We all know job search can be very stressful and full of anxiety, requiring meticulous detail and preparation in order to have a successful outcome. All of that hard work has finally paid off after you have received a job offer. But have you thought about what is the appropriate way to respond?
Often, the first reaction is to ask for more money. But wait…it is not yet time for that negotiation.
Here are 6 steps you should consider once you have an offer.
1. First, let the company know how excited you are that you were selected.
After all, they have just asked you to be part of their club – they would like to know that you are enthusiastic about joining.
2. Ask if you can speak with someone who can explain the benefits.
Remember that benefits are considered part of the entire compensation package, can cost the employer substantial money – they can include bonus, overtime, health/dental insurance, etc. You should look at these elements as part of your total compensation.
3. Provide them with references.
But first, make sure you speak with each reference, let them know they will be contacted, find out their best number/availability to speak, share the job description with them and ask if they think they can provide a positive recommendation. Also, ask them to let you know once they have connected so you will know when the reference check has been completed.
4. Address any questions and concerns before starting.
There may have been some questions/concerns that you had during the interview process. Now that you have an offer, this is the time to address any sensitive issues. For example, maybe you would like them to explain a typical day. Stay away from questions about next opportunities, where you will be sitting, or asking for another role that you might prefer.
5. If the offer is your first choice and you are likely to accept, you can now ask if the salary is negotiable.
If you enter into a negotiation, you MUST be prepared to accept if they come close to or meet your expectations.
6. Ask how soon they would like you to start.
Generally, they will expect you to be available within 2-3 weeks after the offer is accepted. If you ask for more time, they may feel that they are not your top choice and you will turn the offer down if something better comes along.
You want to make sure you committed to a company once you accept an offer of employment. Many undergraduate and graduate programs have taken a very strong stand and see rescinding an acceptance as unethical behavior and a poor reflection on their school and its students. Or, maybe you were introduced by a current employee or contact. It would be embarrassing to them if you rescinded your acceptance. So if you have serious doubts about the job or organization, graciously decline and keep searching.