In today's world of e-mail, PDAs and cell phones, writing and mailing an acceptance letter when you've been offered a job might seem passé. Yet the acceptance letter is still one of the best ways to formally accept a job offer, reinforce your professionalism and remind your future employer why they offered you the position in the first place.
Even if the company offered you the job over the phone, sending a job acceptance letter is a professional courtesy.
You can use the latest technology to send your acceptance letter, but it should still contain all the standard information you would've included if you'd been offered a job 20 years ago. Namely, you should start by stating that you've decided to accept the position, and then outline the details of the job (salary, benefits, schedule and start date). This is especially important if any aspect of the original offer was unclear. Having the details in writing can help avoid future issues about salary, benefits or any other job specifications.
Try to send the letter to your hiring manager as soon as the offer is made, especially if you didn't originally acknowledge your acceptance over the phone. Delaying too long might make your new employer think you're not interested, and they could move on to the next candidate.
Some employers will save you the effort of writing your own acceptance letter by sending you an offer letter and/or employment contract. This standard letter will cover the details of your job offer. You'll just need to sign it at the bottom and return it. Read the letter carefully before you sign to make sure you agree with the terms. If there are any confusing items, call your hiring manager or human resources manager and ask for clarification.
On the next page, you'll learn all of the ingredients that go into an effective, professional job acceptance letter.
What to Cover in a Job Acceptance Letter
Your acceptance letter should be short -- just a few paragraphs -- and to the point. You want to thank the person who hired you, discuss the job specifics and quickly restate the assets you will be bringing to the position. Your goal is to reinforce to your new employer why he or she chose you. Close the letter by letting your employer know once more how much you appreciate the opportunity.
The tone of the letter should be upbeat; it should convey your excitement about embarking on this new opportunity.
Once you're finished writing the letter, check it over carefully to make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors. Be especially careful about the spelling of names. You definitely don't want to misspell your new manager's name.
Make a copy of the acceptance letter for your files. Then send the letter via certified mail (or use a tracking service) to make sure that it has been received.
Tips for Writing a Job Acceptance Letter
Here is an example of an effective acceptance letter:
July 10, 2010
1 Mockingbird Lane
Chicago, IL 20631
Dear Mr. Smith,
Thank you for offering me the Executive Director of Marketing position at XYZ Corporation. Please consider this letter to be my official acceptance of the position.
I am pleased to accept your salary offer of $100,000. As we discussed, the position will include full health benefits and two weeks of paid time off annually. My agreed upon start date is August 1, 2010, after I complete my obligations at Global Internet Corporation. I appreciate that you've agreed to my flex work schedule of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Thank you again for offering me this exciting opportunity. I look forward to putting my 20 years' of marketing and managerial experience to work for XYZ Corporation.
If you require me to complete any additional paperwork, please let me know. Otherwise, I look forward to working with you beginning on August 1.
Note that the letter clearly states important contract terms like offered position, salary, benefits and special considerations like flex time. If your new employers agreed to these terms, you must put them in writing in your acceptance letter. Your acceptance letter should also include your starting date. Again, double-check your spelling and your grammar before sending your final letter to your new employers -- and make sure that your letter's tone remains positive. Follow up with a phone call to your bosses-to-be a couple of days afterward to confirm the letter's receipt and to take care of any lingering questions. Once that's done, all that's left is to get excited for your new job!
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More Great Links
- Colorado State University. "Writing Guide: Acceptance Letters." (Accessed June 21, 2010)http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/documents/business_writing/business_letter/acceptance_letter/.
- Job Bank USA. "How to Write an Acceptance Letter." (Accessed June 21, 2010)http://www.jobbankusa.com/interviews/articles_tips/how_to_write_an_acceptance_letter.html.
- Prasad, Chandra. "Outwitting the Job Market: Everything You Need to Locate and Land a Great Position." Guilford, CT: Lyons Press, 2004.
- Purdue Online Writing Lab. "Acceptance Letter." (Accessed June 21, 2010)http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/634/06/.