How To Accept a Job Offer (With Steps, Example and Tips)

Updated October 16, 2023

Congratulations! You’ve made it through the interview process and received a job offer that you are ready to accept. While you may be anxious to secure the role and move forward with your exciting new opportunity, there are still a few steps you can take during the acceptance process to ensure there’s no confusion on either end and that you’re getting everything you expect out of the offer.

In this article, we explain what to do before accepting a job offer, and we offer an example job acceptance letter and tips on what to do after you accept the opportunity.

Key takeaways:

  • Before accepting a job offer, review the offer carefully and negotiate any additional terms before signing.

  • When you do accept a job offer, clarify the terms of the offer and express your thanks and excitement in your response.

  • After you've accepted a job offer, coordinate with your new employer on paperwork and the onboarding process for day one.

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Before accepting a job offer

During the offer process, there are a few standard steps you can expect, including an offer notification, verbal or initial offer and a final offer. Wait times between your last interview and job offer conversations vary, but following up if you haven’t heard back in at least three business days is acceptable—unless they have given you a timeline for the next steps.

The first (often more informal) job offer will likely come in the form of a phone call or an email. After that first conversation, you should receive a formal communication containing your official job offer. If the offer looks good as-is, you’ll move into the acceptance communications. If the offer doesn't, use this time to negotiate. Let’s take a closer look at each of the phases:

Informal offer

This communication often comes as a supposition, meaning they’ll prompt you to tell them exactly what you need from them to accept an offer. Be prepared to discuss items like salary, benefits, working hours and any other needs you may have in the new job.

Official offer

After your initial informal conversations, you should then receive an official offer. If the job offer comes in a phone call, ask for a written document that you can review, as well. You must get all the details of the job offer in writing—both to make the offer official and to fully understand the expectations of your role, pay, start date and benefits.

Related: How To Ask for Time To Consider a Job Offer

Prepare to negotiate the offer

Negotiating the terms of an offer is a common part of the job acceptance process. If the employer offers up details about salary and/or benefits in the initial, more informal portion of the job offer process, use that time to negotiate before they’ve drafted your formal offer letter.

If you’re seeing the details of your job offer for the first time in the official job offer letter and decide there are one or more change(s) you'd like to request, contact the employer to set up a time to talk, rather than simply sending a counteroffer letter. You can keep this simple like:

“I’ve reviewed the offer and I would like to discuss the details more carefully. When can we set up a time to meet?”

When the employer comes back with their decision, don’t opt for another negotiation. If they’ve agreed to your request(s) and you’re comfortable with the new terms, express your appreciation and intent to accept and sign the offer as soon as possible. If they decline your requests, politely thank them for considering and reflect on whether or not the offer is acceptable as-is.

Related: 12 Questions To Ask During Job Offer Negotiation

Accepting the job offer

Follow these steps when accepting a job offer:

1. Be timely in your response

After you’ve received the official offer, it's time to figure out exactly how to respond. It’s always best to be timely in your response to a job offer. Be sure to send a note upon receiving the offer stating the steps you’re taking and when they can expect a reply.

Express your appreciation and ask for a timeframe for when they’ll need your response. This can be simple, like, “Thank you for the offer, I’m looking forward to reviewing the terms. When do you need a response?

Related: Interview Question: "When Can You Start?"

2. Officially accept the job offer

After you’ve carefully reviewed the offer terms and are ready to accept, begin drafting your reply. If you’re wondering how to begin your response, look at communications from the employer and follow the same tone. In your acceptance:

  • Choose a clear subject line: Make the subject line of your job acceptance email clear and easy to find, like “Job Offer Acceptance – Shay Garcia.

  • Express your thanks: Start your job acceptance letter by expressing your gratitude for the opportunity. For example, "I would like to thank you for this opportunity to join your company as a [job title]."

  • Officially accept the job offer: Then, clearly explain that you officially accept the company’s offer of employment.

  • Restate the final offer details: Next, confirm the details of the job offer you're accepting. This can include your expected title and a summary of the salary and benefits you’ve agreed to.

  • Confirm your start date: List your start date as you understand it to be. For example, "I look forward to joining the team next Monday, September 26."

  • Conclude with good wishes: At this point, also ask any questions you have ahead of your start date, such as any paperwork you might need to complete before your first day. End your job acceptance email again with your appreciation, like, "Thank you once more for this opportunity. I look forward to working alongside you."

Related: Tips For Handling Multiple Job Offers

3. Proofread your response

Be sure to review your job acceptance response several times to spot any errors. It’s always helpful to again enlist a friend or a mentor to help in this process so as to ensure you get your new opportunity off to a great start.

Related: How To Decline a Job Offer (With Email Examples)

Job offer acceptance letter sample

Here’s an example of a job acceptance letter or email:

Dear Mindy,

I appreciate your call and for accommodating my request for a written offer. I’m writing to formally accept your offer for the Finance Associate position at River Tech.

As discussed, my starting salary will be $55,400 per year with three weeks of paid vacation. I understand that my health, dental and vision plans will begin upon the start date with the option of a flexible spending account.

I look forward to joining the team next Monday, July 20. If there are any documents or other information I should come prepared with on my first day, please let me know. My sincerest appreciation again for the opportunity—I can’t wait to get started!

Thanks again,

The back-and-forth communication you'll have from the initial offer to the final acceptance can be confusing, so if you have any questions along the way, ask the employer during the job offer phase. They will want to ensure you’re clear on the offer and accept as soon as possible, so they’ll be eager to answer any questions you may have.

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Tips after accepting a job offer

After you’ve finalized the deal, the next steps include tying up loose ends with your former employer and preparing for your first day. Before you put in your two weeks notice (or another timeframe per your company’s policy), make sure you’ve done all of the following:

  • Formally accepted the written job offer letter with a confirmed start date

  • Signed any documents from the new employer that make your offer official

  • Cleared any final steps like reference conversations or background checks

Your new employer should be eager to help you however they can so don’t hesitate to reach out and ask about the status of any of these things. Do so with a simple, concise question, such as, “Is there anything I should wait for or complete before informing my current employer of my planned departure?

Related: How To Find a New Job While Employed

After you've informed your current employer about your resignation, it's now time to prepare for your first day at your new job. Though you’ll likely receive communications from your new employer about how to prepare for your first day, here are a few things to consider as you start your new job:

  • Onboarding paperwork you need to complete before the start date

  • Orientation details

  • Items you should come prepared with

Related: 18 Things To Bring to Your First Day of Work

Frequently asked questions

Should you accept a job offer immediately?

It's a good idea to respond to job offers in a timely manner. This doesn't always mean that you have to accept your job offer immediately. In most cases, it's helpful to wait one or two days to offer a response. Waiting allows you to field other offers and gives you time to review the terms of the offer and identify potential issues. 

You may want to accept a job offer immediately if you've secured your dream career. Although many job offers come in writing, you may receive some in person or over the phone. This may present more pressure, so you can ask for time so you can consider the offer.

What should I look for in a job offer?

Before you accept any job offers, it's important to review the terms of the agreement closely. In some cases, there may be terms that don't match your expectations. Here are some details to consider before accepting a new position:

  • Ensure that the salary is what you expected or originally discussed with the recruiter.

  • Make sure that there's clarity regarding your job duties, compensation and benefits.

  • Be aware if there's pressure on you to accept the job immediately.

  • Ensure that there's a clear path for professional advancement.

  • Take note if the company is experiencing high turnover.

How long do I have to accept a job offer?

The amount of time you have to accept a job offer may vary widely based on the company you apply to. In most cases, recruiters give their candidates a clear timeline, often a week or sometimes two. Although it's OK to use the allotted time, try to respond quickly when possible. This shows consideration for the recruiter's time and allows them to look for new candidates quickly if you decline the offer.

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