Job offers

You've got your job offer so now it's time to celebrate! But before you crack open that bottle of bubbles you might want to have a read of our job offer guide. Accepting a job is a big decision, so we'll take you through some of the things you might want to think about before you make your final choice.


Congratulations on your job offer!

After all those CVs, cover letters, interviews and assessment centres, the moment has finally arrived. You’ve received a job offer and you’re on cloud nine! Take a moment to give yourself a big pat on the back, and a well deserved glass of wine/Dominos pizza/10 hour nap/whatever floats your boat to celebrate all your hard work paying off.

But before you celebrate, you need to take a step back, iron out all the details and make sure this job is really the one for you. This doesn’t mean you’re being ungrateful or selfish, but it means you’re sensibly weighing up your options, and not jumping into a role that isn’t going to suit – #adultlife.


So what’s the problem?

There’s no problem, but there’s no point in taking on a job role only to realise three months in that you hate it and it definitely isn’t the one for you. While your parents might be pushing you to sign that contract asap, don’t feel pressured into doing anything until you’ve checked out all the details and decided this is 100% the job for you. It’s going to help define the rest of your career path after all, so you need to be sure about what you’re doing.

Just stop, take a deep breathe, and have a look at those job details.


Things to consider when you receive a job offer

You might just think a job is a job, but there are lots of different aspects of the role you might want to question and clarify before you jump in head first. If you’re not sure what kind of things you should be thinking about, here are some to get you started:

    • Whether you’re money orientated person or not, you should definitely pay some serious attention to the salary you’ll be receiving and whether it’s a decent wage.

      So many graduates have no idea what the average starting salary in their industry is, which is a sure-fire way to end up getting ripped off, so take some time to do some research, get informed and know what you’re entitled to.

      As a recent graduate, you don’t really have the leverage to be demanding any more than a basic starting salary, but check sites like Glassdoor and, or check in with your university careers service, to make sure you’re getting a fair deal.

    • This might sound obvious. Why would you apply for the job in the first place if you didn’t think you would enjoy it?

      But job descriptions can be misleading and make the job sound more glamorous than it really is, so ask if you can arrange a phone call with a current employee or manager to ask questions about what your day-to-day tasks will be.

    • Once you’ve established what exactly you’ll be doing, you need to think about whether that will help you get where you want to go in life. It’s unlikely your very first job offer is going to be your dream job, so think about where you want to end up in ten years’ time, and whether this job role will help you get there.

      Look at what possibilities there are for progression through the company, and whether you think the role is going to help you increase your skill.


    • Think about what the company culture is like and whether it suits you as a person. If the office is too corporate and formal, and you’re more of a creative type, then think about whether you will be comfortable working there day in, day out. You need somewhere you’re going to thrive both personally and professionally, so take the time to suss it out.

    • It might not interest you but you should also clarify things like pensions, annual leave, remote working, relocation assistance and other practicalities.

      Ask for a copy of the contract in advance and go through it with a fine tooth comb, making sure you know what everything means. Also check to see whether your university careers centre offers a contract checking service.

    • If this is your first graduate role, it’s likely you won’t have masses of other opportunities to fall back on if you decide to turn down the offer. Sometimes it is better to just get your foot on the career ladder and manoeuvre yourself into a more ideal position at a later date.

      Do think about other jobs you’ve applied for though, and whether one of them might be more preferable.

You need somewhere you’re going to thrive both personally and professionally, so take the time to suss it out.


Read some reviews

You wouldn’t buy a new laptop without reading the reviews first, so you shouldn’t accept a job offer without reading what other people have to say about the company or even the specific graduate scheme you’ll be enrolling on.

Sites like Glassdoor contain thousands of reviews from employees about their place of work, and are the perfect way to get some honest opinions. If they flag anything up, make sure to check your contract or ask your contact in the company any questions you’re unsure about. Don’t fall into the trap of believing everything a disgruntled former employee says, but stay clued up and clarify absolutely everything.


How to say no to a job offer

Turning down a job offer is never going to be a walk in the park, but if you’re sure it’s not right for you then you’re certainly entitled to. The best thing is to be as up front, open and honest as possible. Try and arrange a phone call rather than communicating over email to make things as easy as possible, and just explain honestly the reason why you’ve decided to turn down the job offer – either because the role isn’t right for you or you received another offer elsewhere.

Be as polite as possible but firm, and the chances are they’ll understand. If they act a bit miffed don’t take it too personally. Companies do spend considerable time choosing which candidates to select, but they’ve likely had job offers rejected before. Don’t panic, they’re not going to black list your name for life.

Turning down a job offer is never going to be a walk in the park, but if you’re sure it’s not right for you then you’re certainly entitled to.


Get it all in writing

It sounds like something your mum would say, but seriously get everything in a written contract before you agree to anything. You don’t have to act too suspicious or cynical about it all (you don’t want to get off to a bad start with your employer before the first day) but just politely ask for a contract containing all the details.

If there’s something you’re not sure about, flag it up. It’ll help you to rest easy knowing you’ve got everything written down for future reference and you can just focus on doing what you do best – rocking your new role.

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