Typically, employers will make a verbal offer over the phone followed by email/mail. Read over these documents closely. You should be enthusiastic when an offer is made. If you need some time to think it over, it is fine to ask. Remember that once you accept a position, it is unethical to continue looking for other opportunities or to renege (back out of your acceptance). Students who participate in OCR that accept and then renege on a job offer are at risk of losing their Handshake access.
How exciting that you have an offer! However, your work isn’t done yet. It’s time to make your decision: accept or respectfully decline. As you begin to evaluate the offer, here are some things to think about:
Written Job Offer Letter
After a job offer has been discussed via a phone conversation or an email, you should receive a written job offer that includes the following:
- Job/Internship title
- Start date
- Supervisor’s name
- Deadline for responding to offer
The employer will let you know if the offer is contingent upon passing a background check or drug screening. The organization may also include benefits information such as health insurance, employee wellness programs, vacation and sick leave. If you do not receive information on benefits packages, you can always ask the employer to send it to you before making your decision.
Benefits may include:
- Sick leave
- Health plans (medical, dental insurance, vision)
- Disability insurance, short-term
- Life insurance
- Relocation/moving expenses
- Stock options or RSUs (Restricted Stock Options)
- Retirement (401k or 403b plan)
- Profit sharing
- Educational assistance/tuition reimbursement
- Training and development
- Health and fitness programs
- Bonus—signing or performance
Job Offer Evaluation Checklist
1. List the criteria you were looking for when you started your job search.
Examples of possible criteria:
- Interest in particular job function (e.g., management, sales, consulting, design, program management, recruitment), responsibilities and tasks
- A setting that will allow you to express your values
- Opportunity to work on challenging projects
- Sufficient change and variety
- Opportunity to use skills and abilities that reflect your strengths
- Working independently and/or as part of a team
- Likable supervisor and coworkers
- Opportunity to travel or work in a certain geographic location
- Opportunity for advancement and professional development
- Compatibility with a particular lifestyle; e.g., not working more than 40-50 hours per week
- Certain salary level or availability of perks or incentives
- Check out these resources to help you research salaries
- The organization’s solid reputation and financial status
2. Look over your criteria and give them a number rank: items you definitely want
- Items you prefer but could do without
- Nice extras to have on the job
3. Evaluate the offer by analyzing how well it meets your ranked criteria.
Does the position include most of the items you definitely want? Or does it only offer one or two critical factors? If you only have one or two of your criteria met, will the position bring you satisfaction or will you be looking for a new opportunity soon?
- If you need more information or time after evaluating the offer, do not hesitate to ask the employer. If you are weighing more than one offer, apply the same evaluation criteria to each of them to see which appears to meet them most fully.
- If you are having a hard time making a decision, see a career counselor to talk about decision-making and weighing your offers. Go online to schedule an appointment.
Dealing With Deadlines
CAN I ASK FOR MORE TIME?
Yes, but be prepared to explain why you need it and how much time you will need. Employers may not be able to give you more time, so also be prepared to make a decision if extending the offer deadline is not an option.
You may receive an offer from one company before a preferred company extends an offer. Let your first choice know you have received another offer, but that you prefer their opportunity. If your first choice company is truly interested in you, they will most likely speed up their process if possible. If this is not possible, or if the company who made the offer is unwilling to extend your deadline, you need to make a thoughtful decision about what to do. If you feel unsure, schedule an appointment with a career counselor.
HOW DO I ASK FOR MORE TIME?
First be enthusiastic and thank the employer for the offer. Then, use these sample scripts to ask for more time to consider it:
“I am excited about the opportunity to work at XYZ Corporation and pleased with your offer. I know I would do an effective job for you. However, this is an important decision for me and I need time to consider it.”
“May I get back to you by ____?” or “How soon do you need a reply?” or “Can we make an appointment to meet and discuss this?”
“I have a previously scheduled interview, and it is important to me to honor this commitment. In order for me to make the best decision, I’d like to request more time.”
Career Center’s Youtube Video: “Evaluating and Negotiating Job Offers with Confidence” >>>