Responding to Offers
An Employer Has Extended You an Offer….Now What?
Please Keep in Mind…
- A verbal acceptance of a job offer is as good as written. Be sure before accepting an offer, even verbally, that this is the job you want. An employer should give you a specific amount of time for you to make an informed decision.
- Avoid accepting an offer that you are not interested in for the sole reason of having something lined up while you continue your search for your ideal position. This is not only unethical, but can harm your reputation and can land you in a tricky position.
Accepting an Offer
When you have accepted an offer:
- Please notify other prospective employers that you are no longer a candidate. Phone employers to cancel any upcoming interviews, simply explain that you have accepted another job offer.
- With that…NEVER back out of an offer after accepting. This is called reneging and is unethical and inappropriate. It is disturbing to employers, reflects poorly on you as well as on Babson overall.
- If you ever get in to a difficult situation or if you are unsure about an offer you have accepted, please talk to a counselor in CCD who can help you sort it out.
Components of an Acceptance Letter
When should I send an acceptance letter?
Though not always required, a letter of acceptance can be sent as a follow-up to a verbal acceptance of an offer. Typically a formal offer is accompanied by a letter which requires the candidate’s signature as an acceptance of the position. In the absence of a required signature, an acceptance letter will serve as an official acceptance of the position. This can also serve as a thank you letter once the entire hiring process is complete and is a detail that is sure to be appreciated by the employer.
What should be included in the acceptance letter?
The opening paragraph should state why you are writing (to accept a position) and refer to the specific title, department, and office location, if applicable, of the position you are accepting. Your next paragraph should reiterate your enthusiasm for the position and confirm your start date as well as any additional details discussed. Thank the employer for the opportunity. Finally, provide your contact information for the period between now and when you will start to work so you can be contacted with any relevant information or paperwork.
Declining an Offer
If you decline an offer, it is appropriate for you to first phone the employer to let them know and then follow up in writing. You do not have to give any details about your reasoning for declining the offer, often saying that your decision was based on the fact that another opportunity seems to be a better fit for your interests and goals is enough! It is not necessary for you to disclose whose offer (if any!) that you accepted, but you may do so if you would like! Maintain professionalism at all times…this employer may be a great contact for you in the future.
Letter of Withdrawal/Declining an Offer
When should I send a letter of withdrawal?
Once you accept a position (written or verbal), you should withdraw from all other job opportunities. This can be done with a simple letter written to the hiring manager to follow your phone call.
Why do I need to send a letter of withdrawal?
Please note that if you have established a rapport with the company and they have invested time and money in your candidacy, all correspondence should be initiated via telephone. The letter can then serve as official confirmation. A letter of withdrawal is an opportunity to show an employer that you are sincere and appreciated their time. What should I include in a letter of withdrawal? The opening paragraph should state why you are writing (to withdraw your application). Your next paragraph should explain that you appreciate their consideration but have recently accepted another position. It is not necessary for you to disclose whose offer (if any!) you have accepted, but you may do so if you would like. Thank the contact for their time.
Requesting an Extension to Make Your Decision…
Generally an employer will give you at least a week to make a decision about an offer. If you need more time to make an informed decision keep in mind the following pieces of advice:
- Do not request an extension on the day of your deadline. It is best to let the employer know a day in advance before the deadline that you are requesting an extension.
- Keep in mind that you may ask for more time…but you may not receive it.
It is best to phone your contact to make this request and then follow up in a confirmation email. Here is what you may want to include in your request for a deadline extension:
- Reinforce your interest in the firm and position.
- State that this is a very important decision, and you do not feel you have all the information to make an informed decision by the deadline.
- You are asking him/her to consider the possibility of extending the deadline for a decision to (give a new date).
- Let them know if you need additional information from them that will help you make an informed decision.
- Thank them for their consideration of your request.
Juggling Employment Offers - You have one offer…but are waiting to hear from another.
Oftentimes you will be extended an offer for employment with a firm as you are in the process of interviewing with another firm. This is a difficult situation that you have to tackle with care. Here is an example of the situation and some best practices. As always, if you need more help with these difficult situations please meet with a career counselor in CCD.
You have received an offer from Employer A that seems like a great opportunity, the only problem is that you are anxiously waiting to hear back from Employer B whom you just completed the interview process with B really seems like it will be an even better fit and opportunity for you to consider. What do you do to be sure you do not miss a deadline for A while waiting to hear the decision from B?
First, call your contact at Employer B and let them know that you have received an offer from another organization that you are considering. You are calling to follow up to see where they are with their evaluation process as Employer B is where you want to work, however you have to be respectful as Employer A as a deadline of (fill in the blank) and you would like to know if there is any possibly that you can have additional information from them before the other’s deadline. If it is not possible, then find out from B when you can expect to hear a decision.
Next, call Employer A to reaffirm your interest in the position and appreciation for the offer. Let them know that at this time you do not have all the information you need to make an informed decision and are requesting a deadline extension (ideally after Employer B’s decision).
Overall, you are trying to push along the timeline and get a better idea of where you stand with Employer B while keeping Employer A informed and updated on your decision process. While you do this, maintain professionalism and be honest with each employer. You will gain some time to make an informed decision, and the employers will appreciate your open communication.