Procedures for Accepting/Declining an Offer

After you evaluate a job offer, you decide whether to accept it or decline. If you think you might receive another offer, contact the other employer first before you make a decision. See Ethics of Accepting/Rejecting an Offer. Once you decide, there are some procedures to follow.

Accepting

  • Thank the employer for their offer and ask him/her to give you the details of the offer in writing.
  • Write a letter accepting the offer, thanking the employer, and summarizing the details. Remember this is a commitment and you can't change your mind. Keep a copy. (Click here for example)
  • If you are working, write a brief letter of resignation, using the same business letter format you used with your cover letters and thank-you notes. Keep a copy. (Click here for example)
  • Give your current supervisor at least two weeks notice so he/she can make plans to replace you. You want to leave in a positive way, since you may want to ask him/her for a reference in the future, and network with him/her at a later time.
  • If you have received an offer from another employer, write him/her a letter declining the offer (see below).
  • Share your good news with the people who have helped you with your job search and thank them.

Declining

  • Be professional in turning down an offer, since you may meet the people involved later in your career, or decide to apply there again in the future.
  • Write a letter declining the offer, thanking them for their interest in you, and end the letter in a positive way. Keep a copy. (Click here for example)