Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Follow-Up After a Verbal Job Offer

My prospective employer called me two weeks ago to let me know that my reference checks went very well and that the job is mine. She mentioned that the HR department is putting together my salary packet and offer letter. I have not heard anything since them. Can you give me a sample letter to write to her to find out next steps? Thanks.
-- Doris

by Honey Smith, Professional Life Coach

Congratulations on being offered the job! It's understandable that you're anxious to seal the deal and move forward.

There is no exact right or wrong answer to your question. A lot depends on the standard hiring practices for the industry you're in, the kind of job you accepted, and the relationship between the people who hired you and the HR department responsible for following up. No wonder it's a bit of an art to know where and when to check up on them!

When you're looking for work it's easy to forget that potential employers invest a lot in finding the right candidate and want to make it work. So, it's worth taking a moment to reflect:

• Do I have reason to be concerned that they won't follow through on their promise?

• If so, what can I do about it?

• Who in the company is likely to give me useful information about the offer and how will I contact them?

• Do I understand how hiring happens in this company and in this industry? Given these standards, is my experience with this verbal job offer all that unusual?

• What does this company's treatment of me tell me about how it operates? How do I feel about that? How will I use this information?

You didn't say whether you know and already have agreed to what's coming in the offer. If you have not already agreed upon a salary and benefits package, you can use this waiting period to prepare a response. For example: What offer will meet your expectations? Did you clearly communicate your salary and benefits needs? If you will need to negotiate further, what will you say?

In the end, you can't read minds. If you've considered the above factors and feel confident about the sincerity of their offer, why not call them with a brief and enthusiastic reminder?

Honey Smith, Ed.M. is a Professional Life Coach who helps job seekers fast forward their careers, master life transitions and fulfill their potential.

Susan Ireland’s Two Cents
If you decide to write a letter, create one that both thanks the manager and follows up on the verbal job offer. Take a look at these sample thank-you-for-the-job-offer letters and use them for inspiration for your own masterpiece.

Job Lounger, do you have a question? Email ( it to me and I’ll post your question and an expert’s answer here in The Job Lounge.

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