So, you have hit gold and received not one but two, or even three offers. Sounds great, but how do you go about choosing the right one for you? What can you do to make sure that you get the best outcome? This is not as rare an occurrence as you may think. Lots of students get offers from more than one company and then worry about which one they should choose. What should you do if you get an offer, sign a contract but subsequently receive another offer that really feels like the one you want?
Firstly, think about which job and which company most appeals to you.
Think why you applied to the company and for the role in the first place. Work out a list of pros and cons that can help you decide between each job. If you want to research more you can access the database Market Line Advantage whilst still a student via the library. If you aren’t able to do this you can find information to help you make a well-informed decision online too. Making your own SWOT (Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats) analysis can help you make a decision, so think of what each of the roles will offer you.
Yes, salary is important, but it is not the only deciding factor that you should consider when you are deciding between offers.
There are many other factors to consider. What about the locality of the job offer? Do you have to move away and if you do is there a relocation/resettlement package to help you or support finding accommodation in the area? Some companies will be able to do this for new staff others don’t have the capacity, but it is worth asking the question. Also, it is never too early to consider your pension options and which company offers you the better deal. Pensions can be transferred when you move companies too so never forget that fact.
Does the job offer include a commitment to training and further professional qualifications?
These can be important to your longer-term career goals. A graduate scheme may involve different opportunities but one that offers you training as part of the package also needs to offer you the chance for study leave, as working full time and studying can be the worst of all worlds. A commitment to help you get through chartership or other industry related accreditation will help you in the future and of course, aid your earning potential. Having a supervisor overseeing how you approach chartership can help as can having a line manager who has undergone the same qualifications as you. They can give you advice and guidance that can save you time.
Are there any other benefits to working for a company?
If you aren’t sure then ask the company – this may be private healthcare, a car, bonuses. Ask the question of the recruiter about share options, remote or hybrid working initiatives for example. You may want to ask your network for help – who do you know who already works for the companies you have offers with? Is there someone in your network already working for them? If so, can you chat to them informally and ask your questions? Warwick alums are featured in quite a few companies, and you can access them through LinkedIn along with the e-mentoring facility.
Ask for extra time
Don’t be shy about telling a company that you have another offer. Sometimes they may increase their offer with a higher wage but this isn’t always the case. It is good practice though to give applicants extra time to make the best decision and no company wants to push you to choose them for the wrong reason. If you want to negotiate your starting salary do your research on how far you can or even should push wage negotiations. Always keep in mind that you need to be well informed and polite. What do you really see as the realistic best offer and how can you support your pitch for it with hard evidence to demonstrate that you are worth it? You can research salaries via Prospects and Glassdoor but make sure your arguments are solid and don’t be surprised if you get a no. Think in advance what this would mean to you and if this would be the deciding factor in turning down the company.
But don’t take forever!
There is a balancing act here you will only have so much time to negotiate so use that time effectively. Having told the companies of the different offers one might raise their salary offer. Asking another to raise theirs is an option but If the company isn’t prepared to budge then you have to accept that and make your decision based on this. Knowing how to negotiate is key. If you ask for more why should the company give you the money? Can you justify and are you able to articulate what you will bring to them? Can you explain your worth? It is never only about salary but be honest about what you want whilst remaining polite and gracious.
Speak with someone who is impartial and with industry knowledge
Friends and family will offer advice on what to do and what not to do. Some may have industry experience but why not chat to someone who is objective? You can talk to a Careers Consultant who will help you to reflect on what your priorities are. They won’t try to give you an answer but help you to reach one that feels right for you.
Once you have verbally accepted the offer you want remember to contact other companies who have made offers quickly. It is a professional courtesy to respond and clearly explain your decision, then you will need to complete any necessary paperwork Remember that it is important to take the time to make the best decision for you and your career and don’t be afraid to ask for help.