Congratulations! After all that searching, applying, and interviewing, you’ve received a job offer. We get it—you don’t want to drop the ball now with a hastily-written acceptance email.
While it may be tempting to take a big sigh of relief and relax, it is still important to respond in a prompt and professional manner. So, how do you accept a job offer via email?
What a Written Offer Includes
Many employers will give you a call to tell you that you got the job prior to sending the written offer. Afterward, they will most likely follow up with the “official” written offer via email. Remember, it is not official until the job offer is in writing.
The official written offer will most likely include the terms of employment that will be in your contract, such as the starting salary, benefits, start date, and other details of that nature.
It is not uncommon for the formal offer to come before the contract. It is up to you to accept the official offer with an official correspondence.
How to Write the Acceptance Email
While you can tailor it to your personal circumstances, there are some key things to include in your offer acceptance email.
Address the Correct People It’s nice to make the email specific to whom it will be going to. It makes it more personable and shows you were present throughout the interview process and know who you’re communicating with.
Use the Correct Tone Using the correct tone starts right off the bat with the salutation. Read the room during your interview, and look at the tone of the offer letter. Use your observations from these to match the vibe and tone in your response.
For example, some companies will love your exclamation points, and other workplaces will not.
Show Gratitude No matter the offer, it is important to properly thank them for the offer or opportunity. This still applies even if you are turning down the offer or did not get one.
State Your Acceptance When accepting the offer, include terms in your acceptance from the contract such as job title, salary, benefits, and start date. If you want to negotiate anything in the contract, give them a call before writing the official acceptance in an email. Talking on the phone will resolve negotiations much quicker and then it can all be summarized in a follow-up email after.
Proofread Your Email Always proofread your professional emails to make sure they are grammatically-correct and error-free. You want your future employer to see that you are grown up and professional—even if this is an entry-level position.
You don’t have to know about hanging prepositions, but you do need to use the right there/their/they’re. If you’re in a writing job, it better be especially perfect.
Struggle with grammar and punctuation? Don’t be afraid to take advantage of the many grammar tools online, such as Grammarly and Writer. You can also call in a grammar-savvy friend or family member to give the email a once-over. Even when you’ve got the writing skills, a grammar check never hurts.
What If I Need to Negotiate Terms?
If you need to negotiate terms of your employment contract, you can do it over email, but a phone call will sort it out much faster. Give them a call or send them a quick email requesting to schedule a call to discuss the terms of the contract.
Once you’ve talked with them again, they will send you a revised contract or written offer to match what was agreed upon. It can be a little scary to negotiate, but you can do it. After you’ve received the revised offer, then you send the official acceptance email.
What If I Don’t Want to Accept the Job?
Just as getting rejected as a job seeker is a part of the process, so is getting rejected as an employer. If you don’t want to accept a job offer, that’s okay, as long as you communicate it. What is not okay is ghosting the employer because you don’t want to have a difficult conversation or disappoint anyone.
It’s not just about politeness, either. You never know if you’ll come in professional contact with this business or someone who works there in the future. It’s best not to burn bridges, even when you choose to go a different direction.
Politely communicate with the employer that you will not be accepting the offer by still addressing the proper people, matching the tone, and expressing your gratitude for the opportunity.
“I’m declining this offer and pursuing other opportunities.”
“I’ve decided this is not the career move for me.”
You don’t have to put a reason for your decision, but if you do, keep it short and sweet.
After you’ve officially accepted the job, the employer will likely follow up with more details about what you need for your first day, where to go, etc. It’s likely you’ll have more paperwork to sign, but they may send it electronically for you to complete at your convenience prior to starting.
After all that, you finally get to join the team and start at your exciting new job!
Talk to the REDC at Yavapai College for More Career Advice
No matter what stage of the job search or your career you’re in, the Regional Economic Development Center (REDC) at Yavapai College is the place for advice, learning, and growth. The REDC is a resource center dedicated to cultivating the professional growth for the individual, businesses, and the community in Yavapai County, Arizona and beyond.
We provide access to advice, education, and opportunities for free or affordable prices. If you’re looking for a job or just received that offer you’ve been waiting for, we can help you.