Guide: Next Steps After You Got a Job Offer
Updated June 30, 2023
Receiving a job offer can be an exciting moment, especially if it took you weeks or months to get the offer. For this reason alone, it may be tempting to immediately accept a job offer when one is presented to you. However, before accepting any job offer, there are some things you should know.
In this article, we discuss job offers, the ways you can receive one, what to do once you get a job offer and tips to help you decide if you want to accept the offer or not.
What is a job offer?
A job offer is an invitation from an employer to work in a specific paid role. It's usually the last stage in the job search process. Job offers typically include the following details:
Terms and conditions
Role or position
Job description, duties and responsibilities
Time-off and leave
Expected work hours, schedule or shift
Reporting manager's name and title
Start date, duration of employment or contract period
Location(s) of work
Other relevant details of the employment
Methods for receiving a job offer
Generally, the channel used to extend a job offer will depend on the scope and complexity of the role. An employer may extend a job offer informally, through in-person conversation, a phone call or voicemail, while others may give an offer that is formally documented, like through an email or a letter that bears the company logo. Here are the different methods in more detail:
Job offer through voicemail
When you're offered a job through voicemail, make sure to listen to the voicemail carefully and take note of any important points. To ensure you have correctly understood and captured all details of the voicemail, listen to it at least twice.
If asked to call back, do so during the place of employment's business hours. Try to send an email to acknowledge that you received the voicemail and are eager for more details.
Job offer through phone call
If you receive a job offer over the phone, start the conversation by thanking the employer and expressing your excitement about being offered the position. Then, get as many details about the job being offered as possible.
f the employer seems reluctant to provide details during the phone call, request a follow-up email that outlines the details in-depth.
Keep in mind that until you have a job offer in writing, nothing is official. When you receive a phone call with an offer, it is not the time to negotiate. Start negotiations only after you receive all of the position's details in writing.
Job offer through email
If you receive a job offer through email, try to respond within 24 hours thanking the employer for the offer. Some employers will want to determine your response to the offer before providing details on the salary or deadline to revert.
So if the offer seems interesting to you, state this in your email and request further details. Inquire about how soon they need a response and any other deadlines you should be aware of to secure the position.
What to do once you get a job offer
While it is certainly good news that a company has expressed interest in hiring you, you should be cautious of your next steps. It is important that you know how to interact with your prospective employers now, before you officially accept the job.
Accepting a job offer on the spot isn't always the best move, and you need to know you're making the right choice before you give a verbal commitment and sign the job offer. Take these steps to help set yourself up for success:
1. Let the employer know you saw the job offer
Once you receive a job offer, show the prospective employer that you are excited about the position. How you respond to the offer will reveal your nature as an employee and lay the foundation for the development of your relationship with your new employer.
However, it's essential that you have enough time to review and understand the details of the offer so you can make a well-informed decision. Be wary of an employer who urges you to make an immediate decision.
Don't put off informing an employer of your decision to accept or reject the offer, as it could be rescinded before you do so.
2. Evaluate the job offer
After receiving a job offer, review the compensation, benefits, perks, leave and bonuses. Use online resources and tools to compare the salary being offered with those of similar roles in similar companies to determine if it is on par with market or industry standards.
Evaluate each perk to ensure it suits your needs. If, for instance, the salary is lower than your expectations but you'll have a decent paid vacation period and an option to work remotely, this could make the position still appealing. Find out if you have to complete any training, need certifications or if an examination or test is required before you can start work.
3. Provide a counteroffer
If the offer is below your expectations, consider negotiating with a counteroffer. Begin by thanking the employer for the offer and expressing your interest. Then, explain how your experience will be of value to the company and how you will contribute to the success of the company.
Next, provide a counteroffer based on your research and the prevailing market standards that demonstrates the salary range you feel is more suitable you and your experience level. However, be prepared for your counteroffer to be rejected by the company.
4. Inform other potential employers
If you applied to several companies and received multiple job offers, you will have to inform them when you decide to accept an offer from another company. Write a simple email stating that you sincerely appreciate the offer, but you wish to withdraw from being considered for the position, as you have accepted one at another organization.
5. Decline a job offer
Once you've decided to decline a job offer, write the employer an email thanking them for the offer, informing them politely that you cannot accept. While going into detail about your reasons for declining the position isn't necessary, sending an email helps you maintain a positive relationship with the employer in case you want to apply for another job with the same company in the future.
6. Send a thank-you email
Regardless of whether or not you decide to accept a job offer, sending an email of thanks to your prospective employer conveys that you have integrity. This makes a great impression on prospective employers and gives you an opportunity to confirm the details of your employment. The email will also serve to ready and finalize your paperwork before you formally join.
7. Avoid updating your job status online
You might be eager to update your job status on social media and professional networking websites. However, it is advisable that you wait until you have been with the new company for a while to ensure it is a good fit for you.
Considerations when weighing an offer
Before you sign anything to make a job offer official, consider the following tips:
Determine your market value
Do your research to find out what professionals with your education, experience and skills are worth using online resources. Make sure you're taking the entire offer into consideration, not just the take-home pay.
Assess the value of the job
Aside from compensation, think about the duties, responsibilities and exposure of the position you're considering. If the benefits of doing the job are valuable, it could be worth taking the position just for the learning opportunity or chance to network with others in your field.
For those who are relatively new to the workforce, it could be an essential step toward your dream job. So, carefully weigh the pros and cons of accepting the job offer before you reach a decision.
Research the company's reputation
By reading online reviews posted by current and previous employees, you can get a feel for a company's culture and reputation. This will help you determine how you will fit in as well as the company's employee turnover rate.
A company with a high employee turnover rate might not be one you want to work for, as a good employer has a more dedicated staff. If the company offers an excellent work-life balance and opportunities for personal growth and development along with the chance to work on exciting projects, a few hundred dollars in your take-home pay might be a small price to pay.
Regardless of the company's reputation, always conduct yourself in a professional manner, even if you decide to decline the offer.
Figure out your motivations
Whether it be money, location, flexible hours, the possibility for remote work, time spent commuting or the opportunity to work on interesting projects, know what motivates you. When you receive a job offer, determine whether the position will satisfy your needs or if you should wait for future opportunities.
A position that isn't challenging or interesting enough might not be appropriate for you, which means you'll need to keep looking for something that is a better fit. If the position is appropriate for you, then you can begin to evaluate the compensation package.
Ask about your background check and screenings
Find out about your background check and any required screenings needed for you to proceed with the employment process. In most cases, your identity, credentials, educational qualifications, previous employment and references will be scrutinized.
For certain jobs, you might have to pass a health or medical check-up to ensure you're in good physical condition, get a credit check to determine your financial position, show proof that you have the right to work in a particular country or prove that you have a work permit.
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