Tips For Handling Multiple Job Offers
Updated June 30, 2023
While an exciting situation, it can be challenging to deal with multiple job offers at the same time. You need to ensure you have enough time to thoughtfully consider each option so you can make the decision that works best for you. Using effective communication and decision-making techniques can help you handle competing offers while maintaining your relationships with potential employers. In this article, we provide 10 tips that can help you effectively manage multiple job offers.
What is a job offer?
A job offer is an invitation sent by an employer when offering you a job at their company. The employer may initially make the offer verbally, either in person or via phone call, then follow it up with a formal, written offer. This document provides the details of your proposed employment, such as your salary, benefits, start date and details about the job itself.
Related: How to Reply to a Job Offer
10 tips for managing multiple job offers
If you have received multiple job offers at the same time or already have one and are awaiting another, here are some helpful tips you can use to handle the situation:
Make sure you have written offers
While many employers provide verbal offers initially, nothing is official until you receive a written version. If you only have verbal offers, this can give you more time to think about your options. Upon receiving verbal offers, thank the employers and ask when you can expect to receive a written offer to review.
You have not provided them a definite answer, but you now know when to expect your official offers and when you can start the timeline for your decisions. You also need this written documentation if you plan on negotiating with a company based on the other offer.
Show enthusiasm for all opportunities
When you receive an official offer but already have one from another company or know you will be receiving one shortly, show your interest without accepting the job right away. If you like both companies, you need to give yourself time to think about your options so you can choose the one that best suits your needs. Thank the employer for their offer and tell them that you are excited about the opportunity but need time to review the document. Ask when they need your decision by, which lets them know that you have not made your final decision yet.
Maintain positive communication
It can be difficult to juggle two job offers at the same time, but you must ensure you respect both parties' time throughout your decision process. Respond to any communications you receive from them promptly to show that you are interested in them and respect their time. These companies are interested in hiring you, so you want to affirm the positive impression they already have about you.
Even if you have an idea of which job offer you are more interested in, stay courteous when talking to the other company because you may be able to negotiate with them and improve their offer. They will be much more open to this type of discussion if they feel you are genuinely engaged with and interested in their company.
Try to line up the timelines
If you are interested in more than one company but have only received one job offer, you can approach the other employer to see where they stand. Be respectful when making your request, and let them know you have received a job offer from another company and have a deadline to give them a decision. Let this employer know that you are very interested in working for their company and ask whether they will have a decision on whether to hire you before that deadline.
The second employer might not be able to speed up their process and give you an offer or promise a decision by that deadline. In that situation, you can then try to ask the company that made an offer whether you can get an extension on their deadline.
Be honest if you need more time
When you receive one job offer but expect to receive another one soon, try to be honest about your situation. In your response, reiterate your excitement about the job opportunity to show your continued interest. Tell them that you are expecting to hear from another company, providing a specific date if possible, and ask if you can have an extension on your decision deadline.
If the company declines to extend your deadline, you would need to make your decision at that moment. However, if they agree to extend the deadline, make sure to give them your final response as soon as possible once receiving the other offer and making your decision. Because you already added time onto the hiring process, you show respect by avoiding taking up too much more of their time.
Get the facts about each position
When receiving multiple job offers, ensure you have all of the most relevant and pertinent information needed to make your final decision. You want to have the same information for each job so that you can easily compare them against one another. If you have remaining questions or mission information, ask the respective employers for clarification. The type of information you want to have includes:
Your role: This includes information such as your start date, job title, core responsibilities and expected work hours.
Compensation and benefits: This includes your salary, potential bonuses, insurance plans, pensions and stock options.
Work-life balance: This includes the types of time off you receive, any travel requirements and options for remote or flexible work.
Company culture: This may vary depending on your values, but might include the type of work environment, whether they offer professional development or other training, the size of the company and office amenities.
Think about your career goals
Aside from the day-to-day factors that will help you determine whether a job fits your needs, think about your long-term goals. Consider which of these jobs can provide you the knowledge, skills or experience to continue developing your career. If one of the jobs matches all of your immediate needs but offers few advancement opportunities, that could affect your final decision.
Compare your options
Once you have offers and all the necessary information about each job, start thinking about which one you want to choose. One method you can use is a comparison chart, where you list the pros and cons of each job side-by-side. Think about the factors that matter most to you in a job, including both financial or other needs and what makes you feel happiest at work.
This visual diagram can help you easily distinguish which of your options offer the most benefits and better suits your needs. If you can see that one job has many more advantages than the other, it could simplify your decision process.
Negotiate as needed
When you have official offers in hand but still do not have a decision, you can use them as leverage to negotiate with the employers. You might try to negotiate requests that neither employer initially offered or try to get one employer to add features or match the salary provided by your other option. Your negotiation depends on what is most important to you and will help you make your final decision.
If both parties agree to provide what you want, you could mention that you are speaking with another company. Because they have shown their interest in you via a job offer, this news might spur them to add additional perks to persuade you to join your team. Based on what they have to offer or their reactions to your requests, you hopefully can make a decision on your best-fit job.
At the end of your decision process, make sure to thank both interested companies for their offers. Even though you are declining one of them, you want to show them that you appreciated the time they took to speak with you and their consideration of you as a candidate. You could benefit from maintaining a positive relationship with them because if they have another opportunity in the future, you may want to apply with them again. When declining their offer, you can use the following example:
"Thank you very much for offering me the position of [job title] at your company. I really appreciate your time and consideration during this process. It was a difficult decision, but I have accepted another job offer for a position that I believe better fits my goals. However, I was greatly impressed with your company and everyone I met during my interviews. I would love to stay in touch in case you have any future opportunities that fit both of our needs."
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