April 7, 2017, by Carla Froggatt
What You Need to Know About Accepting Job Offers from Companies
By Erica Sparkes, Employability Education Projects Officer – Placements
You have attended the interview, you may have even gone through an assessment centre, and finally after the hours you have put into your application, you have received an offer of employment. What a relief! Or is it?
Accepting an offer can be a tricky business. Your reputation and the reputation of the University could be on the line if you don’t handle the situation professionally. This is especially true in the situation where you are going to decline the offer.
Take some time to think
Recruiters are well aware that it is a competitive market. Once they decided to offer you a role, they may be quick to request a response from you. It might be tempting to accept your first offer, given the pressure you faced finding a role and the hard work you put into applying. However, it is critical you take your time to reflect on what decision is right for you.
Consider the following questions:
- Is this your preferred job or employer?
- Did they make a good impression on you at interview?
- Is this the only company you’ve applied to?
- Is this the only company you are waiting to hear back from?
- Is this the right job for you?
If the answer to the above questions is a resounding ‘Yes,’ then congratulations it’s time to accept the offer. This will be verbally – over the telephone or in person – and formally in writing – either via email on in an acceptance letter.
What to do if you’re not sure
However, what do you do if your answer to any of the above questions is ‘No’? Maybe you’re just not sure and need help making the decision At this point, you need to speak to either a member of the Careers and Employability Service or the contact in your School.
It might be that you have attended a number of interviews and your preferred employer is taking their time in making a decision. In this case, it may be appropriate to delay responding to the first offer for a short time in order to allow to you consider your decision further.
I think I’ve made the wrong decision– what next?
Once you have accepted a job within a company you have made a commitment to join that organisation. Your formal acceptance should be final. If you decide you need to go back on your decision then you need to handle this carefully. You must communicate this to the employer in a way that does not damage your future career prospects with them. What’s more, the network between employers in some industries is really small. You don’t want to find that future doors are closed to you because of handling a job offer unprofessionally in the past. Need help handling a tricky conversation? Careers are here to help.