You’ve made it through the resume check, the phone screen, and the in-person interview. You’re sitting on the couch watching tv when you get a phone call. On the other end of the line, you hear “Congratulations!”. Your recruiter tells you that you got the job and will be receiving an official offer soon! You breathe a sigh of relief, say thank you, and hang up the phone.
What do you do now?
Well, not this:
Remember that just like interviewing, accepting the job is a process. It is not an immediate transaction. Here are some tips to guide you through it:
Take your time
That first phone call you received is the informal offer. Before hanging up, thank the recruiter for the opportunity and ask them about next steps. In most cases, they will be sending you a more formal offer in writing. If this isn’t the case, you should ask that they put the offer in writing so that the terms of agreement are clearly spelled out. This helps prevent misunderstandings.
Employers usually want to close the job quickly. As such, they might send you the offer letter and ask for a fairly immediate response. Even if they do, remember that you’re in control now. Unlike the interview when they were reviewing you, now it’s your turn to review them. It’s appropriate to take at least two business days to review the terms of the offer, but make sure you clearly communicate that with the employer. Upon receiving the email, send them a formal message to tell them that you have received the offer letter and would like to take 48 hours to review it before getting back to them. Sending this message is a courtesy to the employer.
Read through the letter once or twice to make sure that you understand everything in it. What will you be paid? How much vacation are you allowed? Is vacation paid or unpaid? Will you be provided benefits? Are you allowed to work from home? Etc. Make note of any questions that you have and then read the offer again, more carefully, to see if you can find the answers.
Meet with the employer—if you want to
If you still have clarifying questions about the offer, request to meet with the employer. Before doing so, however, you should make sure that you agree to all terms of the offer. If you don’t, determine which parts of the offer you want to negotiate (salary, vacation, etc.) and come to the meeting prepared with your list of goals. Indeed recommends that you provide a salary range beginning at the number that you desire. For example, if you’re looking to make $50,000 and your offer letter has you making $45,000, come to the employer with a range of $50,000 – $53,000. Doing so will make your more likely to win your desired amount. For more information on salary negotiation, check out the blog post we wrote about it!
Accept the offer
Once you have received a satisfying offer, you need to formally accept it. You should send the recruiter your response in the same format that they offered you the job. If they emailed you the offer with the letter attached, send the signed letter back in an email. Clearly state that you are accepting the offer and express your enthusiasm to work for the company. Keep the email professional and serious to show your respect for the company. Make sure to proofread your work. This is not the time to send an email with careless mistakes. Have another pair of eyes look over your response. We want you to put your best foot forward as you begin your new job!
And that’s all. Congratulations on landing the job! We wish you good luck!