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Evaluating a Job Offer

What To Do When You Get Your First Offer

Congratulations, you did everything right and now you have a job offer! Even if you think it is your dream job, take the time to evaluate the offer to be certain the position is right for you. It is better to take the time now, than to realize, once in the job, that it is not what you expected.

  • Express your appreciation for the offer immediately by phone or email. Request time to consider the offer.
  • Request the offer in writing. • Review, evaluate and compare all the offers you have received.
  • If you are sure that the offer you have is your first choice, proceed with accepting the offer and then contact all other employers to withdraw from further consideration. Be sure to thank everyone.
  • If you are not sure the job is your first choice, call employers who may still be of interest to you, but from whom you have not yet heard, and ask where they are in their hiring cycle. If no decision has been made, ask about their timeframe. Indicate that you are still interested in the position, but need to respond to another offer. You might want to let them know that you have a deadline and then give them a date that is before your deadline.
  • Take time to consider your options.
  • Do not accept a position unless you are sure you want to take the job.
  • If appropriate, negotiate salary.
  • Be wary of employers who try to pressure you to make a quick decision.

Evaluating a Job Offer

The process for evaluating a job offer begins when you establish the criteria you will use. Ideally, this should be done before you start interviewing.

In addition to the checklist below, review your answers to the career values assessment.Once you have evaluated the offer carefully considering these factors, you will be in a position to decide whether or not to accept the offer, negotiate different terms or reject the offer.

Job Offer Evaluation Checklist

  • Fit, role and responsibilities: The job is a good fit for your interests, skills, abilities and personality. You have clarified what is expected of you and are confident the work is something you want to do. You are excited about the position.
  • Reputation of organization: The standing of the organization in the community, regionally and nationally fits what is important to you.
  • Culture of the organization and work environment: The “personality” and vision, mission and values match yours.
  • Salary, benefits: There are many aspects to salary and benefits. Determine how important each of these options is to you.
    • Base salary: Is this within the pay range for your field, your experience and geographic location?
    • Commission bonuses
    • Projected salary increases ◦ Health and dental benefits
    • Retirement plans 401(k) or 403(b)
    • Stock options, profit sharing
    • Life insurance and disability benefits
    • Vacation and sick leave
    • Paid holidays
    • Tuition reimbursement
    • Perks such as paid memberships to professional associations, a health club or gym or access to an on-site gym, a company-provided car or a flexible schedule
  • Schedule: The expectations and policies about the work schedule fit what are important to you. Consider the schedule for a typical day, the number of hours you are expected to be in each day, and, if important to you, is there is an opportunity to work from home.
  • Hidden costs or perks: Consider the time to commute, cost for parking, availability of public transportation, on-site day care, need for a professional wardrobe.
  • Career path: Consider how this position will impact your long term career goals.