Here’s an excerpt from an email I recently received.
Thank you for sitting down to speak with us today. We will finish interviewing other candidates this week. If selected, we will reach out with a full-time offer sometime next week.
A “full-time offer?” What the heck do I do with that? I’ve been spending so much time trying to get a job that I have no idea what to do once I get an offer. Here are some questions and answers for those of you in the same predicament.
Does Location Matter?
Last month, I applied for jobs everywhere from the west coast to Australia. In my juvenile brain, I thought it would be “cool” to live in a different country or a new locale. I’m now a month older and much, much wiser. What was I thinking when I assumed a move like that would be simple?
Location also matters in regards to what the offer is. Be sure to consider that an offer with a lower salary might actually be better than it seems, especially if the company is located somewhere that has a lower cost of living. I tried comparing hypothetical offers using payscale.com—which not only determines what you’re rate of pay should be based on your location, but also what other professionals in that location earn.
How Do I Know If The Offer Is Good?
For me, this is really hard. As someone who’s worked her butt off throughout college, I don’t particularly like having to put a price on my work. I think it’s pretty darn valuable if I don’t say so myself. Remember that even if you’re the greatest ever at what you do, you still probably have to start with an entry-level job. This means your starting pay is going to be lower it would be for a comparable mid or high-level position.
If you want to be a journalist and you think you’re going to start out at 100k, you’re sorely mistaken. I used Glassdoor to find out what kind of offer I can expect to receive, and it’s a great resource to get an idea of what the average entry level salary is in pretty much any field.
How Do I Respond To A Job Offer?
Turns out something like “yes, yes, yes! Thank you! Thank you!” is probably a bit overzealous. First consider if the company you’ve applied to is a good fit for you. I try to do this before I sent my applications out, and I had a revelation before hitting the send button on an application to a tire company. It never hurts to give the company’s website one last once over before deciding it’s where you want to spend the next few years of your life.
Next, determine if there are terms you’d like to negotiate or if the offer looks good as-is. Most employers expect some negotiation regarding job offers. I haven’t gotten this far yet, but SALT has a great resource that addresses this when the time comes.
What If I Receive More Than One Offer?
You lucky duck! This is truly a position most recent graduates probably only dream of (at least I do). First, be honest with both companies about the fact that you have another offer on the table. If I’ve learned one thing from my internships, it’s that most companies truly appreciate transparency.
It will also make you look like a hot commodity. If you’re more interested in one company but the other is offering more money, this might be a good bartering chip for you to get a better starting rate of pay.
Have you received any job offers? Tell us how you handled the process in the comments!