Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Accepting an Offer

This blog post was written by Peer Career Ambassador, Vivian Hsieh ’20

Congratulations to the students who have received an offer or multiple ones! An offer on its own is a great recognition of your hard-work and dedication, so you should definitely be proud of yourself! However, if you find yourself to be questioning “now what”, you should keep reading the blog to find out how to accept an offer, ask for an extension, and decline an offer.


Accepting an Offer

Accepting an offer may not seem as challenging as the following two categories, however, there are still several things to keep in mind when accepting an offer. For example, it is very important to clearly read the offer and ensure that the position, location, pay, time period, etc. all match your expectations. Sometimes people can get too excited that they simply accept the offer without reading through it, so be sure to read the entire offer so there will not be surprises when you start the internship or job.

Another thing to keep in mind is to respond in a timely manner but still be sure that the position is what you want. Sometimes people can be too afraid to lose the opportunity that they accept the offer right away without thinking it through. This may cause regret or inconvenience in the future, so definitely take your time and think thoroughly before accepting the offer. If you find yourself still waiting to hear back from other opportunities, read the following section to see how to ask for an extension on acceptance deadline.


Requesting an Extension

Requesting an extension can be tricky especially when the deadline is coming up relatively soon, therefore, you want to ask for an extension as early as possible. If you can reach the recruiter by phone, it is usually best to ask that way. However, if you do not have their phone number, emailing will do just fine. Keep in mind that you can ask for an extension, but the recruiters do not have to grant it, so be sure to ask early on and be polite, so the recruiters are more likely to accommodate.

Also, it is important to provide a valid reason when asking for an extension. If you had other interviews lined up prior to receiving the offer, it is okay to tell the recruiter that because of prior commitments, you would need an extension in order to honor your commitment and give all your options an equal amount of consideration. However, asking for an extension so you can extensively explore other areas may be a controversial reason, so be sure to think wisely, craft your reasoning carefully, and make the request early on.


Declining an Offer

Declining an offer can be awkward and hard sometimes, but it is necessary when you believe a different opportunity will align better with your career goals. If you have already made up your mind to decline the offer, it is best that you do it as soon as possible. By informing the recruiters early on, you can help the recruiters to have more time to respond to your decision and find other alternatives.

When declining your offer, it is important to be polite and appreciative. Being polite is crucial because your relationship with the firm is one that may benefit you in the future. You may find yourself wanting to re-apply to the same company again, so it is always good to leave a positive impression and maintain a close relationship even after declining an offer. Being appreciative is also important, because the recruiters and the employers have spent extensive time to interview you and answer your questions, so it is simply a good business etiquette to show appreciation.


Congratulations on the offer(s) again! If you would like to discuss more about how to approach an offer, be sure to set up an appointment with a career adviser on Handshake.