How to Compare Job Offers and Score the Best Opportunity
A huge milestone is ahead of you in your career. After countless applications and hours of interviews, you’ve nailed the job search and have two or more offers on the table—each one directly aligning with your experience and pay expectations.
Celebrations are in order, but before you bust out the party poppers, you need to make a critical decision. The role and organization you select will shape your career trajectory and sense of fulfillment at work. Comparing job offers shouldn’t be taken lightly, so we’re making it easy for you to make a strategic choice.
Here are five key tips to help you make the best decision for your career—stay tuned to get a customizable scorecard you can use to improve your objectivity.
Evaluate Your Compensation Package
A great salary or wage isn’t the only element of a satisfying job, but poor compensation is a dealbreaker. While the numbers on your offer letter may look good, it’s important to consider the totality of what each company will provide.
First, take into account bonus structures and benefits—including insurance, paid time off, and 401(k) options—as well as other company perks, like home office stipends and gym reimbursements. You may find that a lack of certain benefits, like employer-covered health insurance, will set your real earnings back, below your target range.
Next, evaluate your compensation packages with each role in mind. Positions that require more advanced skillsets and demanding workdays should, comparatively, offer better compensation.
If you’re considering relocation, keep cost of living and relocation packages in mind, too. Free paycheck calculators can help you estimate how much you’ll take home after federal and local taxes.
Consider the Job Market
Want to avoid hitting a rut in your career? Think long-term by considering if your role will put you on a thriving career path in the future. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook can provide data on job growth (or decline) for positions you expect to grow into.
Similarly, you can consider each company’s financial health by researching information about past layoffs and—for publicly traded companies—recent financial reports.
Identify Your Deciding Factors
If the right choice still isn’t clear, it’s time to give each job offer a closer inspection. Think about what makes a job great to you and create a list of key factors that will influence your final decision. Here are five examples of deciding factors you can include:
Can you picture yourself in the positions you’ve been offered? Comparing job descriptions can help you identify the demands of a job and the contributions you can make to each company. If you strongly prefer creative strategy over small-scale tasks or diverse workdays over repetition, the key responsibilities of each role should be a deciding factor.
Professional Development Opportunities
Whether you’re taking on a contract job or entering something long-term, career development matters. Consider the availability of promotions, leadership opportunities, and professional resources that are important to you—for instance, mentorship, training, and stipends for conferences, degrees, and certifications. For contract roles, opportunities to grow into a full-time position could also be enticing.
You need to love where you work, and workplace culture plays a big role in your enjoyment. Some people thrive in a fast-paced culture, while others prefer something more laid-back. Some enjoy the make-it-your-own startup lifestyle, while others appreciate structure. Culture is a common deciding factor for employees, especially for those who want to feel aligned with company values.
Bad management is the leading reason for quiet quitting. If you want a job you’re motivated by, you need a manager you feel aligned with, whether it’s due to their democratic approach, compassion, or something else. Additionally, if you get a chance to meet your team members during the interview process, you can consider how well you mesh with the people you’ll work closely with.
Flexibility is a growing priority for many employees. If your ideal job is partially or fully remote and offers a flexible schedule, this could be a deciding factor for you. You can also consider the amount of travel required, whether it’s commuting or flying.
Create a Job Offer Comparison Spreadsheet
A detailed spreadsheet can help you make the process of comparing job offers more objective, so you wind up with an inarguably great choice. A scorecard can be especially helpful here. Download or print this scorecard, which you can use to list your deciding factors and rate employers based on each, with the importance of each factor taken into account.
If your instinct is pulling you toward a certain company—even if they’re a close second on your scorecard—don’t ignore it. There’s always room for negotiation. Reach out to the company you really want to work for to discuss what it would take for you to take their offer (bonus – if you’re working with a recruiter like Concero, we’ll take care of the negotiating process for you!). Be ambitious and confident about your value as you do so.
Score the Best Opportunity, the Simpler Way
Knowing how to choose a job offer can help you identify the best opportunities for your career. You can start narrowing down your choices by evaluating your compensation package, then score each offer based on a set of factors that matter most to you in a job.
Want to simplify your decision-making? Get connected with only the best-fit employers, so you don’t have to worry about making the wrong choice. Concero takes time to understand your motivations, so we can match you with positions that align with your experience, career goals, and personality.
Land an offer you can’t (and don’t want to) refuse. Get connected with Concero or search our open jobs today.
Connect with Blair on LinkedIn.