How to evaluate a job offer: What you need to know before saying yes

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Getting a job offer – especially your first job offer – is pretty exciting. However, just because you applied for and received the job doesn’t mean it’s right for you.

It’s important to consider the entire package, including the pay, benefits, perks, company culture, hours and travel distance. Reflect on every aspect of the job to ensure you and the organization you will be working for are both happy.

It is appropriate to ask for a few days to come to a decision on the offer.

How much should you get paid?

Tara Orchard, co-ordinator for career consulting at Wilfrid Laurier University, recommends conducting research on the appropriate salary range for the position, the organization (taking into account factors such as size and industry), the location, the current market and your own level of skills and experience.

Check out SalaryExpert or Glassdoor.com (USD) for going salary rates in different occupations. The Canadian Association of Career Educators and Employers (CACEE) also released a report on salary rates this year, which is accessible through your school’s career centre.

Ask yourself: Is the salary the employer offered what you expected? Can you support yourself on this salary? Is this salary what you think you’re worth?

Even if the compensation is what you expected, consider entering salary negotiations with your prospective employer. Candidates who negotiate often end up with higher salaries or better perks than those who don’t.

However, according to Orchard, students and recent grads should be able to demonstrate “that their skills or experience background or some bonus skills justify more than the offered rate or the going rate.”

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