It's almost official: You've just received an offer for that great job you interviewed for. While your hiring becomes official when you sign the employment contract, writing a job acceptance letter helps set a polite and professional tone with your new employer.
An acceptance letter is not legally binding in the way signing an employment contract is. While you can still decide to turn down the job after you send the letter, it's not particularly professional to do so, so make sure to take some steps first.
Reviewing the Job Offer
Before you do anything else, carefully read through the job offer. Even if it's your dream job, you need to consider aspects such as the salary, the start date, and benefits, including vacation time.
If the offer includes a description of the job, make sure it's the position and title you interviewed for. Now is also the time to review any conditions mentioned in the offer. For example, if the offer states that you are required to work from the employer's offices and you'd like to have the option to work from home once a month, you should prepare to negotiate this point before you accept the offer.
Negotiating Before You Accept
When you formally accept a job by sending a letter, you are indicating to your new employer that you're happy with the terms they've offered. So if there are any changes you'd like to make, now is the time to bring them up. While you can still try to change any terms after you've sent the letter, you have a better chance of negotiating if you address your needs beforehand—plus you'll come across as more professional to your new employer.
Start by setting up a time to discuss the offer details. During the discussion, be clear about what you'd like changed. For example, if you're looking for a higher salary, give the employer a specific salary range. Even if the employer denies your request, the offer for the job itself should still be on the table, so you can decide then whether you'd still like to accept the position as it was initially offered to you.
Writing the Job Acceptance Letter
Once you've decided you do want to accept the job, it's time to write the acceptance letter. In addition to being clear and fairly brief, your letter should contain the following:
- Gratitude for the job offer. Expressing your appreciation is a professional approach and is a gracious way to begin.
- Refer to the position you've been offered. Include a reference to the job title to make sure there's been no misunderstanding about the position itself.
- Your formal acceptance of the position. Clearly state that you are accepting the job.
- Summarize the details of the offer. This summary should include your starting salary, your start date, any benefits such as vacation time, and any changes based on your negotiations, to make sure there is no misunderstanding down the line.
It's exciting to receive a job offer. Sending a clear and concise job offer acceptance letter formalizes your confirmation and lets you put your best foot forward when it comes to starting in your new role.