Be professional, observe etiquette and demonstrate gratitude when accepting or rejecting job offers.
HANDLING MULTIPLE OFFERS
If you have more than one job offer, ask the employers for more time so that you do not rush in making a decision. Consider all factors when weighing the offers. Do not accept a job offer prematurely either in speech or writing and then go back on your word.
Gather all the information you need to make a rational decision. Seek clarifications about job advancement, work environment and other concerns. Look at each offer in its entirety, prioritising important factors to you such as job scope, opportunities for learning and advancement, work-life balance, salary and benefits.
ACCEPTING AN OFFER
Always accept a job offer in formal writing. Read through the employment contract before you sign the job acceptance letter. Check the following key details before confirming acceptance: the job role and responsibilities, salary and benefits, work hours, start date and notice period.
Be careful not to give verbal or written acceptance to an offer if you are still considering your options. You have to honour your word when it comes to accepting a job offer. Going back on your word will be considered reneging on a job offer.
NEGOTIATING YOUR SALARY
Always state a range for your salary expectations as this gives more room for negotiation on your part and more room for the employer to make adjustments. Understand what is your market value as a fresh graduate for that particular role and industry, taking in consideration market conditions and economic trends. To get a sense of this, you can refer to the annual Graduate Employment Survey conducted across major local universities, as well as pay scale reports from public and private sources.
Consider your salary and benefits package as a whole, taking into account the number of days of leave and other benefits. When negotiating, you have to present good reasons why you think you deserve the upper end of the salary bracket.
TURNING DOWN AN OFFER
If you receive a job offer that you do not wish to take up, take care not to burn bridges with the organisation. Let the hiring manager know as soon as you have decided to turn down the offer in writing, stating clearly that you will not be accepting the offer. You may include a polite reason. Thank them and express your appreciation for speaking with you and for their consideration of you as a candidate.