You’re almost done! After fine-tuning your resume, waiting for a response, and impressing your interviewer, you’ve finally received an offer letter. You may be tempted to accept the job offer immediately. Before you do, consider these tips:
1. Find out how much time you have to respond
Before doing anything, ask how much time you have to give a final answer. If they rush you and say it needs to be immediate, that’s a bad sign. Responsible employers will give you at least a day or two to make your decision. This shows they want you to make an informed decision.
2. Express your excitement
Always, always, always be excited when you receive a job offer! A prospective employer should never doubt that you’re enthusiastic about joining the team. Even if you plan to negotiate, share your excitement first and then move on to the negotiation phase.
3. Make sure you understand everything
Don’t let your pride get in the way of asking for clarification regarding the contract. It’s crucial that you know what you are agreeing to when you sign on the dotted line. Ask specific questions — this is your responsibility!
4. Be honest about other job offers
If you have other job offers or interviews within the next few weeks of receiving an offer, mention it to the employer. Honesty is the best policy in this case. This will show that you are a desirable candidate. More importantly, it will show you care about their time as well.
5. Balance salary with other perks
If the stated salary ended up being lower than you had hoped, consider negotiating for other perks. Think about things like flexible work hours, employee profit sharing, relocation assistance, or the ability to work remotely.
Remember to confirm that your salary is comparable with similar positions in the area.
6. Ask about the benefits
Ask about the employer’s benefits package assuming it was not mentioned in the job offer. Some companies will thoroughly explain any benefits package, some will not. Others won’t have a benefits package.
7. Don’t forget about retirement
Great retirement plans can significantly increase the value of a job offer. Should your prospective employer offer a retirement plan, review it! Keep the quality of the plan in mind as you make your decision.
8. Talk to your future supervisor
Spend some time talking to your future supervisor before you accept the job offer. A supervisor can be a make or break for your enjoyment at work. Keep the conversation light, asking questions that will shed some light on his or her idea of a working relationship.
9. Gauge the office culture
A positive office culture is crucial. Although you may not be able to see it directly, do your research. Try to ask someone who works at the business what it’s like.
Check out any social media profiles they may have. Look on review websites like Glassdoor or Yelp. Look up employees on LinkedIn. Look for a low turnover rate, that’s usually a good sign!
10. Ask about your responsibilities
Before you accept the offer, thoroughly discuss your responsibilities with your supervisor. The more detailed the conversation, the more information you’ll have to make the right decision.
11. Agree on the job title
Have you discussed your new job title? This detail is important because it ends up on your resume for the rest of your career. Make sure your job title is accurate and encompasses the work you will be doing, while also helping you enhance your professional goals.
12. Review the job description
Ensure that you get a physical copy of the job description to review. Read through it at home when you can be relaxed and focus on the details. If there are any discrepancies between what you discussed with the company and what you read, bring it up! It may be a simple mistake, but it could also reveal red flags.
13. Don’t forget about your goals
When someone asks you about this job, are you genuinely excited? Don’t get caught up in the excitement of the offer, only to be let down by the job.
Take a moment to remember your career goals. Does this position help to advance your career? Take at least a few hours, if not a few days, to consider this important question.
14. Ask for a formal offer letter
Ask for a formal offer letter, including the salary. Keeping everything in writing is always a good move in the professional world. Keep a copy on file in case you ever need to review it.
15. Negotiate your final offer
You should always anticipate negotiating your final offer. In fact, many companies will expect candidates to negotiate. Show the company that you can be decisive, confident, and reasonable. Not only will you potentially get a better offer, but you’ll reaffirm their hiring decision.
16. Present a counter offer (if necessary)
Far too often you’ll find yourself in this situation: you love the company and the job, but the offer and benefits are on the low end. Should you take the offer and start the job? No!
Present a counter offer. Pro-tip: include data about market rate salaries in your counter offer to show you are being reasonable and analytical.
17. Ask yourself: is the commute worth it?
If you get a job offer in a different city from where you live, take all factors into account. What is the traffic like during the weekdays? How will it affect your daily routine? Don’t let something like an unexpected commute ruin your new job. Think about it first.
18. Consider the timing
Think about how much time you will need between accepting the offer and starting the job. Do you have to relocate for the job? Do you have to give a two weeks notice at your current job? Discuss these things with your new employer before you accept the offer.
Ask the employer how long they usually allow between the acceptance and start date. Not only will it affect your decision, but it could also impact their onboarding plans.
19. Trust your gut
At the end of the day, trust your gut. Can you see yourself happily working at this employer? Can you stand behind the company values? If you can’t, it may not be the place for you, even if everything else lines up.
20. Ask about the next steps
Once you have accepted the job offer, follow up and ask about next steps. Is there onboarding paperwork to complete? Is there an orientation? How can you best prepare for your first week? This will show that you are proactive and excited to get to work!
21. Send thank-you letters
One of the best decisions you can make is to send thank-you letters to everyone you talked to during the interview process. As soon as you accept your offer, send letters to show your appreciation for this opportunity. This shows your new coworkers that you have gratitude and respect.