Dos and don’ts of handling a job offer

So you’ve done all the hard work, all the trawling through job descriptions, signing up to various job sites, applying, buying a new suit, attending several interviews and now you’re at the point of receiving an offer – now is not the time to mess it up. And whilst it may seem simple, there are certain rules you should play by when handling your offer.

DO – Know your manners

The first thing you need to do is say thank you, regardless of whether or not you’re taking the company up on their offer. Ensure they know how much you appreciate them putting the time and effort in to choosing you as their ideal candidate and offering you the job.

DON’T – Accept on the spot

If it’s a job you really want it can be difficult to not bite their hand off and accept right there and then, but its important to take the time to review the offer in detail first.

DO – Ask for the offer in writing

Nowadays, you’ll often receive the job offer via telephone from either the recruitment agencies or even the company themselves, presenting the offer in a more informal and personable way than we’re perhaps used to.

So take your time, express gratitude and state that you wish to first see the offer in writing – that way there’s no nasty surprises.

Ensure you have all the details of the role and what it entails in writing. This will then give you the opportunity to formally ask any questions concerning aspects of the business or role you’re unsure of before taking up the offer.

DON’T – Solely focus on salary

It’s probably the reason you’re moving jobs or taking up the job in the first place, but don’t let it rule your decision. Review the rest of the package alongside the salary as there may be other factors to consider.

Think about whether or not the position will advance your career. Does the culture of the company appeal to you? Will you be able to thrive at this company and in the role? Weigh up the pros against the cons to ensure you are making an informed decision.

DO – Respond within 48 hours

Most employers will have no problem granting this amount of time for a well informed decision. If you ask for the time to think, just make sure you can give a firm yes or no when the time is up.

DON’T – Shop around

Don’t be non-committal or try to play offers against each other as this can be a frustrating to your future employer and by not giving a definite yes or no, you could give the company the idea you’re shopping around or are no longer interested in the offer.

DO – Negotiate where necessary

If there are aspects of the role you need to negotiate, first ensure you are confident in your abilities and are ready to justify your reasons if asked. If you deserve a higher salary or flexible hours, ask the question before you accept the offer.

Should this be something you’re looking to do, make sure you’re ready to accept the job offer should they agree to your terms.