Evaluating Job Offers

When you receive an offer

You aren’t required to accept every offer you receive. Before accepting a position, carefully evaluate if the position is the right fit for you at this time. Follow the steps below for how to respond to an offer at the moment:

  1. Thank them and express your excitement.
  2. Ask for the details of the offer (salary and benefits package) and if they can send it to you in writing.
  3. Request some time to review the offer and think things over. Find out when they would like your decision.
  4. Thank them and let them know when you will get back to them.

After that conversation, you now have time to consider if you want the position and take a look at the details. Use the questions in the adjacent box to consider if the position and the offer are the best fit for you.

Assessing the offer

The time between receiving and accepting an offer is the time to negotiate. Not all positions are negotiable, however you should look at the offer to determine if it is reasonable or below what you feel you are worth. Consider the following:

  • How does the offer compare to other offers you’ve received?
  • How does the offer compare to industry standards?
  • Do you have special experience or skills that make you worth more?
  • What about the other benefits: gym memberships, transportation costs, day care availability, insurance coverage, retirement, sick time and paid holidays, tuition reimbursement for future degrees, etc.

Negotiating salary

If you have assessed the offer and feel you are worth more, you should try your hand at negotiating. Remember to maintain a professional attitude and focus on what you are worth, not what you need. A negotiation is a conversation, but be sure to bring research and reasons you are worth more. It is recommended that you discuss with a career counselor or trusted mentor before negotiating.

  • Focus on the value you bring to the organization (special skills/knowledge, training or education, experience)
  • Ask questions like “How can we make this work?”
  • Ask about modifying the job description to make higher pay reasonable
  • If they cannot offer a salary increase, consider negotiating for a review and a possible raise sooner than is normal for the position.

Online Salary Resources: Salary Wizard | Cost of Living Calculator |

After it is all finished:

  • Ask for the revised offer in writing as well.
  • After you verbally accept, write an acceptance letter.
  • Once you accept a job offer, do not back out. Stop looking for jobs. Inform other companies that they should no longer be considering your application.
    • If you’ve accepted a job offer and something “better” comes along, please review this article on how to handle this situation! 
  • Thank and update those who helped you during the search.