Accepting and Not Reneging Internship/Job Offers

All students need to be professional and ethical in their interactions with employers. To maintain your professional reputation and that of the University, you need to adhere to these guidelines. Contact us before you make any decision; allow us to help you!  

When should I accept an internship/job offer?

  • You should receive a written offer with the job title, location, salary, and benefits. Do not accept an offer until it is in writing.
  • If an organization gives you a verbal offer, request a written offer. An email offer is an acceptable offer as long as it includes job title, location, salary, and benefits information.

How should I accept an offer?

  • Call the HR Contact/Supervisor, or the contact who gave you the offer, to let them know your decision.
  • Regardless of your decision, follow up with an email.

Is my offer binding once I have accepted an offer?

  • Once you have accepted a position, stay firm in your decision. If you have signed a contract from an organization, they might have specific penalties for students who renege on the offer. It also reflects poorly on you and will negatively impact opportunities for fellow Trojans if you renege on an accepted offer. Please review our Professional Integrity Contract for more information.

What do I do if I am juggling multiple offers?

  • Prioritize what you are looking for in an internship/job and weigh all aspects. Consider work-life balance, your commute, salary, supervisor, benefits, flexible hours, available promotions, and the organization’s future. Contact us if you have questions, and allow us to help you!  

What should I do if I have already received one offer but have not heard from my dream organization?

  • Communicate with both parties.
  • For the organization that has offered you the position, notify them that you are finishing up with the recruiting process and hope to make your decision by a specific date (usually no more than 2-3 weeks). Inquire about when they need you to make a firm decision.
  • Follow-up with your dream organization and let them know that you have received another offer and are exploring your options.

How long do I have to decide on the offer?

  • The Career Center guides employers who participate in USC’s On-Campus Recruiting (OCR) Program to allow you two weeks from the offer date to make your decision. An employer should not pressure you to accept an offer immediately. You can always ask for more time to carefully consider the offer. Please review Recruiting Guidelines and Policies for more information.

Are there any consequences to reneging an offer?

  • Absolutely. Industries are small, and recruiters are well connected – you could potentially harm your professional reputation resulting in limited opportunities for yourself and fellow Trojans in the future. Your connectSC account will also be disabled for six months.

I have already accepted an offer, but my dream organization just came through and offered me a position. What should I do?

  • Since you have accepted the first offer in good faith, you should not accept the second offer. If you choose to accept the second offer, there will be negative consequences, including damaging the opportunities for other Trojans with the first organization.

I have accepted an offer. What should I do next?

  • Inform the Employer Engagement team.
  • Remove yourself from the internship/job search.
  • Politely decline all remaining offers by notifying the recruiters.
  • Cancel all remaining interviews.

How do I turn down an offer?

  • Call the Human Resources Director/Supervisor to decline the offer.
  • Follow up with an email to notify the employer. Please see our example below for what to write in the email.

Example: Declining Offer Letter?

May 1, 20XX

Dear Ms. Walden:

Thank you for the marketing internship offer with Creative Marketing Company. I enjoyed meeting with you and your staff and appreciate the time you have given me to consider the offer.

Though Creative Marketing Company is an impressive company, I am declining the offer. I accepted another offer which is more in line with my current skills and career goals.

Thank you for the consideration and opportunity to work with your team. I wish you and the staff of Creative Marketing Company all the best.


Tiffany Traveler