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How to Handle a Job Offer

by Alison Adkins
Date: Oct 2016
You’ve been working hard over these last few weeks. You’ve sifted through hundreds of job descriptions on multiple job boards, you’ve tweaked your CV countless times, made follow-up phonecalls, sat through various interview stages, and now, finally, you’ve been handed a job offer. What now? Here are a few dos and don’ts for handling this opportunity.

DO – Acknowledge the offer as soon as possible, and thank the company, whether you know yet if you’re going to accept or not. Until you are sitting at your new desk on day 1, nothing is set in stone and it’s important to maintain a positive and professional relationship with your potential new employer.

DO – Ask for the offer in writing. More often than not, the initial offer will be made over the telephone in a more informal manner. It’s certainly not out of the ordinary to ask for a written copy of your job offer to look over before you accept the role.

DO – Negotiate the package if necessary. If you’ve been offered a lower salary than you expected, don’t be afraid to negotiate, but first ensure you have the confidence in yourself and your abilities to explain why you deserve more. Also, be ready to accept the job offer if your terms are met.

DO – Respond within a reasonable time frame, regardless of whether you want to accept the role or not. It’s a small world, you don’t want to taint any professional relationships you’ve built, in case you come across these people again in the future.

DON’T – Accept the role on the spot. You may be thinking that this is your dream job with a great salary, but for your own sake, make sure you review the offer in detail first, just to be sure.

DON’T – Focus solely on the salary. Perhaps it’s your reason for leaving your current employer in the first place, but there are other factors to take into consideration, especially if the salary offered is lower than what you earned previously. Is the commute any better? Does the company offer flexible working hours? What are the opportunities for internal promotions?

DON’T – Play offers against each other. If you’re in the incredibly lucky situation to have more than one job offer to consider, shopping around and acting non-committal gives the idea you are not fully interested in the role, and you run the risk of both being withdrawn.

Finally, don’t panic! This is a fantastic time in your career and you should feel extremely proud of yourself. If you’re starting to worry about how your current employer will react to you handing in your notice in the morning, have a read of our Receiving a Counter-Offer advice page.

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