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Job offers and working life

Job offers, rejection emails and stepping into the working world with your first graduate job can pull you in a million directions. Fortunately, we’ve curated advice on how to accept job offers, bounce back from rejection and make an impact in your first job.
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Welcome to the world of work

We’re guessing you’ve come to our job offers and working life careers advice because you’ve heard back about a job application or interview. Maybe you’re here because you’re receiving so many job offers that you don’t know what to do with yourself. Maybe you’re here because you’ve had some disheartening news about your application and are feeling the sting of rejection. Or maybe you’re here because you are about to start your graduate job and have questions about your employment contract or want to make the best impression. Whatever your reasons, we have got the tips and email templates to help you out: we take you through how to accept or decline an offer, juggle multiple offers, pick yourself up after being rejected, negotiate a starting salary and more. But if you're still in the job hunting stage, you can search for them here.

Responding to good and bad news

Acceptance and rejection

To accept or not accept?

Receiving a job offer or, better yet, multiple job offers is not a bad position to be in. But it can be overwhelming. You want to make sure you’re making the right decision and also being professional when accepting and declining. Luckily, we’ve got the advice to help you out – including templates to guide your responses.

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The art of negotiation

Negotiating pay

Did you know that you can negotiate a different starting salary for your graduate job? This isn’t true in every case, but there are definitely times when you can. Read our advice on negotiating a salary for your graduate job to clue yourself up on exactly when you should, why you should and how you should. You also want to make sure you understand ‘salary jargon’ and be clear about what you’re earning, what you’re entitled to and what your payslip is really saying. Our article on ’What is gross pay?’ and other questions about salary benefits and incentives provides a glossary of pay-related terminology, so you’ll be completely up to speed on what everything means.

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Know what you’re signing up for

Your employment rights

When you do receive the good news that you’ve landed your first graduate job, you’ll probably be full steam ahead and wanting to get stuck in. You might even be starting to think about what outfit you need to put in the wash to wear on your first day. But let’s pause for a second. Do you fully understand what you are agreeing to when you accept a graduate job offer? Do you understand the typical terms of a graduate employment contract? (Or what an employment contract even is?) It’s always a good idea to familiarise yourself with all the legal and important bits of your employment before you start to avoid any nasty surprises.

Entering the working world

Your first job

Ways of working

Whether you’re thinking of taking a job with a hybrid work split, or literally packing up your whole life and moving somewhere else for a job, there are pros and cons to both ways of working. So, before you start packing your socks and house plants, or setting up a home-office at the kitchen table, consider some of the logistics.

decision making

What is your next move?

When to move on

Getting your first job and joining the working world is an exciting time. But what if after a few weeks you begin to feel restless or even that you are in the wrong job? It’s natural to be looking for your next move even if you have found your perfect job fit and even more so if you think that the role just isn’t for you. Whichever situation you’re in, our advice covers everything you need to know about how long you should stay in your first job.


Legally, a verbal job offer is the same as a written one. A job offer can be made in writing or verbally, although if an employer offers a job to a candidate verbally, it’s best practice for them to follow it up with a written job offer – this is usually sent within 48 hours of the verbal offer. Graduate recruiters will normally phone you in the first instance, giving you the chance to ask any questions and request more time to consider the offer if you need it. However, as with any agreement that isn’t written, a verbal job offer alone (with no written-follow up) is tricky to prove.

Simply put, yes. You can lose a job offer by trying to negotiate a salary that an employer is unwilling or unable to meet. This is why it is important that you enter salary negotiations with a realistic figure in mind, based around earnings for similar roles and what you have to offer the employer. It’s also important for you to be clear on the minimum figure that you can accept. Crucially, be prepared to walk away (or to be walked away from) if negotiations fail.

If even after a considered career choice, you find that the sector and/or role is not the right fit, identity what isn’t working for you and speak with your line manager or mentor (if you have one). You may find that you can in fact forge your desired career at your current employer by undertaking training or gaining exposure to a wider range of work, for example. However, if the outcome of this discussion is not as you would’ve hoped, take some time to reassess what it is you want from your career and start to plan your next move.

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Job offers, rejection emails and stepping into the working world with your first graduate job can pull you in a million directions. Fortunately, we’ve curated advice on how to accept job offers, bounce back from rejection and make an impact in your first job.

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