The stars have aligned and you’ve received not one but two job offers. Congratulations! It’s a terrific problem that presents some unique challenges.
The Employment Offer
Once a company decides they want to hire you, they will likely reach out with a verbal offer of employment. You should genuinely express your excitement and interest. However, unless you’re sure you want the job, don’t feel pressured to answer immediately.
A formal offer should swiftly follow this discussion. According to Indeed, this written document should include the details of your proposed employment, including salary, benefits and start date.
The employer should indicate when they expect your response. Now, the countdown to your decision begins.
Let’s review a few different scenarios and how to manage them.
Two Offers on the Table
With two formal offers in hand, it’s time to analyze and compare.
Which job best meets your career goals and offers opportunities for growth?
Are pay and benefits similar? If one company’s offer is lacking, you could attempt to negotiate benefits to your advantage.
Don’t overlook your gut reactions about supervisors, co-workers and company culture. And reach out to the employer if you need more information or clarification about any details.
One Offer Pending
A more complicated – and more likely – scenario is when you receive a job offer from Company A while awaiting a follow-up interview or offer from Company B. Now, timing is critical as you consider your options. You might start by asking if Company A can extend their deadline a bit.
“Unless you strongly suspect that the company that wants to hire you is going to freak if you divulge you’re in conversation with another potential employer, I always recommend being honest with the HR person or recruiter who made the first offer,” career strategist Jenny Foss writes for The Muse. “More than likely, they will appreciate that you were honest – and… will honor your request for a small extension.”
However, Top Resume warns that diplomacy is key. “No one wants to feel like someone else's backup plan.”
Another option, says Foss, is to contact Company B. Explain your dilemma using an approach something like this: “I’ve unexpectedly received another job offer. While [Company B] is by far my top pick, there are aspects of the other role that appeal to me. They would like a response within the next couple of days. Do you anticipate that [you] will be firming up a decision shortly?”
If they can’t give you a clear answer, accept that you may not be their top applicant. However, if they value your candidacy, they may be able to provide the information you need to make an informed decision.