Offer Guidelines

All employers should extend offers in writing and be prepared to exhibit written offers to the appropriate career services office.  Illinois does not condone the use of exploding offers or any other practice that puts unreasonable pressure on students.  These offers do not afford a candidate the appropriate amount of time to either accept or decline and put enormous pressure on students to make a decision before they have completed the interview process.  We understand that firms need to know their hiring needs prior to the start of recruiting, however, it is in firms’ and students’ best interest if students are granted ample time to make informed decisions.

Offers resulting from:For:Cannot expire before:
Summer Internships or Co-ops Full-time Conversion Offers or Returning Internship OffersOctober 1 or three weeks after the offer is made, whichever comes later.
Internships or Co-ops Conversion that Occurred during a fall or spring academic semester Full-time Conversion Offers or Returning Internship OffersThree weeks after the start of the subsequent academic term or three weeks after the offer is made, whichever comes later.
Fall InterviewsFull-time or Internship OffersNovember 15 or three weeks after the offer is made, whichever comes later.
Spring InterviewsFull-time or Internship OffersApril 1 or three weeks after the offer is made, whichever comes later.

On occasion, students may request an extension beyond the date given.  Each request should be considered on a case-by-case basis and be accommodated if possible.  The possibility of negotiating decision deadlines should be clearly stated to students at the time the offer is made for both full-time and internship positions.

Please feel free to reach out to a member of the Advising Team to discuss any questions or concerns related to this policy.

Why Reneging on an Offer is Not a Good Idea

What happens if you have already accepted a job offer when a better one comes along?   Can you back out of the first offer?   No, and here’s why you shouldn’t–

  1. Reneging on an offer is a quick way to ensure that you will not able to work for that organization in the future.  Employers have long memories and you will likely have a black mark on your file.
  2. This may affect your chances of working at similar organizations.  Keep in mind that many industries are relatively small and that people you angered by reneging may warn others in the industry about you.  As you can imagine, this can be damaging in instances when the offer came through on-campus recruiting where recruiters from competing organizations all know each other!
  3. Reneging on an offer damages the University of Illinois reputation and future recruiting opportunities for Engineering students.  When you renege on an offer the employer doesn’t just think negatively about you, they also think negatively about the University of Illinois.  It may only take one instance for an employer to conclude that this is “just the way U of I students are” and be less inclined to recruit from Illinois in the future.
  4. There are consequences for reneging.  Students who renege are blocked from using Handshake @ Illinois for a minimum of one semester or longer. Honoring your accepted job offers is something that we as university take very seriously.

Avoid being in this situation by not accepting an offer without carefully thinking it through.  You should never tell an employer “yes” if your plan is to continue to look until you find something better.  It’s not fair to them, and it’s not ethical of you.   ECS can help you navigate this process.  If you receive an offer and are unsure about what to do, meet with an ECS advisor to discuss your options.  Sometimes the best answer is to ask for an extension so that you aren’t rushed into a decision that might not be for the best.

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