Find out about how to handle the ups and downs of job hunting.
Sometimes a job offer can throw up other complications - see below for how to handle those different scenarios.
If you have been successful in the recruitment process you may be offered the job verbally in the first instance, but this will usually be followed by an offer in writing. Similarly, even if you verbally accept the job, you should also give written confirmation.
Be aware that if you accept the job offer (even just verbally) it is a binding contract. So only accept if you are sure this is the best job for you.
If you are unsure about any aspect of the job or terms of employment, ask the employer about it as soon as possible and before accepting the offer.
Similarly, if any aspect of the terms don’t match your initial understanding of the job (eg the salary is less than you expected), contact the employer and seek clarification before proceeding.
Once you have accepted, you must withdraw from the recruitment process of any other jobs you have applied for.
If you have received a job offer, but you’ve got other outstanding applications, you may be reluctant to make the decision immediately. While this is understandable - particularly if you’re still waiting to hear about a job you really want - you should at least acknowledge the offer.
Graduate recruiters are aware that candidates will be applying for a number of opportunities, so you may choose to explain the situation to the employer making the offer. You can ask for time to consider the offer or ask them when you need to accept or decline by.
While employers may be understanding and patient, do not expect them to hold open the offer for very long - they need to meet their recruitment targets and make offers to other candidates.
If you are in the fortunate position of receiving more than one job offer at about the same time, you’ll need to consider which is the best one for you to accept.
To help with this, do your research and compare the jobs and employers on these issues:
You may also want to talk through the options with someone, like a member of the Careers and Placements team, an academic or a friend to help you clarify the choices.
Do not use this situation to ‘play off’ employers against one another. Graduate recruiters communicate with one another and such unprofessionalism will be noted and shared
Once you have made a decision and accepted, you should then inform the other employers and be sure to thank them for their offer.
Finally, always remain polite and professional in your dealings with employers, whatever the outcome. Your paths may cross again in the future, whether it’s approaching them for another job later, meeting their representatives at sector events or as you widen your networks and contacts.
If you're unsuccessful at application or interview stage, don’t worry - it is common to make a number of applications before getting a job. Try not to take it personally, but use a rejected application as a chance to learn and develop for next time. There may be a number of reasons for the outcome and, more importantly, you may be able to do something to improve your chances.
Watch: My applications keep getting rejected and I don’t know why!
Are there any obvious reasons why your applications are not successful? What could you do differently to improve your chances? Here are some suggestions for your next application:
It is disappointing to be rejected after an interview or assessment centre, but reflect positively on the fact you have done well to reach that stage in the recruitment process. There may be very little differentiating a successful candidate from those who were not selected - you may have been a close second.
Be kind to yourself, take time to reflect and take stock, and then try again. See the University pages for tips on taking care of yourself. As well as careers support, try to get support from your personal network of family and friends.