An active job search requires many steps from start to finish. After identifying opportunities, networking with contacts, preparing and submitting application materials and interviewing, you'll be hopeful to receive a job offer. Once you receive an offer, there are many factors involved in the decision to confidently accept or decline. 


  • Salary
  • Duration of position and start date
  • Sign on bonus or performance compensation
  • Relocation expenses | Check to see if your prospective employer offers a relocation package
  • Location | Cost of living, commute to work
  • Retirement plan I Will employer offer matching contributions? Are stock options available?
  • Insurance
    • Health insurance
    • Dental insurance
    • Vision insurance
    • Prescription drugs
    • Flexible spending account
    • Life insurance
    • Disability insurance
  • Vacation and Sick Leave | Some companies will negotiate with new hires for more vacation or sick days, and, in general, there can be more flexibility here than with other elements of the employee benefits package.
  • Health and Wellness Programs | Refers to a collection of initiatives within an organization to promote healthy lifestyles among employees.
  • Flexibility | Companies often offer options other than the traditional 8 am – 5pm workday. Be sure to know what the employer expects from you.
  • Travel | Know how much travel is expected in your new job. It is also important to consider if you will use your own car, a rental car, or if a company car will be provided.
  • Additional Education, Certifications, Professional Development Benefits | Many companies offer professional and educational development programs. Find out if your company offers this and if or when you will qualify.


If asked to indicate a salary expectation on your application or within a cover letter:

  • Never include an exact number. Provide a range based on your research of salaries for similar roles in locations with a comparable cost of living. Avoid leaving the question blank or indicating “negotiable."






  • You received a written offer
  • You can clearly spell out the value you will contribute to the organization
  • You expect to decline unless the salary or other elements of the offer are adjusted
  • You are interested in the role but need additional time to consider the offer


Consider the following factors that are critical for a positive negotiation experience.
  • Self-confidence
  • Respectful, mature, and focused approach to communication
  • Knowledge of wages based on comparable positions, geographic locations, experience, and expertise in the field
  • It's preferable to negotiate over the phone versus over email
  • Understanding of rationale for your negotiation

If you decide to move forward after considering the factors involved in whether to negotiate, continue with the following steps:

  1. Determine actual salary you are seeking
  2. Mentally prepare for negotiation
  3. Start the formal negotiation process
  4. Consider possible responses and reactions to each
  5. Respond to the company’s negotiated offer



Once you complete the interview process and receive the email or phone call you hoped for, it is time to decide whether to accept or decline the offer.


  • Thank the company for the offer
  • Accept the position, in good faith
  • Restate the terms of your contract, including specific details
  • Restate any instructions given by the company
  • Express your excitement for the position


Dear [Specific Contact]:

I am writing to formally accept the position of [Formal Position Name] with [Company Name] in [Location]. After reviewing the position responsibilities in the offer letter, I am excited to commit to the position starting at [Salary] and look forward to being a member of the [Company Name] team. I will report for my new employee orientation on [Specific Date and Time].

I look forward to working with you and the team and am excited to begin my career with [Company Name].


[Your Name]

Accepting an offer only as a precautionary measure and then reneging on that commitment is considered unprofessional, unethical, and may seriously damage your future job prospects, as well as those of other Auburn University students and alumni in the future.



  • Remain respectful and professional
  • You may encounter the individuals you are communicating with for another purpose in the future. Maintain collegial and friendly discourse. Keep the door open for other opportunities in the future.


Good afternoon [Specific Contact],

I am writing to formally decline the positions of [Formal Position Title] I with [Company Name]. After reviewing the position responsibilities and offer letter, I am unable to commit to the position with the [Company Name] team but appreciate the time and consideration from you and your team.

I wish you the best of luck in your search and thank you again for your consideration.


[Your Name]