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What to expect when you get a job offer

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Published: 22 April 2021

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You’ve gotten through a rigorous application process, finished the interview and got that offer.

Congratulations! Now it’s time to think about what comes next.

1) Get the offer in writing

It’s easy to be carried away in the excitement of finding out you’ve got the job. But lots of companies like to call their preferred candidate in person.

While it’s great to hear from them and how excited they are to have you working for their business, a job offer is not official until it’s in writing.

Most companies will send you this straight after the call but don’t do anything (like resigning from your current job) until it comes through to your inbox.

2) Make sure everything’s correct

When you do get the offer letter, go through it carefully to check everything in there is what you were expecting.

Pay particular attention to the job title, salary, working hours, bonuses and start date.

It’s likely that during the application process and interview you will have seen some of these things already so it’s important to double-check it’s all correct.

If you’re not sure about something in the offer letter, it’s fine to get in touch with the company and ask questions before you go any further.

3) The legal stuff

When you start a new job, you’ll be given a contract. This doesn’t have to happen straight away, and some places will wait up to two months before giving it to you.

But it’s a very important document. It essentially lays out your basic rights as an employee and the conditions under which you’re working.

It will include information on what you’re being paid, your holidays, hours and the notice period you or your new employer will have to give if either of you wants to end the contract.

Make sure you ask if you haven’t gotten one. Contracts are an important and legal part of employment so make sure you’re protected, have one and know what it says.

4) Probation

Almost every company you work for will give you a probationary period. This is a short amount of time during which you and your new employer can decide whether you’ve made the right choice in working for them.

Normally lasting between one and six months, probations will give your new boss the chance to evaluate your work and both of you the opportunity to make sure the company is a good fit for the role.  

Your contract will likely include reduced rights and benefits during your probation. This could mean less sick leave and a shorter notice.

At the end of your probationary period, you’ll have an assessment that looks at how you’ve done and what needs to be worked on for the future.

Once you’ve gone through all the above, you’ll be able to think of yourself as a part of the core of the company like the employees there before you. 

Come back next week for a discussion on what to expect on your first day.

The University of Sunderland in London’s Careers and Employability office is here to help you get ready for life after you graduate.

To have a one-to-one chat with them, book a meeting through Compass.

Alternatively, email Find out more by following #WeAreSunLon on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.