First and foremost, congratulations! You obviously stand out to the employer. Well done. So, now what?
When you first receive the email or call with a position offer, always be and act excited:
"Thank you so much! I am very excited about this opportunity."
Then, even if you know you want the position, ask for time:
"I would like a little time to think about and review the position and benefits (if applicable). By when do you want an answer?"
Make sure you respond to them no later than that date (earlier if you absolutely know).
Things to consider when making your decision.
What matters most to you? Is is the salary, the prestige, the career path it puts you on, the skills you learn, professional development opportunities, the flexibility, the company culture? Consider everything and, remember, this is your future. While it is often helpful getting advice from family, friends, mentors, and career coaches, remember that it is you that will need to work in that position and with that organization every day.
Negotiating the Offer
It can be overwhelming trying to figure out the appropriate compensation for your first job. Following are some tips.
- Plan ahead and know your worth.
- Prior to your interview, research the company's salary ranges and salary ranges for this type of position and industry. Keep in mind your level of education and experience. Two additional salary research options are:
- Know the lowest salary you would consider.
- DO NOT ask about salary and benefits during the interview process. You can negotiate after an offer is made.
- Do not accept right away. See above.
- Consider everything:
- When determining your salary, remember to include the value of benefits, such as health insurance, flexible spending accounts, bonuses, tuition reimbursement, advancement opportunities, paid vacation, and stock offerings. This information is often found on the human resource page of the company website.
- Remember to consider both short and long term career goals. Will this position pay off in the experience you obtain?
- It's not personal
- The employer does not need to know about your current student loans or current financial situation.
- Employers do not take it personally when you ask if there is room for negotiation.
- Know your strengths
- Relevant work experience, graduate degrees, technical expertise, or a written job offer from another employer providing a higher salary are all strengths that can be used when approached the right way.
Multiple Job Offers
Have you been offered multiple positions? If so, congratulations! Look at the points above and consider which is best for you. Want one but another pays more/has better benefits? You can say to the recruiter, hiring manager, or headhunter at the position you really want, "Thank you for the offer! I am very excited about this opportunity and am very interested in joining your organization. I currently have another offer that is also very attractive. Can you nudge your salary (or whatever it is you want to negotiate) up to $X to make it more easy to accept your offer?"
Having One Offer But Waiting For Another You Really Want
Timing can be tricky when applying for jobs and receiving offers. You may receive an offer from an organization or position while waiting to hear back from your top pick. While sometimes a gamble, if you have interviewed at your top pick and receive an offer from another, contact your top pick and say: "I am very interested in working with (insert organization). I have, however, just received an offer and they would like to hear back by (insert a day). I am not trying to pressure you but (insert top pick organization name) is my top choice. Do you know where in the search process you are and when you might make the final decision?"
*Note Accepting the Offer points below which stresses that once you accept a position, you should not pursue or accept another.
Accepting the Offer
When accepting a job offer, you must have every intention of honoring that commitment. If you accept an offer of employment (full time, part time, internship or co-op), admission to a graduate or professional school, or other post-graduate career opportunity, you must immediately withdraw from the application/recruitment/interview process elsewhere.
- Do not apply to future job postings
- Decline all future interview invitations
- Cancel any active applications
- Contact all recruiters with whom you are currently interviewing and inform them you are removing yourself from consideration
Reneging the Offer
It is considered very poor etiquette to accept an offer with an organization, then accept a second offer with a different organization. While it is a big world out there, people within industries talk with each other and often remember those that have taken back an acceptance. It is therefore very important to be sure of your decision and withdraw your applications elsewhere.
Declining an Offer
Opinions differ on whether you should decline over the phone (never voicemail) or via email. Do your research and talk with a career coach to find your best way. Either way, here are some tips:
- Be concise
- Be professional. Never bad talk a company
- Be kind
- Be thankful
- Be timely: If you know you don't want the position, let them know so they can offer it to the next qualified individual.
Thank you so much for the offer for the (insert position title) position. I very much appreciate the time you have taken to answer my questions and meet with me. I thoroughly enjoyed the conversations and while I would love to work at (insert organization name), I have decided to accept an offer that will develop my skills in a direction best suited for my needs right now. Because of this, I must withdraw my application for the (position title) position.
Again, thank you for everything. Good luck in your search. I hope our paths cross again in the future.