Accepting and Declining Job Offers

Regardless of the type of letter or email you are sending, it is important to remember to write professionally whenever contacting a potential employer. How you write is just as important as what you say. Be courteous and appreciative and always use proper grammar, check your spelling, and proofread your correspondence.

Career coaches in the Office of Career Solutions and Corporate Engagement can help you craft the perfect response and guide you through the process to accept or decline a job offer.

Congratulations! You received a job offer and completed an important step in your career. While it's exciting to receive an offer, it's important that you take time to thoughtfully consider your options and whether the position and company are the best fit for you.

Review the steps below and discuss this process with an IST Career Coach, who can help you determine if the position is the right fit for you.

  • Avoid making snap decisions. Evaluating an offer (or multiple offers) takes time. You'll also need to be cognizant of the amount of time you have to make your decision. Asking for an extension is acceptable but keep in mind that the employer may not be able to accommodate your request.
  • Read carefully. Be sure you thoroughly understand the position and expectations of the organization. Determine if this is the right fit for you before accepting.
  • Consider the salary. Students in the College of IST report an average starting salary of about $78,000 with an average signing bonus of more than $7,000. Other sites like and CollegeGrad's Salary Calculator can provide you with industry and national averages based on your skills and qualifications.
  • Respond to the Offer. Take action to accept or decline the offer. Remember that if you intend to decline the offer, it is never acceptable not to inform the organization.
  • Stopping Your Search. Once you've accepted an offer, it is unethical to continue interviewing and searching for better offers. Remove yourself from any pending interviews and communicate with other companies who have outstanding offers to let them know you are no longer available.

Students will often receive multiple job or internship offers and must decide which is the right fit. Before making your decision, consider each position's location, salary, and responsibilities, and the company's culture, mission, and values.

Make a pros and cons list and rank what you'd value most in a dream job to see which position best aligns with your values and interests. What will you gain from this opportunity besides a paycheck?

Recruiters for the companies you are considering can be great resources to get additional information and have your questions answered. Talking with an IST Career Coach can help you to formulate the questions to ask. They are a resource to use as a sounding board and talk through the decision-making process. While they are not able to make recommendations to you about selecting the right position, they can help you by providing questions to consider and details that might help you in the process.

Congratulations! You've landed the what?

Start by thanking any individuals who have helped you get this offer. Thank those who referred you to the position or who might have provided a reference for you. Even if they were not contacted, share the good news with them and thank them for their willingness to be a reference.

Once you've reviewed your offers carefully and chosen the best fit, it's time to let the employer know. At the same time, it is important to contact other companies where you might still be involved in the application or interview process. By letting them know that you have accepted another opportunity, you are opening up potential opportunities for your peers. It will also save those organizations time and resources by discontinuing you in their hiring process. Finally, it brands you as a professional for future positions within those organizations.

Once you've chosen the right position for you and accepted an offer, you'll need to let the other companies who have extended an offer know.

This can sometimes seem daunting and students are often unsure what to say. It is never acceptable to ignore an offer of employment and hope that the company will get the hint. Reach out to the recruiter who initially extended the offer, thank them for the opportunity, and let them know that you've decided to accept with another employer.


Office of Career Solutions and Corporate Engagement

E103 Westgate Building
University Park, PA 16802

(814) 865-4509