University Career Center

We are shining a bit of light on the offer and acceptance part of your job search process.

You should celebrate that you have an offer. That’s impressive.

Getting a job offer is a huge sense of relief after years of hard work and finding your way. However, we understand that getting an offer this early on can bring both joy and stress. The “grass is always greener” feeling may come up during this time period -- that’s normal.

To help, we were able to talk to a recruiter from Huron Consulting and with a Recruitment Coordinator at the University Career Center.


Q + A

Question: What is the timeline given when you extend an offer to the student? What's the expectation of response time from your organizations perspective?

Answer: Employers usually work within offer guidelines set by each school.  Our expectation of response time is to hear back from you prior to offer expiration. However, as recruiters, we always appreciate you keeping us in the loop with how you are feeling and any questions you have while your offer is extended. 

Q: If an extension is needed, what is the best approach that you've seen or heard? What is the longest you've left an offer available? 

A: Typically, the best approach is to reach out and ask your recruiter.  Usually we hope that you make this request prior to the date of your offer deadline.  We also usually like to understand your specific case and why you are asking for an extension; then we can determine if we can accommodate the request and how long of an extension we would grant.

Q: What are topics typically negotiated with students? How would you suggest having these discussions?

A: The aspects of your offer that are open to negotiation typically depend on both the specific employer as well as the role for which you are being offered.  Some offer packages can be standardized with not much room for negotiation, while others may be more flexible.  If you are hoping to negotiate with an employer, I would recommend opening the dialog with your recruiter. It is common for recruiters to set up a time to review your offer or to offer to answer any questions you may have; this may be a good avenue for such discussions.

Q: Could you talk a little bit about situations when a student backs-out or reneges on an acceptance? What comes from this, how does that look?

A: Offer reneges are not taken lightly.  For some firms, reneging on an accepted offer would exclude you from any future opportunities with the company.  In addition, this information typically is relayed to your school’s Career Services.  If you are not completely confident in accepting your offer, try asking for an extension while you process your decision.  If you choose to accept your offer, make sure you are fully committed and confident in your choice.

Q:  What are some important factors for the student to consider before accepting an offer from your organizations perspective? 

A: There are many factors for students to consider when accepting an offer.  We encourage our candidates to reflect on the role, the work itself, company culture, as well as how the opportunity fits with their long term career goals.

Recruitment Coordinator, UNIVERSITY CAREER CENTER

Q + A

Question: Are there any rules or policies that UM has to help students who are getting offers from employers?

Answer: Employers making an employment offer to a University of Michigan student are referred first to the NACE position on Reasonable Offer Deadline Guidelines.  Efforts should be made on the part of the employer to give students adequate time to fully consider an offer of an internship or full-time employment. Likewise, students are coached on the importance of fully evaluating an offer, and avoiding declining an offer after accept whenever possible. To be consistent with other UM campus career offices, and to curtail student declines after accept, it is highly recommended that employers offering full-time positions to current/previous summer interns give students until November 30 to accept/decline the offer. It is permissible to offer incentives to students who accept a full-time position in advance of these dates. The University Career Center also prefers that full-time and internship offers extended as a participant in on-campus interviews remain open for a period of three weeks.

Q: What are the implications of a student backing-out of an accepted offer?

A: Formally accepting an offer for a job or internship is something a student should only do in the good faith they fully intend to honor that commitment. The University Career Center strongly condemns declining an offer after accept and requests all efforts be made to avoid this to the extent possible.  These actions can have a negative impact on both an individual student and on the overall impression of the University of Michigan by recruiters.

Rather, we encourage students to fully evaluate presented or anticipated offers, gather additional information, and ask clarifying questions before making a commitment. Concerns about an offer’s timeline or competing offers should be addressed to the University Career Center staff prior to any deadlines. The University Career Center refers employers to the NACE Reasonable Offer Guidelines and encourages both students and employers to find mutually acceptable time periods to thoughtfully consider offers made.  

Once an offer has been accepted, it is the University Career Center's expectation that a student would not continue to actively job search or participate in on-campus recruiting.

In instances where the University Career Center is informed by an employer that a student retracted a previously made commitment to a position, the University Career Center reserves the right to take actions to address this.

Q: What strategies or suggestions might you have when deciding to take an offer or continue searching?

A: If a student is not fully intending to commit to accepting an offer, we strongly encourage the student to request time from the employer to make the best, most informed decision. It is much better to ask for more time than to accept an offer with intent to continue exploring other opportunities. If a student would like advice and coaching around how to discuss this with the company they are talking to, please make an appointment.

Have additional questions? Want to make an appointment to talk more about offers? Head here: or call us at 734.764.7460