Job Offer, Acceptance, and Rejection Letters
What's the best way to accept or reject a job offer? What type of job offer letter will you receive if you are offered a job? How do you say thank you for a job offer? Review these job offer letter samples that apply to a number of circumstances. Also, read below for tips on how to write professional and appropriate acceptance and rejection letters.
The way that a company treats its candidate matters to the company’s overall image. Sending rejection letters to candidates who weren't chosen for the job promotes goodwill and helps to solidify the company's reputation for caring about the people they interact with and for treating them well.
Of course, employers also send job offer letters as well. These often include information about the start date, the salary, and benefits. Sometimes a letter will also include a request for written confirmation of acceptance of the offer.
Below is a list of sample letters rejecting candidates for jobs and interviews, as well as letters offering candidates jobs. These will give you a sense of the kinds of responses you might get when applying for jobs.
Keep in mind, however, that not all companies will send you a rejection letter. So, you may wish to follow up with an employer if you have not heard back about a job after a reasonable time.
How to Accept a Job Offer
If you receive a job offer and decide to take it, you will need to respond with a letter accepting the job. A job offer acceptance letter is a critical step that indicates that you've accepted the offer as presented to you.
- Keep It Brief. You do not need to write a long letter. Keep your letter brief and to the point.
- Express Appreciation. A job acceptance letter allows you to show your appreciation for the offer, as well as your excitement about the job. By stating your appreciation, you will start the job off on the right foot.
- Restate the Terms of the Job. An acceptance letter is also a useful document in which you can make sure there is no confusion about the terms of the offer. Restate the information you know about the job, including the salary, the start date, and any other relevant information (such as benefits). This way, you can clear up any confusion or errors.
- Send by Mail or Email. You can send the letter by mail or email. If you send it by mail, use business letter format. If you send it by email, put your name in the subject line, and a phrase that states that you accept the job. For example, the line could read “Firstname Lastname – Job Offer Acceptance.”
- Edit, Edit, Edit. Be sure to proofread your message thoroughly. You want to come across as professional and polished, to remind the employer why they hired you.
Sending a Counter Offer
What if you love the job but hate the offer? You'll need to use some negotiation strategies in your counter-proposal letter to try and secure a better deal.
- Express Appreciation. Before diving into your counteroffer, express gratitude for the position, and reinforce your excitement about the job. You might also remind the employer why you are a good fit for the position.
- Explain Why. In your letter, state why you think you should get a higher salary or additional benefits. Perhaps you think the skills or experience you bring would warrant further discussion of your salary. Or maybe based on the average salary in that field in that geographic area, you think the salary should be different.
- Request a Meeting. Rather than going into detail on the changes you want to be made to the offer, request a meeting to discuss the salary and benefits. Then you can do the actual negotiating in person (or on the phone).
- Edit, Edit, Edit. Be sure to proofread your message thoroughly. You want the employer to think you are deserving of a higher salary, and an error-filled letter will not help convince him or her.
How to Reject a Job Offer
If you have decided you do not want the job, you should send a polite rejection letter to the employer. However, what you include in your letter will depend on the reason why you are rejecting the job.
- Express Gratitude. The first thing you should include in your rejection letter is a thank you for the opportunity to interview with the company, and for the job offer.
- Explain Why (If Appropriate). You might (briefly) explain why you decided not to take the job, depending on the reason. For example, if you are excited about the company, but the job is not in the exact field you wanted, say so. The employer might remember you when another job opens up. Similarly, you might say that while the job was ideal, the salary was not what you were expecting. There is always a chance the employer will come back with a counteroffer. However, only do this if you have already tried negotiating and are willing to walk away from the job.
- Keep It Positive (And Brief). If you do not want the job because you don’t like the company or the employer, say thank you for the opportunity, and give a brief, vague reason for not taking the job (such as, “the position is not a great fit for me at this moment”). Don’t go into detail. Remember, you want to have a positive relationship with the employer, in case you ever cross paths again.
- Edit, Edit, Edit. Be sure to proofread your letter thoroughly. Again, you don’t want to burn any bridges with an error-ridden message.
Other Job Offer Letter Templates
Whether you are offering a job, accepting a job, or rejecting a job, a letter template can help you get your letter started. Microsoft Word provides templates for a number of employment scenarios. Find the template that is right for you. Then, alter the wording of the template to fit your situation.