How to Negotiate, Accept, or Decline a Job Offer

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When you're offered a job, you typically don't want to say "yes" and take the job on the spot. Even if you know you want the job, take the time to evaluate the job offer to be absolutely certain that the position is right for you. Then decide if the compensation package is reasonable.

If the offer is not what you were hoping for, you may want to think about a counter offer. Once you have decided to negotiate, accept, or reject the job offer, it's time to notify the company of your decision.

Here's advice on how to handle job offers, including evaluating job offers, negotiating a better salary, accepting or declining the offer, and what to do if the company rescinds the offer.

Evaluating a Job Offer

When you are offered a job, first ask for some time to consider the offer. Be sure to emphasize your gratitude and your interest in the job, and then ask if there is a deadline by which you have to make your decision. If you think you need more time than they give you, it is okay to ask for a bit more time. However, do not put off the decision for so long that they rescind your offer.

During this decision-making time, evaluate the job offer. When considering a job offer, be sure to take into account the entire compensation package, not just the salary. Consider the benefits and perks, the time you would spend traveling, the hours, and the company culture. Really take the time to weigh the pros and cons. If the job offer is conditional, be aware of what you have to do for the offer to become permanent.

Does it ever make sense to take a job you don't think you want? There isn't really a right or wrong answer, but there are times when it may make sense to accept. That's especially true if you need a job in a hurry. Here's when to consider accepting a job you don't want.

Use this checklist to ensure that you have considered all the alternatives and weighed all the options prior to making a decision to accept or reject the position.

Negotiating a Job Offer

If you are interested in the job, but feel the offer could be stronger (for example, the salary could be higher or the perks could be better), consider negotiating. Read these negotiation tactics that will help you properly ask for the compensation package that you want, and get a higher starting salary.

Also read this advice on the best way to make a counter offer, and when to stop negotiating. Finally, here is when an employer can withdraw a job offer. This is important to know when you are negotiating.

Accepting a Job Offer

You have found a job that you like, and are happy with the compensation package. Congratulations! Read here for information on how to write a polite, formal letter accepting a job offer. If you're saying "yes" to a job, an acceptance letter provides you with a chance to confirm the details of the offer.

Also read these sample job offer thank you and acceptance letters to use as templates for your own letter.

Declining a Job Offer

Even if you're desperately seeking employment, if you know a job isn't going to be a good fit, it might make sense to decline the offer. Here is advice for different times when it makes sense to turn down a job offer.

Other times, you might want to withdraw from consideration from a job. Typically, you would do this after receiving an invitation for an interview but before you receive a job offer. Here is advice on when and how to withdraw from consideration for a job.

If you have evaluated a job offer and decided it is not right for you, you have to decline the offer. A polite letter declining a job offer will help you maintain a positive relationship with the employer, which will be important if you ever apply for another position. Here's how to decline a job offer, with different advice depending on your reason for turning the job down. Also read these sample job rejection letters to use as templates for your own letter.

If you have already accepted a job offer, here's how to let the employer know you changed your mind.

Unfortunately, sometimes job offers get rescinded What can you do if you have accepted a job offer and the company withdraws it? Here's information on your rights when a job offer is revoked.