Sara Jones
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How to choose the best job offer
Last updated: September 30, 2022
Sara Jones
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How to choose the best job offer
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After all your hard work searching for a job and going through interviews, you’ve finally landed a job offer. Congratulations!

But what happens if more than one prospective employer offers you a position? Unless you’re in the position to work two jobs — and unless both offers have schedules that fit with each other — you must pick one and turn down the others. How do you decide which job is best for you right now?

Let’s explore how to compare job offers when you get to choose between two or more employment opportunities.

What is a job offer?

A job offer is an official invitation to come work at a company. It includes all the details of the job, such as:

  • How many hours you’ll work

  • A specific schedule (may not apply to jobs that change schedules regularly)

  • Base salary

  • Perks and benefits

  • Responsibilities you’ll have at your new job

  • Start date

  • Contract end date (if applicable)

When you get a job offer, it means you’re one step away from landing the job. Some job offers are contingent on conditions like medical tests or background checks. You’ll usually receive a written offer that outlines all these details. But it’s possible to receive verbal job offers, too.

Why is it important to carefully compare job offers?

If you’re applying for many jobs at once and attending several interviews, you may get more than one job offer. This can be exciting! While you may be tempted by the job that offers the biggest wage, money isn’t the only detail to look at.

To understand why comparing job offers matters, let’s look at some interesting statistics from the Pulse of the American Worker Survey. This survey evaluated the reasons workers want to leave their jobs for new ones.

Compensation was the top reason, at 50%. But other important reasons include:

  • Work-life balance (38%)

  • Limited growth opportunities (34%)

  • Tired of working on the same things (24%)

  • Lack of learning opportunities (23%)

These are all important factors to consider when comparing several job offers. For instance, it may not be worth a higher wage if you don’t have the work-life balance that allows you to pick up your kids from daycare.

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How to compare two or more job offers

So how do you make the right choice when you get more than one job offer? Here’s how you can compare all the job offers you received to pick the best one for you.

1. Make sure you have all the information you need

Your first step should be to double-check that you have everything you need to make an educated decision. Do you know all the details for each job offer, such as schedules and benefits?

If not, ask for more details from the hiring manager before you go any further. An incomplete job offer can’t be compared because there’s nothing to compare.

2. Research the companies

Ideally, you should perform some research about the companies before you attend the interview. But if you haven’t done thorough research yet, now’s the time to do so. It’s especially important if you didn’t learn about company values and culture during your interview.

Company culture and values will have a strong impact on what it’s like to work there. And there’s no “perfect” culture to look for — it all depends on your personality and your needs.

For example, some companies have a strong culture of teamwork while others value independence instead. One isn’t objectively better than the other. However, if you thrive in a team environment, the latter company may not be as much of a good fit for you.

Additionally, some companies value transparency, while others don’t. If transparency is an important value to you, this is an important factor to consider. But if you don’t value transparency, you won’t have to weigh this factor as much.

Other examples of company values or company culture types include:

  • Creativity

  • Innovation

  • Purpose-driven

  • Customer-focused

  • Hierarchy culture

  • Collaboration

  • Competition

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To find out more information, research what other employers have to say about working there. You can also look into the company’s financial health to make sure they’re not headed into a disaster.

3. Look at wages and benefits — and weigh their importance

What benefits does each job offer? Look at the wage, but dive deeper and consider:

  • Paid time off (PTO)

  • Vacation days

  • Health insurance and life insurance

  • Bonuses

  • Equity

  • Stock options

  • Sick leave

  • Parental leave

  • Retirement benefits

Rank the importance of those benefits for your situation. For instance, if you want to have children, parental leave is likely more important to you than getting equity in the company.

But if you’re retiring in the next 10–15 years, retirement benefits are likely much more important than any parental benefits.

On the other hand, if you need to meet a certain income level to pay upcoming bills, maybe the wage, bonuses, vacation time, and other financial incentives outweigh the rest of the benefits.

4. Think about your future

In addition to wages and benefits, it’s important to consider your long-term plans. What are your career goals? What drives you and gives you purpose to help you get up in the morning?

Will one of these jobs help you reach those goals more than the other? Is there potential for growth, advancement, and skill development at this company?

For example, one of the companies may offer a lower starting salary while also opening more doors for your future career. This could be more valuable to you than a higher-paying job that ends up going nowhere.

Once again, it all depends on you. If you don’t see yourself working in this industry long-term, then consider what skills you’ll develop on the job instead. Which job will help you gain the experience and skill sets you need to one day land your dream job in your dream industry?

5. Compare your prospective managers

Typically, the person who’ll manage your work is present at the interview. Think back to your interview and recall how you felt about your future manager.

If you feel you might not get along with one of the bosses, this may lead to issues down the road. Dysfunctional relationships between you and your boss can lower your quality of life and provide you with fewer opportunities to move forward with your career.

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6. Compare commutes

Commuting will cost you time and money. Whether you take public transportation or drive to work, you’ll need to spend a certain amount of time and money getting there.

A job with a longer commute but higher pay and better benefits may be worth it. But maybe you want to work from home, no matter the wage.

You also need to factor the cost of your time into the cost of your commute. Let’s say it costs you $10 a day in gas or public transportation tickets to get to one of the jobs. This job will pay you $18 an hour, and it’ll take you about one hour to get there. So, in addition to the $10 you lose on your commute, you also lose two hours of your time commuting back and forth that could be spent working, which brings the total cost up to $46 per day. That’s two hours that could be spent working and making money at a remote job. So even though this job has higher pay, you could end up saving money at a work-from-home job with lower pay.

Only you can decide which commute option is better for you — and if a better commute is worth fewer benefits or lower pay.

7. Negotiate a better offer

Let’s say you have two offers you like. One has a lower wage or fewer benefits, but you prefer this company’s values. You’ll also get a shorter commute at this job.

Consider negotiating for a higher wage or more benefits. You can use the other offer as leverage.

Many job seekers fear negotiations because they think they’ll get turned away. However, if you have another job offer on the table, you can always fall back on that if something goes wrong.

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8. Get your chosen job offer in writing before you turn down other offers

Imagine turning down other job offers only for your chosen offer to fall through at the last minute. Respectable employers won’t go back on their word like that, but it’s always possible.

If you got a verbal offer from one of the hiring managers, ask to see it in writing before starting negotiations or turning down other offers. You can mention you’ve received other offers and need to see the details in writing before you decide.

Only accept one job offer. It’s bad practice to accept more than one offer, only to pull the rug out from under someone. Imagine how you’d feel if you got a job offer only to be told they’ve decided to hire someone else instead.

Remember to turn down other offers once you’ve signed a contract. Avoid ghosting other prospective employers. Ghosting can hurt your reputation and your chances of getting hired there in the future.

Choose the best job offer for you

Choosing between two or more job offers will significantly impact your future. That’s why it’s important to consider all the details before you make your final decision.

Get more job offers by growing your network and finding more job listings by signing up for Jobcase today.

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