Before Job Searching
Before jumping in to the job search, take some time to clearly establish your goals. Ask yourself some hard questions:
- Where do I want to live?
- What work environment do I want?
- How can I grow in my career?
It’s important to know yourself and to collect data on your personality, interests, and work values in order to make a sound decision about what is right for you. Check out our career exploration resources or our Diversity Resources webpage to get started.
Be sure to polish up your cover letter, resume, and practice interviewing skills as you begin the job search process. Job search preparation is the key to being successful.
Job Search Tip: A job search may include many tactics, from searching online to making connections at campus events. Approach it from many angles, and you increase your chances of success.
Making a Choice
When you receive a job offer, it’s important to take the time to carefully evaluate it, so you can make an educated decision to accept it, or to reject it. The last thing you want to do is to make a hasty decision that you will regret later on.
Consider the entire compensation package—salary, benefits, perks, work environment—not just your paycheck. Weigh the pros and cons and ask for time to mull over the offer. It is perfectly acceptable to ask the employer if you can have some time to think over your job offer.
Remember that this is just the beginning and will not be the last job you will have. Evaluate your personal situation today and determine what the best course of action is for you and your career right now.
NEGOTIATING A JOB OFFER
When you receive a job offer be sure to ask for the offer in writing. Read the offer over carefully and make sure that you understand the total compensation package you will receive including salary, benefits, vacation, etc. Sometimes intangibles like a flexible schedule and time off can offset a lower salary offer.
Various aspects of the offer may be negotiated depending on the type of industry. Review tips for negotiating and/or contact Career Services and speak with a career counselor to determine if negotiating is appropriate and to develop your strategy and approach.
ACCEPTING AN OFFER
If you decide to accept the offer, the organization should send you a letter detailing all aspects of what you negotiated. Write a letter of acceptance outlining your hiring terms and if you decline, write a letter of rejection. The organization you interviewed with may post your ideal job at a later date. Remember to not burn bridges and leave the door open.
DECLINING AN OFFER
The reality is, not every job is right for every person. Remember the purpose of the interview: It gives the company representatives an opportunity to decide if you’re a good candidate for the job and lets you evaluate if the position and company are the right fit for you.
Check out this resource from The Balance Careers for sample rejection letters and guidelines for what to say based on your reason for turning the offer down.