Do’s And Don’ts: This Is How To Handle A Job Offer

Linda Le Phan

Congrats! You got a job offer. Now what?

Whether you have gotten an offer for your dream job or one that you may not be insanely excited for, knowing what to do once you get the offer letter in hand is not a total given. Sure, you want to be as professional as possible, but what does that actually mean? What do you say? How long do you wait? What questions you should ask?

While every situation is unique, there are some basic dos and don’ts that you should keep in mind when you find yourself with an offer letter as a result of your job search:

Do This:

  • Show your interest and enthusiasm. Even if it is not the offer you were expecting, before you do anything else, you need to let them know that you are excited to have gotten an offer. While you do this, thank them for sending you the offer letter in the first place. Even if you do not want the job, it is a good idea to make sure you show your gratitude during this phase.
  • Get it in writing. If you are given a verbal offer of employment, you should ask them for the offer in writing. Under no circumstances should you ever accept an offer without seeing it in writing because you do not want your potential employer to change things on you as soon as you are employed there.
  • Negotiate pay if it is not in line with your needs. Whether you were under the impression that your pay was going to be higher for this role or you simply think that it needs to be based on the offer and expectations, you should definitely negotiate the offer before you accept it. Keep in mind that you should take a look at the entire offer as a package and not focus completely on the pay that is outlined. Does the company also offer paid benefits of any kind? Will there be a performance bonus or sign on bonus? How to do they handle work-life balance? What about retirement options? Take these things into consideration with the pay to determine if it is a good amount for you.
  • Remain professional. You may be tempted to connect with people regarding your personal life during this phase but that has no place here. Keep things strictly professional no matter what your plans are for the offer letter. If you are going to accept it, inform them in the manner detailed in the offer letter, if applicable. If it does not state a method of response, you can never go wrong with a professional acceptance in writing.
  • If necessary, let them down easy. If you decide that the offer is not for you, then make sure you let them down easy. Don’t be too harsh and make sure you thank them again. Let them know you have another offer you cannot pass up. This keeps the window open for the future in case you ever need it.



Not That

  • Don’t accept on the spot. Even if you are extremely excited about the job offer and know you want to take it, you should never accept on the spot. You want to take the time to ensure that the pay is what you were expecting, that you’ve reviewed all of the benefits that come along with the job, and that the company culture and environment is one that makes sense for you. If they try to pressure you, then it may not be the right role for you. The company should allow you the time to review everything before responding.
  • Don’t take too long to respond. While you do not want to accept immediately, you also should not take too long to give your response. This can raise some red flags for them and can turn an employer off to you. Also, there may be a deadline for acceptance that you need to adhere to. If you miss this deadline, you may find out that the job offer has expired and it is no longer available to you. If you want to job, you should always respond as soon as you have reviewed everything and are ready to accept. Even if you do not want the job, do not be that person who simply ignores an offer letter.
  • Don’t base your pay expectations based on your current or previous pay. Do not make the mistake of comparing it to your current pay because you should instead focus on the pay as it pertains to this role. The roles may be very different and you may have to compromise on the pay.

No matter what the circumstances, getting an offer letter is a great accomplishment during a job search. But just make sure that you’ve done your best to handle it in a way that sets you up for success.


Is there something else that’s worth keeping in mind when handling a job offer? Share it with us @kununu_US!


Linda Le Phan is the Content Marketing Manager at kununu US, a place where job seekers can get an authentic view of life at a company and where employers have a trusted platform to better engage talent. That means that everything on the editorial calendar goes through her (want to write for us? learn more here). When she’s not creating content about the modern workplace, company culture, and life & work hacks, she is probably going out to get an iced coffee (even in Boston winter), raiding the snack drawer, or jamming to kununu’s Spotify playlist.