Syracuse UniversityCareer Services

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EVALUATING YOUR OFFER

You did it! The interview is done, the wait is over, and now you have a job offer! Give yourself a pat on the back, BUT don’t sign the dotted line just yet. Read this section to help decide whether or not this is the offer you want to accept.

EVALUATING THE OFFER

While it may be hard to imagine, the most difficult part of a job search can sometimes be accepting an offer. The first offer may not be exactly the best job for you and you may be waiting for other offers, or you just may not feel ready to make such a commitment. While it can be a very complicated process, the following are some of the important questions you want to ask yourself to help you evaluate an offer:

  • Does it fit my requirements and my career goals?
  • Will I enjoy the work?
  • Is it work that allows me to apply my skills?
  • Is the work environment right for me?
  • Do I believe in their mission and vision?
  • Do their expectations fit with my lifestyle?
  • Does the compensation package meet my needs?
  • Is the salary level appropriate for the level of responsibility, the industry, and the location?
  • Is the job located in a city I want to live in? Is there travel involved? If so, how much?

Answering these questions will help make evaluting the offer easier, because these issues can be tough to navigate! Discuss your job offer with parents, advisors, or with Career Services so that you can make the most informed decision possible. Using resources such as Glassdoor.comSalary.com or others can also help you decide.


OFFER & NEGOTIATION

Always get an offer in writing. Your offer letter should include the job description, who you’ll report to, and information about your salary and benefits. After receiving the offer, ask for some time to consider your decision. Establish and agree to a deadline with your point of contact at the organization. Although these timelines vary by the circumstances, one to two weeks is a reasonable guideline.

When negotiating, salary is not the only factor to consider. Health insurance and other benefits, time off, and your schedule are also appropriate to negotiate. To do this effectively, read about negotiating, and have evidence to back up any requests that you choose to make.

Some tips to get you started are:

  • Carefully consider what you are seeking to negotiate and why you believe you have grounds to do so. If you plan to negotiate your salary or benefits, you must do so BEFORE you accept the offer. Remember to be reasonable and realistic.
  • If you seek a higher salary, obtain salary statistics from a variety of sources to support your request. With salaries, try not to state a specific figure, but rather a range.
  • Call your contact and ask if there is room for negotiation. Be confident and assertive, but remember to remain professional throughout your negotiations.
  • If your requests are met, be appreciative and ask to receive written confirmation of the negotiated changes. If your requests are not met, maintain your professionalism, thank your contact and ask for more time to consider their offer.
  • The goal of negotiation is to come up with a mutually agreeable offer, so there is no need to be oppositional or negative!

MORE THAN ONE OFFER?

When faced with multiple offers, a comparison or a list of pros and cons can help you determine if there is one clear choice. Evaluate offers based on criteria that are important to you and be sure to clarify anything that is unclear. Think of the following as you compare your offers:

  • the quality of the work assignments and work atmosphere;
  • the organization’s position within the industry; 
  • work schedule and location of work assignments;
  • opportunity to learn new skills; 
  • salary and benefits;
  • potential for advancement; 
  • housing affordability;
  • quality of life, and
  • travel opportunities.

ACCEPTING OR DECLINING

Accepting the offer:
When you are comfortable with the offer, accept both verbally and in writing. After you accept an offer, withdraw your application from any other positions you are being considered for and do not continue to interview or apply.

Rejecting the offer:
Call the employer by phone to let them know that you are not accepting the offer. Express appreciation for the offer. In case they ask, have a simple response for why you’re not taking the position.


COMMON FRINGE BENEFITS

These benefits are not guaranteed, but companies sometimes offer these benefits to employees:

Health Insurance 
Prescription Coverage 
Dental Insurance
Life and Accidental Death Insurance
Vision Insurance
Disability Insurance
Educational Assistance
Retirement 
Paid Time Off/Sick Days 
Extended Illness Benefit 
Company Paid Holidays  
Health Savings Account  
Profit Sharing

Other Fringe Benefits:
Discounts for car loans, free/reduced rate to a health club, child care or elderly care, parking reimbursement, travel or meals for business-related work, relocation, other insurance, and computers and equipment necessary for the job.