Thank You Letter

It is important to follow up with a thank you letter or thank you card after interviews, career fairs, networking events, upon receipt of a job offer, or other times when you receive assistance with your job or internship search. Though it is a small gesture, it shows you are enthusiastic and professional. A thank you letter helps you stand out from other interview candidates and in some cases, may be a deciding factor in whether or not you receive a job or internship offer.

Thank you letters or thank you cards should be brief and to the point. Their main purpose is to express gratitude. They may reiterate or stress something that was shared during an interview and/or provide additional, relevant information that was inadvertently omitted or unknown during an interview.

Click here to view a sample letter

Evaluating a Job Offer

When you receive an offer, get it in writing.  It should provide details including salary, start date, location of the assignment and any other special things discussed during the interview.  The employer will let you know if the offer is contingent upon passing a background check or drug screening.

Take the time to weigh the pros and cons of the position, the company, the management, and the details of the offer itself.  Consult with others whose opinion you value and are affected by your decision. Ask yourself why you want the position. Are you accepting the job to gain experience and skills or are you accepting the offer to just have a job? Only you can answer these questions but you should know ahead of time what you are getting in to and accept the job for the right reasons.

After receiving the offer it is important to review benefits information. You might have questions like, “When do the benefits start? What health insurance plans are offered? What kind of professional development opportunities are available?” etc.  Benefits might include: vacation, sick leave, health/dental/vision plans, disability insurance, life insurance, relocation/moving expenses, stock options, retirement, profit sharing, tuition reimbursement, professional development, health/fitness program, signing bonus and commission.

Can I Ask for More Time to Decide?

Companies will give you anywhere from a day to two months to make a decision on the offer (two weeks is the norm). If the date given to decide conflicts with other site interviews already scheduled, tell the company representative right away and ask for an extension. Extensions may or may not be given by companies. Most companies are open to it and understand it is a big decision and you may be interviewing with other organizations. Some companies have tighter deadlines and may not grant the extension. It is not acceptable to accept an offer and continue to interview with other companies since the company would not provide you an extension. Nor is it acceptable to renege on an offer because “a better one” came along.

Negotiating

Entry-level employees do not usually have a lot of latitude for negotiating salary.  If you conduct salary research and find that the offer for your position in a particular industry and geographic location is comparatively low, consult a BBA career adviser.

There are several other factors that entry-level employees may be able to negotiate.  These include the start date, date of first performance review, professional development opportunities and relocation expenses.

When a firm employment offer is received, you need to respond to the employer by the deadline provided. Call the employer with your answer whether you are accepting or rejecting the offer. Never e-mail or leave a voice mail message telling them of your decision. You will want to make sure you talk with the employer over the phone to explain your decision.

Accepting an Offer

Call the employer and accept the position.  Then, if you want, follow up with a confirmation email or letter to the recruiter.  Include the position, start date, salary and any recently negotiated items in your confirmation letter.

After accepting the offer, all interviewing stops. It is unprofessional to keep interviewing with other employers to see if something better comes along.

Finally, thank the individuals who served as references for you.  It is a thoughtful gesture and will be appreciated.

Declining an Offer

Over the phone, tactfully decline the offer.  Express your appreciation for the offer and the opportunity to interview. You may tell the employ why, although you are not required to do so.

A tactful and timely rejection e-mail or phone call after the phone call is a courtesy which is important for two reasons. First, it allows you to maintain a relationship with the employer, which is important since you may one day interview with this employer again. Second, it helps other students in that it enhances the professional image the employer has for the Wisconsin School of Business and its graduates.