How to Respond to a Job Offer [Accept, Reject, or Negotiate Terms]

Wondering how to respond to a job offer? In this post, we give you examples of how to accept, reject, and negotiate job offers easily and effectively. Read on below!

That moment you’ve waited weeks or months for has finally come: the hiring manager has sent you an offer for the job.

Congratulations to you! 🎉

Are you wondering now exactly how to respond to a job offer?

You’re in luck.

In this quick guide, we’ll show you how to accept a job offer correctly, along with examples of an offer acceptance email and physical letters, as well. On top of that, you’ll see a sample reply when you need to negotiate a bit more, whether it’s your salary, employment conditions, or start date. And finally, we’ll also show you how to reject a job offer, in case that’s how you want to respond.

💡 Before We Get Started:

What is a job offer, exactly? A job offer is a formal employment proposal from the company indicating they would like to hire you for the position. It will usually come in the form of an email these days, though you may get an informal job offer via word of mouth when speaking to them on the phone. A job offer is not your employment contract, but, if you accept the job offer, that will be the next official document you receive! For more job definitions, check out our career glossary.


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Now, let’s get to it!

Here’s how to respond to a job offer in three ways (acceptance, rejection, and negotiation):

How to Accept a Job Offer

Since a job offer is a formal affair, your employment acceptance letter should be formal, as well.

While you can accept their offer by phone or face-to-face, it’s good to also have a formal job acceptance letter, whether a typed, physical letter or as an email.

Here’s a sample letter of acceptance for a formal job offer:

Your First & Last Name
Your Address Line 1
Your Address Line 2

January 1, 2021

Name of Hiring Manager
Their Official Title
Name of Prospective Company
Prospective Company Address Line 1
Prospective Company Address Line 2

Dear Name:

Thank you very much for offering me the web developer position at Magnanimous Corp, and I am thrilled to officially accept!

As we discussed earlier, I’m able to start working 30 days after sending my resignation letter to my current employer. So, this means that I should be able to start at the beginning of February and attend your onboarding and orientation week beginning February 8th.

Once again, thank you so much for helping me throughout this employment process. I am very excited to be joining, and I look forward to working with you as a colleague!

Sincerely,

[Signature]

Your First & Last Name

For a job offer acceptance email sample, it’s quite easy, also. Just include the body of the letter above without the address header at the top and the handwritten signature at the end.

Simple, right?

Try to respond to their letter as soon as possible. Before sending your job offer reply letter, proofread it for any typos or other errors.

Related Read: Here Are 8 Questions to Ask Before Accepting That Job Offer

How to Negotiate a Job Offer

What if you want to negotiate a bit before accepting or declining the job offer?

That’s quite easy, as well!

There could be any number of reasons why you’d want to negotiate, from a salary increase to more vacation days to a job title change and more.

Here’s an example of a job offer negotiation response:

Your First & Last Name
Your Address Line 1
Your Address Line 2

January 1, 2021

Name of Hiring Manager
Their Official Title
Name of Prospective Company
Prospective Company Address Line 1
Prospective Company Address Line 2

Dear Name:

Thank you very much for offering me the web developer position at Magnanimous Corp! However, before accepting, I’d like to request a change in the details of the offer you put forward.

In the job offer you sent me, it says I’d start work on January 15th. However, I must give a 30-day notice upon my resignation from my current employer before I can begin with you. Would you be able to change my start date to the beginning of February? If so, I’ll be thrilled to officially accept.

Thank you once again for the offer of employment, and I look forward to your response! 

Sincerely,

[Signature]

Your First & Last Name

Not too difficult, right? 

Again, to negotiate by email, just use the body of the letter above as a guide. Then, all you have to do is to wait for their reply, and hopefully you get the answer you’re looking for!

Related Read: How to Turn Your Passion Into a Career in 5 Easy Steps

How to Reject a Job Offer

What if you want to reject a job offer, instead?

Perhaps you’ve learned something about the company that makes it not right for you, such as their company culture is incompatible with your values. In some cases, you might be given several offers at once, and, if so, way to go! 

Rather than ignoring the job offers you don’t want, send them a professional note politely declining their offer.

Here’s an example of how to turn down a job offer in a letter format:

Your First & Last Name
Your Address Line 1
Your Address Line 2

January 1, 2021

Name of Hiring Manager
Their Official Title
Name of Prospective Company
Prospective Company Address Line 1
Prospective Company Address Line 2

Dear Name:

Thank you very much for offering me the web developer position at Magnanimous Corp. However, I must respectfully decline your offer of employment due to having accepted an employment offer at another company.

I do appreciate your time and helpfulness over the past few weeks, and it was a pleasure meeting you. I wish you the best in your ongoing recruitment efforts, and I hope you have a pleasant week ahead!

Sincerely,

[Signature]

Your First & Last Name

That’s all there is to it! 

A job offer rejection letter should just be short and polite, and you aren’t obligated to go into further detail as to why you’re rejecting their offer. 

And, as with our past examples, turning this into an email simply requires removing the address area above and the handwritten signature!

Related Read: 21+ Best Freelance Jobs & Where to Find Them

Well, that’s all for this post, and hopefully you’re fully briefed on how to accept a job offer, how to reject a job offer, and how to negotiate a job offer! Got any questions, feedback, or other points to add about employment offers? Let us know in the comments below, and thank you for reading!

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Christian Eilers
Written By Christian Eilers
is a writer and expert on the topics of education, entrepreneurship, career advice, travel, and culture. On the Goodwall Blog, he covers topics including self-improvement, social impact, college preparation, career development, climate action, and more. Christian is originally from New York City and now resides in Warsaw, Poland. At his desk, you're sure to find Pickwick, his Devon Rex cat, either attacking his fingers as he types or the monitor as the mouse pointer moves around.

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