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How to Accept a Job Offer: When to Negotiate & What to Say

You landed the job, here’s how to negotiate your comp and seal the deal

how to accept a job offer image

Applying for jobs can. Be. Rough. From getting your resume right and nailing the phone interview to crafting the perfect thank-you email, changing each cover letter you use ever-so slightly, stressing over whether your interview outfit is professional enough—it’s all for the sole purpose of getting that sweet, sweet offer letter.

But wait: what happens once you actually get the offer? Besides lots of celebrating and a load of stress off your shoulders, there are a few key moves to make.

Here’s your quick guide to accepting a job offer.

What to keep an eye out for in your offer letter

In all of your excitement, be sure to give your offer letter a thorough look-through. First, check the obvious things like job title, start date, and salary. Once you’ve covered the basics, you should study up on that letter like you’re going to be quizzed on the material.

Do you get a guaranteed bonus, health insurance, or maybe life insurance and a 401(k)? What about the more fun perks, like free lunch, a gym membership, or work-from-home options? For most women, the top benefits include things like paid time off, salary satisfaction, and flexible hours.

Where does your offer stand on each?

If there are certain benefits that are priorities for you but not included, don’t worry—you have some leverage to negotiate for more.

Before you accept an offer, advocate for yourself

Before you accept a job offer, you should negotiate.

The worst they can do is say no to your requests, and if you frame your argument strategically, you can end up in a much better position. If you’re coming from a job that had a select number of better benefits, you’ll have even more of an upper hand.

Here’s what you should consider when negotiating your job offer:

Paid time off

Most companies have a set amount of paid days off, but if your previous employers offered more, then you might be able to up your number.

Your salary

Feel like that number isn’t as big as it should be? If you’re able to prove your worth to the company by putting together a convincing portfolio of tasks you’ve accomplished, you could increase your number.

Need a salary negotiation tutorial? Check it out: How to negotiate your salary (for career newbies and industry vets) .

Need help deciding on a number for your salary?Going Rate: What Is a Good Salary for My Job?

Flexible work hours

Maybe you’re more productive when you work from home—turns out lots of people are ! A great way to float the idea to your employer is by offering to work in the office for a few months, then work remotely for a day every week.

The ability to work remotely

Working from home can actually boost your productivity and keep you more engaged in your work. It's also a great way to maintain some work-life balance at well.

Read more:How to Ask You Boss to Let You Work from Home

Relocation costs

If you’re making a move for this job, then the company should be willing to pay a little extra to help with the move. Gauge what a realistic number for your troubles is beforehand, then bring it to the table with plenty of evidence.

Other fringe benefits

Consider also other fringe benefits, like transportation reimbursement, paid professional development opportunities, and education funds or tuition reimbursement. In the end, the perks separate from your paycheck should total around 30 percent of your compensation.

How to write your acceptance letter

Once you’ve ironed out the details and negotiated for the right deal, it’s time to accept! Of course, every acceptance letter will be different, but there are a few basic points that each should hit on:

  1. Gratitude for the opportunity

  2. A declaration of acceptance for the offer and restating the title

  3. A projected (or provided) start date

You might also want to include a quick rundown of the benefits you agreed upon, as well as some general excitement about what you’re looking forward to in the position.

Read more:How to Give Two-Weeks Notice: Letter Examples & Leaving on Good Terms

Job acceptance letter email example

Dear [Hiring Manager],

It was great to hear from you, and I’m excited to officially accept your offer as a [job title] at [Company Name]. I’m looking forward to the opportunity that this position will bring and feel privileged to soon be a member of the team.

As we discussed, my annual salary is set at $50,000, paid time off is set at 18 days, and my insurance coverage will kick in after the first 30 days of employment.

I’m available to start within two weeks of today’s date. I can’t wait to officially join the team! If you need anything else from me or would like me to bring a few things along on my first day, feel free to contact me through phone or email.

Thanks again,

[Your Name]

What not to do when accepting a job offer

Getting a job offer is exciting, but don’t jump the gun. Now that you know all about how to accept and offer, here’s what you definitely should not do when accepting a job offer:

  1. Decide not to talk HR about potential benefits. Who needs paid time off and dental coverage, anyway!?

  2. Refuse to negotiate your salary. You should know your worth and not be afraid to fight for it if you feel the salary doesn’t match.

  3. Decide things on a handshake with no signed documents, because...obviously, that’s a bad call.

In the end, accepting a job is a pretty simple process, but don’t hesitate to negotiate for perks that are priorities to you.

Read more:14 Places to Find Comfortable Work Shoes for Women

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