How to Accept a Job Offer (With Examples)

You’ll want to do your research before you sign on the dotted line.

Written by Jeff Rumage
How to Accept a Job Offer (With Examples)
Image: Shutterstock / Built In
UPDATED BY
Matthew Urwin | Oct 06, 2023

A job offer might feel like the finish line after a long race, but in reality, you still have one last sprint to the end. Before you accept a job offer, you need to make certain that you feel comfortable with the job, your future team and the details of the offer.

The offer stage of the hiring process can feel like a delicate dance. You want to gather as many details about the position as possible, but you want to reassure the recruiter that you are excited about the job. You want to express your gratitude for the offer, but you also want to gauge which parts of the offer are open to negotiation.

Below we break down what to expect in the final stages of the hiring process and what to do to ensure the role is a good fit before you say “yes.”

How to Accept a Job Offer

  1. Thank the recruiter and ask when they need an answer.
  2. Email the recruiter follow-up questions or a counter offer.
  3. Negotiate your salary and write a job offer acceptance letter.

 

Before Accepting a Job Offer

When a recruiter or hiring manager is ready to make a job offer, they will typically email the candidate to arrange a brief phone or video call to discuss next steps. On this call, they will make a verbal offer describing the base salary, any potential bonuses or equity and other benefits. Recruiters and hiring managers prefer to make these offers on a call so they can get a sense for the candidate’s excitement about the opportunity.

“I very much like to hear how they respond to the offer,” Alexandra Parker, senior manager of human resources at Public.com, told Built In. “I also feel like that gives them an opportunity to ask any questions they might have.”

There’s also the chance that a recruiter sends a written job offer via email, either in place of or to supplement a verbal offer. Keep in mind the following steps and adapt your etiquette to the situation, whether you’re communicating with a recruiter in person, over the phone or through email.
 

1. Express Gratitude — But Don’t Immediately Say ‘Yes’

Candidates should not feel pressured to accept the job offer during that first call. Parker suggests taking a day or two to develop questions and gather comparable salary data for a potential salary negotiation. 

“I think a lot of times you get excited, you’re in the moment and you feel like you need to answer,” Parker said. “Be polite, show gratitude and show excitement, but don’t feel like you need to give a yes or a no in that moment.”

Bonnie Dilber, recruiting manager at Zapier, agrees. She suggests candidates take some time to think of additional questions and gather salary data for similar roles in that industry.

“You never want to accept an offer on the spot,” Dilber said. “I would recommend that people always step back, look at the offer, think through the details and do some research to make sure they feel good about what the offer looks like.”

Example: “Thank you so much for the offer — it’s an exciting opportunity.”

 

2. Ask When They Would Like an Answer

Make sure to ask the recruiter when they would like an answer from you. Typically, they hope to hear an answer within two days, Parker said, but if it’s a Thursday or a Friday, you will probably get the weekend to think it over. If you are in the final interview stages with another company, the recruiter from the company that extended an offer might be willing to give you more time to make a decision.

After the call, the recruiter will often follow up with an email to recap the terms of the offer in writing. The formal written offer will come later in the process, after you have agreed to the terms of the offer. Recruiters typically don’t like to send formal offers unless it is a done deal. That’s because the offer requires approval from multiple executives in the company. 

Example: “I’d like some time to review the terms and think through my decision. When do you need an answer?”

 

3. Develop Questions and Research Salary Data

As you consider the offer, a new question may pop up that you didn’t think to ask in the earlier stages of the interview process. That is a normal part of making a big decision, and recruiters understand that there may be a few lingering questions to address.

“During that period of time, if you’re thinking things over and a question comes up that you didn’t have a chance to get answered during the interview process, this is the perfect time to bring it up,” Tammy Dain, founder and CEO of recruiting firm Rabble, told Built In.

Maybe you got the sense during the interview process that you will be working closely with someone you haven’t met yet. The recruiter would probably be happy to arrange a meeting with that person to help you get to know your future coworkers.

“You want to be able to have a really good understanding of what your team looks like and the people you’re going to be working with on a daily basis,” Parker said. “This also gives you an opportunity to ask that person about their experiences outside of an interview environment.”

If you decide to negotiate your salary, you should know the value of your skillset in the marketplace. You can research the salaries for comparable roles and industries on one of the many salary tools online. By grounding your counter offer in comparable salary data, you can make your email sound less like an ask and more like a business justification.

Example: “After reviewing the terms, I have a few questions about the offer. Can I send you an email, or do you prefer to hop on a quick call?”

Related Reading18 Questions to Ask Before Accepting a Job

 

4. Send Your Questions in an Email

Dilber said she likes to receive counter offers or additional questions via email because it allows the recruiter to be more efficient in communicating the candidate’s requests to the appropriate parties. Typically, the recruiter will not have information about team-level questions, and they usually do not have the authority to negotiate significant salary increases.

“When you send an email, that allows the recruiter to have time to go and do the research, have the conversations they need to have to figure out what’s possible, and then they can come back to you,” Dilber said.

A recruiter will typically decide whether a candidate’s question is best answered with a phone call or email. If you have questions about a company’s remote work policy or its stock options, for example, a recruiter could probably field those questions over email. If you realize that you never got a good sense of your future manager’s management style, however, the recruiter might set up a 15-minute call so the manager can speak to that issue. 

Example: “I wanted to clarify a few more details about the offer. Feel free to respond at your earliest convenience. I can also make time to talk on the phone if that’s easier.”  

 

5. Negotiate Your Salary

When planning your salary negotiation strategy, you should focus on the strength of your qualifications and the value you can bring to the company. Companies generally try not to pay two employees different amounts for the same role, but Dilber said they can make exceptions based on a candidate’s qualifications.

“Generally, the area that a company has wiggle room is going to be more based on qualifications,” Dilber said. “They can pay two people differently in the same role if one person has much stronger qualifications.”

During the negotiation process, you should prioritize the benefits that align with your personal priorities. Would you be willing to take slightly less money for more PTO or the ability to work remotely? If you think this company is destined for success, you might focus your negotiations on getting a larger equity stake in the company.

“I personally love when people negotiate their equity,” Parker said. “It shows that they believe in the future of the company.”

Parker said it is important to be polite and respectful when negotiating your salary. Candidates can sometimes be a bit aggressive, she said, which may cause the company to reconsider whether the candidate is a good culture fit.

“You need to come ready to compromise,” Parker added. “You’re not going to get everything you want.”

Example: “After assessing the offer, I want to make sure my salary and benefits accurately reflect my expertise and qualifications. Can we schedule a short phone call?”   

 

Accepting the Job Offer

Once you feel satisfied with the terms of the offer, you can email the recruiter or HR manager you have been communicating with and let them know that you would like to accept the position.
 

1. Send a Timely and Brief Email

When it comes time to write that email, don’t stress too much. Most recruiters and hiring managers aren’t looking for a formal acceptance letter, but it is important to send a clearly worded email that gets your message across. And if you’ve agreed on a timeline with the recruiter, be sure you send this email during the designated period. 

If you received a verbal offer either in person or over the phone, it may be OK to call the recruiter. But recruiters can be busy, so leaving a message and sending an email if they miss your call may be best to ensure your acceptance confirmation doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.   

Example: “I’m happy to officially accept the offer.”

 

2. Confirm the Offer Details and Your Excitement About the Role

In your email, you should thank the recruiter or HR manager for answering your questions about the role. If you negotiated the terms of the offer, it may be helpful to reiterate the terms of the offer for clarification. Lastly, you should express your eagerness to start the job. You want the tone of this email to be positive, upbeat and energetic. This is an important relationship, and it’s important to start it off on the right foot.

If this conversation is happening in person or over the phone, be sure to use the appropriate verbal and visual cues to signal your eagerness. A flat tone or lack of facial expressions may conflict with even positive words, so don’t leave any doubt in the minds of recruiters that you’re ready to take on your new role. 

Example: “As we discussed, my starting salary is X, my signing bonus is Y and my start date is Z. I’m very much looking forward to joining the team and getting started!”

 

3. Officially Accept the Offer and Prepare for Next Steps

At that point, the recruiter or HR manager will typically email you the offer letter so you can add your electronic signature. Once you sign the offer, the company will then be in touch with details about the onboarding process and any steps you will need to take before your first day.

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Job Offer Acceptance Letter Examples

Offer Acceptance Letter for Candidates Who Negotiated Their Offer

Subject: [Your name] - Accepting Updated Offer for [Position]

Dear [Name of Recruiter or Hiring Manager],

Thank you for offering me the opportunity to join [Company Name] as a [Job Title]. I accept your offer, and I am looking forward to getting started on [Start Date]. 

Thank you for all of the work you put into developing an offer that all parties could agree on. As we discussed, my salary will be [Dollar Amount], and I will receive [Negotiated Benefits].

I am excited by everything I have learned about [Company Name] throughout the interview process, and I am looking forward to joining the team! Please let me know if there is any more information you need from me before my start date.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

 

Offer Acceptance Letter for Candidates Who Didn’t Negotiate Their Offer

Subject: [Your name] - Accepting Offer for [Position]

Dear [Name of Recruiter or Hiring Manager],

Thank you for offering me the opportunity to join [Company Name] as a [Job Title]. I accept your offer, and I am looking forward to getting started on [Start Date]. 

I am excited by everything I have learned about [Company Name] throughout the interview process, and I am looking forward to joining the team and getting started! 

Sincerely,

[Your Name]​

 

Frequently Asked Questions

No. It’s best to take some time to research salary trends and prepare additional questions. This way, you can clarify any details about the role and negotiate a salary and benefits package that take into account the value you bring to the company.

Yes. You want to start the relationship with your new company on a positive note, so be sure to express gratitude and excitement upon accepting a job offer.

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