There’s a rush of hope that comes with receiving a job offer in your email. It could be your dream job, or it could be a mediocre offer, indicating that your job search isn’t over yet. Either way, you’ll need to inform the company of your decision.

Depending on the offer, your response will be one of four options: acceptance, rejection, negotiation, or consideration. While making a decision may come easily to you, expressing yourself professionally may not. Let’s take a look at how to respond to a job offer in each of the four scenarios.


1. How to Ask for More Time to Consider a Job Offer


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You’ll typically get the initial job offer over the phone—this is referred to as a “verbal”. But you’re not expected to give an answer at that point—so don’t feel pressured to. Thank the employer for the offer, and let them know that you’ll send in your response soon.

Sometimes, the hiring manager will tell you if they expect an answer by a certain date. If they don’t give you specifics, you may want to ask when they’d like your answer. One week is the standard duration to consider a job offer.

Following the verbal, you’ll receive an email with the formal written offer, which will include more details about the job, as well as information on compensation and benefits. You can then respond to the written offer with your own email when you’re ready.

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If you’d like to take some time to consider the offer, write back something like this:

Dear [Recipient Name],

Thank you for sharing the details of the offer for the Product Manager position.

I hate to delay my formal response to the job offer, but I am carefully considering the terms and would need a few days before responding. Could I get back to you on the offer by the 18th?

Thanks in advance.

Kind regards,

[Your Name]

How to Ask for More Information About a Job Offer


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Some companies will send you enough information about the job to allow you to make a quick decision. But many don’t—and you’ll need to write them to ask for more details before making your final decision.

Here’s what such an email would look like:

Hello [Recipient Name],

Thank you for considering me for the position of Sales Manager. I enjoyed the interview process, and I am looking forward to becoming a part of the team!

I had a few questions after reviewing the offer that I wanted to run by you, particularly about the health insurance and paid leave. Is this something you’d be able to talk about soon? I’d really appreciate clarification of those terms, and I’m free to jump on a call at your earliest convenience. I’m free most afternoons around 2pm.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

2. How to Negotiate a Job Offer


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If the terms of the offer are not satisfactory for you, don’t hesitate to negotiate. Accepting an underpaying job will take a toll on your mental health and career growth in the long run, so do yourself a solid and demand what you deserve.

Related: What Is Career Stagnation and How Can You Overcome It?

Most times, negotiating will happen over the phone with details confirmed via email, but you’d have to start the conversation by sending an email. Here’s how that would look:

Hello [Recipient Name],

Thanks again for sharing the details of the offer with me earlier. Working with Apex is something that I’ve worked towards for a while, and I’m excited at the prospect of joining the team.

However, I have a few questions about the compensation package and would like to know when you would be available to talk about it.

Do let me know. Thanks for your help in advance.

Best,

[Your Name]

You may decide to state your intention to negotiate outright, but it’s certainly more tasteful to be a little… diplomatic.

How to Negotiate When You Have Another Job Offer


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If you sent out numerous applications, you may get more than one job offer around the same time. It’s important to mention it to both employers, but do it in a neutral, tactful manner. It’ll speed up the entire process of wrapping things up and put you in a better position to negotiate more favorable terms.

Here’s what such an email would look like:

Hi [Recipient Name],

I was thrilled to receive the offer for the role of Backend Developer at [Company Name]. Thank you for the smooth interview process and your patience with addressing all my concerns.

I wanted to let you know that I received another job offer unexpectedly this week, and while that position appeals to me as well, working with you would be my first choice. However, the salary offered was significantly higher than this offer. And that is making my decision difficult.

Is there any room for negotiation when it comes to the salary and benefits?

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

If the company realizes how valuable you are, they’ll readjust their package and present a counter-offer. If not, it’s up to you to make a decision on what’s best for your career—the lesser offer may present a better chance of career growth or have great learning opportunities. It all depends on what’s important to you at this time in your career.

3. How to Accept a Job Offer

If you decide to accept a job offer, keep your email short and straightforward. You want to thank the employer for the offer, then include a clear acceptance of the job offer. Also, mention the confirmation of the agreed job title and start date, and finish off with a question about the next steps.

Write back something like this:

Hello [Recipient Name],

Thank you once more for sharing the offer’s details with me earlier. I’ve gone over the terms and am thrilled to join your company as a content strategist. I’m really excited about this opportunity and can’t wait to start on February 7th!

Please let me know what the next steps are and if you require any additional documentation or information from me.

Best,

[Your Name]

Make sure to check these employer red flags before accepting the job offer.

4. How to Decline a Job Offer


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After careful consideration, if you decide that a job offer isn’t right for you, you should inform the employer. This may not be the easiest thing to articulate—rejection is painful no matter which side you’re on. Even if you believe an employer went to great lengths to sell you the job, “no” is a part of the job search process for both parties.

Related: How to Respond to Recruiters When You’re Not Interested

Keep the email short and polite—you want to sound grateful, but you don’t need to go into great detail about why you’re rejecting the offer. End with a request to stay in touch.

Here’s an example:

Hello [Recipient Name],

Thank you once again for allowing me to meet the team last week. It was great to learn more about the Growth Strategist position, and I was thrilled to be offered the job. However, after much thought, I’ve decided that this position isn’t the best fit for my career goals at this time.

It’s been a pleasure getting to know you, and I hope we’ll be able to collaborate again in the future. Please keep in touch!

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

One Email Closer to Your Dream Job

It’s super important to be professional with your responses to employers. Whatever your response is, with the help of this article, rest assured that it’ll be well-articulated.

You may want to hone your written skills so that you’ll be better equipped to write emails, memos, and letters when the need arises.


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