What’s on Offer?

You did it! You have woven your way through the intricacies of the job search and you have landed an offer from an employer. Woo hoo! Success! But wait – is it an offer you should refuse?

Many job seekers, especially if they have experienced a long, difficult job search, will often take the offer that is given to them just to be employed again. It’s more an emotional decision than it is a logical one. The temptation to take the offer as it is presented looks very rosy when compared to continuing the slog of job search. Many jump at that first offer and then find out later they should not have been so eager to say yes.

Here are some things to consider when you are considering an offer:

Is the salary competitive? Employers have a range within which they can set a salary for a new candidate. It is typical for the first offer to come in at the bottom of the range so the employer can get the best “deal”. If the candidate accepts without attempting to negotiate that point, the employer wins. If the job seeker turns up his/her nose and refuses everything in the offer outright, the employer will go on to the next candidate. The key is to try to negotiate the offer. Salary is a good starting point, but it doesn’t make up the entire offer. Look at the salary but also take into consideration the rest of the compensation. If the salary looks low, its still possible that the insurance and bonus packages are very good and will outweigh the level of salary.

Is the location good? I have seen so many people who take a job offer that appears to be much more financially beneficial only to have to become accustomed to a long, difficult commute. The expense and time spent on commuting should be considered when looking at a job offer. What will the extra cost of fuel or transportation be and will it offset the benefits of the salary offer? Will the time lost with family and friends tip the work-life balance into upheaval? These are serious issues to consider when considering a new job.

Is the company stable? There is nothing more heartbreaking that to accept an offer, be on the job for a few weeks, and then get laid off when the company revenues fall below projections. I once worked with a client who was hired in the morning by a tech company, only to be laid off that afternoon during the middle of her orientation with human resources! Do some research before accepting the offer?

Do you have any wiggle room or negotiating leverage? If you are one of the fortunate people who have highly demanded skills, are a hot commodity, or if you have earned a stellar reputation in your industry, you will have more leverage in negotiating the offer than someone without these benefits. On the same issue, if you do not possess any of these benefits, but think you do, you may blow a good offer by coming across in negotiations as a petulant prima donna. Be careful that you are realistic in what you have to offer and how badly the employer wants it. Proceed in negotiations with respect.

One of the benefits of working with recruiters such as those at ResumeMachine is that the recruiter will be of great assistance in the negotiations process. Compensation is one of the issues in which the recruiter is on your side. It is beneficial to the recruiter to negotiate the best possible package for you from the employer since the recruiter’s compensation is a percentage of your package. Keep that in mind when structuring your job search.

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