Accepting, Declining, & Negotiating Offers

Receiving a job or internship offer is exciting (congratulations) but is not the not the final step of the search process.  Reviewing the details of an offer carefully, navigating multiple active applications, and negotiating salary and/or benefits can be important next steps within a consideration and acceptance process. 

What to Expect in an Official Offer 

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Understanding Benefits & Perks in an Offer

Carefully reading and understanding your benefits package is an important step to take before accepting any position. Read below for more insight into what could be in a benefits package and what an employer could be offering you. 

Click here to learn more about common health insurance benefits

Considerations & Guidance Around Offers and Acceptance Timelines

Recruitment for summer internships and full-time roles is consistently happening earlier in the academic year.  You might feel pressure to secure a position, and perhaps receive an offer with a deadline to accept that feels early – especially if you have another “top choice” or choices and are waiting to hear back about other roles. 

Important Considerations: 

We highly discourage accepting a role offer and then, later, reneging the acceptance to pursue another opportunity.  In the same vein, you should not accept a role and then continue interviewing for other.  Why?  Doing this...  

  • Damages relationship with employers, “burns bridge” for future opportunities 
  • Puts a strain on employers who will have to “restart” aspects of the hiring process 
  • Especially in the case of a student pursuing an internship, the student is representing Marquette 

Essential Question for Applicants: 

How can I navigate a job offer that is not my top choice, when I am asked to accept by a deadline that feels too early? 

When you receive an offer, first weigh the pros and cons of the role.  Possible questions to consider: 

  • Do you have non-negotiable's related to factors such as location or pay?  For example: If the position would require you to move to location that is unrealistic to you, you should decline and refocus your search in your target cities.  If you have not, take time to budget and determine the hourly wage range you are willing to accept, factoring in what you will need for rent, groceries, etc. 
  • Is the role not your top choice because of the company setting or industry context?  For example, is it a small organization when you see yourself at a larger company long-term?  Consider the role function and how you may still gain relevant experience that could transfer over to a larger setting in the future. 
  • On the flip side, are you interested in the company but not the specific job duties?  Could you learn some new skills, and consider networking within the company to learn from professionals who work in roles more closely related to the functional area of your choice? 

After you’ve thought through the questions above… 

  1. If you are still not realistically interested in the internship, you should thank the employer for their time and the offer, but decline and refine your search. 

2. If the role seems like a good fit after consideration of the points above, accept, take advantage of the opportunity and learning experience, and continue networking and building relationships both within the company and elsewhere (with future and longer-term goals in mind). 

3. If you maintain some interest but are waiting to hear back about other opportunities you have either applied or interviewed for, consider asking the hiring manager/recruiter for more time to make your decision (see below for more guidance on this).

Asking for an Acceptance Deadline Extension- Guidance and Sample Messages

Receiving a job or internship offer is exciting (congratulations) but is not the not the final step of the search process. Reviewing the details of an offer carefully, navigating multiple active applications, and negotiating salary and/or benefits can be important next steps within a consideration and acceptance process.

Acceptance Deadline Extension & Offer Timeline Request – Sample Messages 

Declining an Interview After Accepting an Offer- Guidance and Sample Messages

Your internship or job search might land you in a position where you’re invited to interview for a role after accepting another one. Note that you should NOT continue to interview for other positions after accepting an offer. Therefore, you may need to be prepared to message to an employer that you need to respectfully decline their invitation to interview with them. Read on for some sample messages for internships and full-time positions.

Researching Salary and Salary Negotiation

Applying to a new role can be stressful, so planning in advance what you are looking for in a position is important. It is important to research salary expectations for your role and area, and to understand what you are able to realistically negotiate in a benefits and perks package.

 Negotiations- Guidance and Sample Message

Negotiating a offer or salary can be a intimidating task, especially if this is your first position. Coming in well researched and prepared is the key to success. There are multiple considerations when deciding what to ask for and how. Read on for more information on what could be asked for in a negotiation and how to research salary norms for a position.

Requesting an Offer Negotiation-Sample Message

Salary Research- Getting Started

A negotiation should always be based on salary research in your specific industry and city. Here is some information and websites to get your research started

Some websites to get you started on your research include, LinkedIn Salary, Glassdoor,, or The Salary Project

We also have salary data on our website

Questions? Come Ask! 

Schedule an appointment through Handshake. If you are unable to find an appointment time that precedes the employer’s response deadline, please contact our office at to explain your timelines and request a discussion.