Job Offers and Next Steps

Congratulations—you have a job offer!  Maybe you are even considering two (or more) job offers. It’s important to think carefully about any offer before you accept.

Assessing and Comparing Offers

Offer assessment should never be taken lightly. Consider such factors as:

  • The proposed salary and benefits package: Does it seem fair, based on your background and experience?
  • The employer's core business and corporate values: Do they match your interests and goals?
  • Your potential supervisor and/or co-workers: If you interviewed on-site, did you like the people you met? Do you think you would fit in?
  • The size of the company or organization: How do you feel about working for a small startup? A huge multinational corporation?
  • The position itself: Does it make good use of your skills? Do you anticipate enjoying your day-to-day duties, based on what you know about the job?
  • The position's fit with your desired lifestyle: Will you be willing to work long hours if required? Travel frequently?
  • Flexibility: Are working hours strictly scheduled, or do you have the option to start work earlier or end later? Would you have the option to telecommute, even part-time?
  • Housing options: Are there acceptable housing options located near the employer? If not, are you willing to commute long distances, perhaps in heavy traffic?
  • Relocation: How much of this cost is the employer willing to cover? The cost of moving can be substantial if you have to cover all or most of it yourself, especially if you move across the country.
  • Potential for advancement: Is there a path for employees to get ahead? Does the employer promote from within?
  • Anticipated long-term demand for the employer's products or services: Is the employer positioned to survive an economic downturn?
  • Opportunities for your family: If you are in a long-term relationship, are there job opportunities for your partner or spouse in the town or city where you would be working? If you have or are considering having children, you’ll also want to find out what schools are like in the area.

Making Your Decision

Ultimately you have to make a choice about your job offer or offers. Most employers will give you at least two weeks to consider an offer and may be willing to give you additional time if needed. If you feel that you need additional time before you can make a commitment, contact the recruiter who made the offer to discuss how much extra time would be reasonable. If you want to discuss the pros and cons of one or more offers before accepting one, contact us.

Once you have made your choice, notify the employer in writing (by email is fine).  Send the notification to the person who made you the offer and indicate that you accept both the position—include the job title—and the proposed salary. You should also confirm other details, including start date, relocation reimbursement (if relevant), and other benefits.  Be sure to thank the contact for the opportunity.  Review the notification carefully before sending to ensure that your spelling and grammar are flawless.

It’s equally important that you follow up in a timely way with any employers whose offers you have chosen not to accept (if applicable).  Send a brief email message to each individual who made you an offer, express your appreciation, and offer a general reason why you are not accepting the offer (for example, you received another offer for a position that was a better fit for you).  Never say anything negative about the employer.

If you have interviewed with any other employers, even if you do not yet have offers, contact those employers to notify them that you have accepted a position and wish to withdraw your candidacy. Cancel any further interviews that you have scheduled.

It is dishonest to continue with the job search process once you have made a commitment to an employer.  Reneging on a job offer—that is, accepting the offer and then declining it at a later time—is unethical and can damage your professional reputation, both now and in the future.


Engineering Career Resources & Employer Relations

College of Engineering

117 Hammond Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4710

Phone: 814-863-1032