You got the offer! Congrats! Celebrate! But now what?!? The offer itself can be overwhelming. It is important to be just as diligent in your review and evaluation of the job offer as you were during the interview process. What if you’re not sure it’s the right situation for you? What if you have more than one offer to consider? What if you were hoping for more money? The University Career Center is available to assist you as you consider how to proceed with the opportunity you’ve been given. Read more here and also follow the link below to our Terp Guide to learn best practices for evaluating offers.

Consider the Timeline

Most organizations provide a timeframe for you to respond to a job offer.  It is your responsibility to respond within the given window or request a reasonable extension. If requesting an extension, be prepared to provide a rationale and do so in a manner that takes the organization and their needs into consideration.

Review All Details

An initial job offer may come over the phone. Don’t allow your excitement to get the best of you - wait at least 24 hours before responding. The time will help you ensure you know exactly what you are signing up for. Be sure to ask for your offer letter in writing so that you can review all the details associated with the position you are considering.  Your offer letter should contain information about the position, a start date, compensation package details and deadline for your response (also given in writing).

Weigh Your Options

You’ve done your homework on the organization already, but now is the time to ensure this opportunity aligns with the needs and values you have for your professional career.

  • Is this the right organizational fit? Does the work environment fit your personality and workstyle? Can you support the organizational mission and vision? Will you be challenged and have opportunity to grow?

  • Do you understand the benefits package and foresee its options as able to cover your needs?

Negotiating Power

Once you’ve reviewed your offer, you typically will have the opportunity to discuss the terms of employment. The art of negotiation is about you and the organization coming to a mutual agreement about what is most important to each of you and finding common ground. Negotiation requires practice and poise, so be sure to consult with a member of our Center for assistance. The most common points of negotiation include, start date, professional development support, signing bonus/relocation expenses and base salary.

Learn more about how to successfully negotiate from our Terp Guide on page 43.

Accepting or Declining the Offer

How to accept or decline is very important. If accepting, be sure to do so verbally and in writing on or before the deadline date given. Your formal acceptance should confirm your start date, salary and any other relevant information. If declining an offer, do so in a manner that is professional and shows your sincere appreciation for the opportunity to be considered. You want to leave the organization with a positive impression of your professionalism because who knows, your paths may cross again in the future.

The University Career Center is here to help you with this process. Feel free to schedule a career advising appointment to further talk through your options and practice any negotiations you may choose to engage in.

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