Business Letters

Acceptance Letters

An acceptance letter is a positive response to either an invitation or a job offer. Its objective is to notify the reader of an affirmative decision. The letter should be kept fairly short. Its scope need only include information that relates to the logistical details of accepting the offer.

If you have been offered a job that you intend to accept, write your letter immediately. Remember, you are not the only person that was interviewed. The offer only indicates that you are the employer's "first choice." Delay on your part will communicate a lack of interest and will result in a prospective employer turning to his or her "second choice."

Identify your reader

An acceptance letter should be addressed to a person who has extended you an invitation or a job offer. You will have most likely met this person during a job interview and should place his or her name in the salutation and the inside heading of your acceptance. It should also be included on the top line of your envelope.

Keep in mind that people do business with people. When you personalize your letter, addressing the reader by name, you recognize that person's individual importance and their value as a human being.

Establish your objective

The objective of an acceptance letter is to say "yes" to an invitation or a job offer. It notifies the reader of this decision and affirms the writer's commitment.

Your acceptance should be conveyed in the first sentence, especially when you are accepting a job offer. Include a simple "thank you" as you begin the letter. Courtesy never goes out of style and your reader will appreciate your attention in that regard.

Determine your scope

The scope of your acceptance letter should be brief and upbeat, addressing any formalities or contingencies that relate to the commitment you are making.

In accepting a job offer, restate the title of the position and the expected compensation. Doing so reaffirms the essential details of the offer, eliminates the potential for error, and ensures that your objective is not misunderstood.

Inform your reader of any logistical details that may impact your availability, such as a graduation date, relocation issues that may effect your starting date or the existence of a competing offer. When necessary, address any contingencies that relate to your acceptance, such as finalizing a salary negotiation or an employment package.

Be forthright with the employer. He or she understands that you are making a difficult decision and will normally extend a short grace period in which you may consider your options.

Organize your letter

Organizing your acceptance letter before you begin to write it will establish a logical order in which to present your information. You have already begun this task by establishing an objective and determining your scope. Refer back to them. Together they include much of the content that will become the body of your letter.

A simple outline will get you organized. Begin by creating a list of relevant points and place them in the sequential order that will best help your reader comprehend your acceptance. These points will become the backbone of your working draft.

Draft your letter

Working from an outline is the simplest way to draft an acceptance letter. You have already organized yourself by creating a list. Refer back to it and turn each fragment into a full and complete sentence expressing a single thought or idea

In order that your thoughts and ideas are conveyed in a cohesive manner, write in as natural a sounding voice as possible.Try writing your draft quickly and then read it out loud. Concentrate on communicating your objective to your reader. Make sure that the scope of your letter contains all the relevant information included in your organizational list.

Keep in mind that you are writing a rough draft. For the moment you can ignore spelling, grammar, punctuation, sentence and paragraph structure. Those are technical details that you will pay attention to in the final step when you review and revise your work.

Close Your Letter

An acceptance letter should close in a professional manner. Once your last paragraph is written, sign off between a complimentary close such as "Sincerely," or "Thank you," and your printed name.

If you are writing in conjunction with an official duty, place your title below your printed name. Additional information such as dictation remarks, notification of attachments, enclosures and copies sent to other individuals should be placed beneath the title line.

Review and Revise Your Letter

Reviewing and revising the draft of your acceptance letter is a final inspection, a last check to see whether your objective is clearly stated and your scope concisely defined. Put yourself in the reader's shoes and ask whether the details are accurate and complete.

Look for obvious errors. Check for spelling, sentence structure and grammar mistakes. Your complaint should be direct and to the point, so make sure that you have used a strong active voice.

Keep in mind the overall cohesiveness of your letter. Look for accuracy, clarity and a sense of completeness. Ask yourself if the transitions between paragraphs are working and if your point of view, tone and style are consistent throughout the text.

Examine your word choices carefully. Ambiguous words lead to confusion. Jargon and abstract terms may not be understood at all and affectations, cliches and trite language serve no real purpose and will obscure your objective.

If you have not written an opening or a closing now is the time. Lead into the acceptance with an affirmative statement regarding your commitment. Conclude with an enthusiastic forward-looking comment.

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