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It can be a relief to receive an offer of employment after the hard work of writing job applications and undergoing job interviews and other selection processes. However, there are a few more things you need to do!
Regardless of whether you plan to accept or decline the job offer, contact the employer promptly and professionally. If you are offered a position before other organisations in which you are interested have made contact, find out the deadline to accept their offer. You might ask if it can be extended if you need more time.
There is always a chance that in the future you may have business contact or another opportunity with that organisation, so regardless of whether you accept or decline, it is important to leave a positive impression.
It is unprofessional to accept multiple offers and reject some offers just before the start date.
When you receive an offer of employment, you still want to maintain a professional demeanour.
If you receive an offer that you want to accept:
Before you formally accept the role you should have an opportunity to read through all the appropriate documents and understand the employment conditions.
The employer should allow you time to review a written employment agreement which includes the details associated with the position. It should include information such as the start date, hours of work, leave entitlements, your starting salary. Don't be afraid to negotiate if you have reason to - but be informed and realistic. The Fair Work Ombudsman helps employees and the community understand employment agreements, minimum employment standards and rights and rules.
If the position was advertised with a salary range (e.g. $44,000- $52,000) find out what starting salary you are being offered and how salary increases are decided. If you are a new graduate with no work experience, it is likely you will be offered the entry level salary.
If it is a part-time role, make sure you are clear on whether you are being employed on a part-time (regular hours each week and same benefits of full-time workers) or casual basis (less likely to have guaranteed hours of work). If you are being employed on a casual basis confirm your rate of pay.
If you receive multiple offers, take some time to consider each one individually. You may want to discuss the options with a Careers Counsellor or someone who knows you well.
Take into consideration the position, the organisation, the location, and the type of work you would be doing and how it relates to what you hope to do in your future career. Good company branding does not necessarily mean a pleasant work environment or career that suits your personal values.
Ask yourself some questions about each role you have been offered. Go back to the research you did on employers, but also listen to your gut instincts. Following are some general areas to consider.
Categorise and compare offers based on the goals and workplace experience important to you.
For more detail: Evaluating graduate offers (32 KB).