You’ve been job searching for a while. Countless hours applying on job boards, attending interviews, following up with recruiters, the list goes on. All this work has paid off and you now have multiple job offers on the table. Congratulations! This is by all means not a bad problem to have. While it’s definitely something to celebrate, the situation can still turn stressful.
You may know which of the multiple jobs is better for you, but are not sure how to turn down the other offer professionally. You also may be leaning towards both positions equally and are having a tough time choosing between two really good options. Or, maybe you fear you are going to accept the “wrong” offer and regret your decision later.
These thoughts are not uncommon. You’re not alone here. So, how do you go about managing the process? Here are four tips to consider that will help guide you through this exciting, yet challenging time of choosing between multiple job offers.
Make a wish list and prioritize your demands
Take some time for yourself to really understand your multiple job offers and what each can offer you. Consider what benefits are provided in the full package. Yes, compensation, commute time, and benefits are important factors, but what about the benefits that are not on paper? Is the manager someone you feel you can trust based on your interactions with them so far? Do you get the feeling the leadership team empowers employees to step outside their comfort zones in order to grow? How about training and development opportunities or the company’s strategic direction? These are all things to take in account when making your decision on which offer to take.
Be honest and transparent with all companies involved
As you begin interviewing with multiple companies, it is important to be upfront with them and make them aware you have your ‘eggs in more than one basket’. It is perfectly okay to make it clear you are pursuing other opportunities in addition to theirs. More than likely, the companies will appreciate your honesty and will not be surprised, especially if you’re an in-demand candidate or the market is tight for good talent.
Delay the job offer and ask for more time
Accepting a job offer and then deciding to withdraw a few days later when a better one comes along is typically frowned upon. So, it is best to try and buy yourself more time to weigh all options if you are still wavering between positions. With that being said, you want to avoid leaving any of the companies you’re working with waiting for too long on your decision and wondering if you’ve lost interest.
To alleviate this, I recommend sending a note to both companies that says something along the lines of this:
“I am very appreciative and excited about your offer as well as the possibility of joining your team. I know you’d like an answer from me by the end of the week. I’d like to see through one final discussion with another company. Would it be possible to have a few extra days to make my decision?”
While not always an easy message to send, they will probably appreciate your honesty and more than likely be agreeable with extending your decision deadline. Keep in mind though that longer than a week to make your decision becomes more difficult as companies don’t want to risk losing other strong candidates if their first choice decides to pass on the opportunity. Just try to be as reasonable as you can.
Turning down an offer and closing out your job search
Once you have come to a decision, it is time to get ready for your new opportunity! After you receive a written offer and accept it, here are some steps you should take to close things out:
- Make sure you cancel any upcoming or potential interviews and close out any hiring conversations you are currently engaged in. Being honest that you are no longer pursuing a new job will ensure you part on good terms.
- Thank your professional network with a personalized note. This includes anyone who has assisted you in your job search in ANY way. Whether they got you in touch with a certain company, interviewed you, or just gave you advice on your resume. It is important to recognize and thank them for the support.
- Update your job search boards and document your new job. Be sure to take your resume off any search websites you have been using, and update your experience and resume on LinkedIn/other social media platforms.
Receiving multiple job offers can be exciting and intimidating. I hope you know being in high demand is nothing to be ashamed of, and that most companies expect their potential employees to ask questions, negotiate, or ask for more time to decide if the position is the right one for them. It is never a bad idea to take some time in considering any job offer you receive. Remember that while it’s important to discuss any career moves with your family members, mentors, and friends, ultimately you should make a decision that is best for you and your career goals.