By John Lombard

Media Bistro —

Before you sign the offer letter, follow these steps

So it finally happened. You got a job offer. Go ahead, call your mom, pop that cheap champagne. And then get back to business.

Because now it’s time for strategy.

Before you sign that job offer or even give a verbal commitment, there are a few steps that you’ll need to take to set yourself up for success. To ensure you’re making the best moves after the offer, we’re breaking it all down for you. So read on. And—oh yeah—congrats!

1. Be Ready for the Call

When HR calls with the job offer, you might be tempted to give an immediate response. The key here is to have a line ready to go, such as, “Thank you so much for the offer. I am so excited for this opportunity. When would you like a response by?”

By using non-committal phrases like the one above, you’ll show your excitement for the role, while also giving yourself time to make a well-informed decision.

Most companies will be more than willing to give you time to review materials and consider the offer. If an employer requires an immediate decision, that’s a red flag. Consider long and hard if this is a company you want to work for.

2. Review the Written Offer

Around this time, you should be receiving a written offer letter from HR. This is your time to review the offer amount, as well as, if included, perks, benefits, time off and sign-on bonus.

To find out if the salary offered is in line with market standards, check sites like Payscale or Glassdoor.

When considering if your salary is on par, take a careful look at each perk, making sure to weigh them all against each other. For example, if your salary is slightly below industry standard but the vacation time is overly gracious, then maybe you don’t need to ask for a raise.

3. Negotiate a Counter Offer

If the offer is below what you expected after factoring in all of the other company benefits, you might want to negotiate a more fitting salary.

Now’s the time to create a counter offer letter.

Beginning your letter with a statement of interest and enthusiasm for the job, include your key-selling points such as how you plan to contribute to the company. Following that, write your counter offer, a salary which should be supported through your research on the market and/or the added value you plan to bring to the company.

Be ready for the company to come back either way, rejecting or accepting your counteroffer.

Whatever the outcome, show your gratitude, and leave the conversation on a high note.

4. Let Other Potential Employers Know

In case you were also interviewing with other companies, you’ll need to inform them you’ve accepted another job offer. A simple email will do. State to them something along the lines of:

I wanted to express my sincere appreciation for you considering me as a candidate for the [position name] position. I truly enjoyed meeting your team and learning more about the outstanding work you do.

I am writing to respectfully withdraw myself from consideration, as I was offered another position that more closely aligns with my skill set and goals.

I wish the best for everyone at [company name] and hope that, in the future, we have another chance to work together.

Thank you again for this opportunity.


[Your Name]

5. Send a Thank You Email

After accepting the job offer, it’s a great idea to send a quick thank you email to your new boss and HR contact. Not only does this help to show your excitement for the position, it also works to keep you on flawless terms with the company as they finalize your paperwork.

Keep this letter simple. Something like this would work great:

I wanted to formally thank you for the job offer at [Company Name]. I am very excited to begin working, learning more about the company and finding ways to contribute my skills to the team.

Please reach out at any time if you need anything else from me. The best way to contact me is through email, but feel free to call me as well at [number].

Again, thank you for this opportunity. I can’t wait to begin working for such a talented team.


[Your Name]

6. Don’t Update Your Online Job Status—Yet

Sure, you’re excited to update your LinkedIn and other social networks with your newly minted job title. But it’s better to wait.

Once you’ve been with your job for a few months and are sure it’s the place for you, then it’s a safe time to update your social networks with your new job title.