offering is right too, is a wise career move. In this post, we’ll look at how you can evaluate a job offer, as well as some suggestions on the best ways to accept or reject the offer and how to negotiate a better deal. So, let’s look…

Is the job offer right for you?

When you have been offered a job, the best thing to do is to thank your potential employer and to ask for a little time to consider the offer. Make sure you express your interest in the role though (if you want it), so they know you are keen. Say that you are very keen on the job and would simply like a little bit of time to consider the details. Ask the employer if there is a deadline by which they would like your decision to be made. Make sure you stick to the time limit they have stated, as the last thing you want to do is take too long to the point whereby they rescind the offer and offer it to a competing candidate.

Once you’re off the phone or email, you then need to decide whether the job offer is right for you, your family or any other dependents and your personal career aspirations. It goes without saying that salary is not the only consideration, but the overall compensation package. Consider the company culture too (are they a good fit for you?), as well as the time you are going to spend traveling, and the pros and cons of the job overall. Make a list so that you can really see the advantages next to the disadvantages for a clearer picture.

Accepting a job offer

If you have decided that this is the job for you, great! You will now need to write a job acceptance letter or email or simply via a phone call if that’s the way communications have already been progressing. In a job offer acceptance letter, you should show your appreciation for the opportunity first and foremost, then formally declare that you accept the job offer. You can also include the terms and conditions of your employment, as well as the start date. When you send the letter or email, put your name and the words ‘job offer acceptance’ in the subject line to make sure it doesn’t get overlooked. A follow-up phone call to ensure receipt is a good idea.

Rejecting a job offer

If you have decided that the job is not right for you, you should still begin your letter declining the job offer by showing your appreciation. You should then state briefly why the job wasn’t right for you – select a few key things from your pros and cons list. Make sure the reason is genuine and valid.

You might say, for example, that after much consideration you have decided to accept a position at another company or that you have decided now is not the best time to leave your current role. You should then close with a polite message. Thank the interviewers for their time and wish them the best. You could say that you hope to cross paths in the future or something along those lines, it’s never wise to burn a bridge in this industry!

Negotiating a better job offer

Finally, if you have decided that you do wish to take the job, but that the pay scale isn’t quite right or a certain point of the contract could be better, you will need to do some negotiating. Carefully consider a counter offer. Make sure you do your research so that you can confidently present why a higher salary is justified. You won’t be taken seriously if you simply state you want more money and you don’t have any facts to back it up so ensure you’ve justified your worth adequately.

Regardless of whether you ultimately accept or decline the job offer, you should never decide on the spot. Make sure you take the time to evaluate it properly. You never know – you may change your mind once you have sat down and worked out all the plus points and the negatives.  If you have been working with a recruiter to secure interviews, utilise their inside knowledge to get a deeper insight into the organisation, the scope and prospects beyond the role in question and what is a reasonable job offer for that employer.

PSR’s award-winning construction recruitment specialists are committed to helping each of our candidates find their dream job. Contact us in confidence, or send us your CV and let’s get started.

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