At Handshake, we know about the excitement that comes with landing a job or internship offer. But what happens when you end up trying to decide between more than one? If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in this position, having more than one offer in-hand has its benefits—but it can still be tough to decide between multiple job offers. Ahead, check out some tips for how to choose.
The perks of receiving more than one offer
One of the biggest upsides to juggling multiple job or internship offers is the additional leverage it can give you in conversations with a prospective employer. “You can use the other offers as leverage to do better at negotiating on your own terms,” says Dalvin Josias Sejour, a Montclair State University grad, entrepreneur, and software engineer with firsthand experience judging between multiple offers.
Receiving multiple offers doesn’t happen to everyone, and definitely might not happen at the start of your career. Just ask Dalvin! “Getting the first internship can be the toughest thing in the world. It’s like a chicken and egg scenario, because you are trying to get experience through the internship, but need experience to secure the role,” he says. “Therefore, in trying to land my first internship, I was willing to join any company that would give me the time of day. Luckily for me, that company just so happened to be an awesome tech company by the name of Facebook. With Facebook on my resume, it made seeking other internships down the line a lot more interesting.” Soon after completing the internship, Dalvin found himself faced with several offers from companies who wanted to bring him on board.
How to decide between job offers
Ultimately, choosing a job or internship offer boils down to your preference. However, here are a few helpful tips that will help you weigh the pros and cons.
- Don’t make a rash decision. “Without seeing what’s out there,” Dalvin says, quickly accepting your first offer “can leave you at a disadvantage because you won’t know if you’re being paid at a competitive rate. You could end up being grossly underpaid, finding that only after hearing from your peers at other companies what they were getting paid.” When you receive an offer, politely inquire about what the employer’s desired timeline is for a final answer. Be sure to use your remaining time strategically to evaluate your options based on the following criteria. (Don’t be afraid to make some old-fashioned pro and con lists!)
- Think about what really matters to you. Sure, it might be tempting to automatically accept the highest salary—after all, student loans are no joke—but there are other factors that might play into which role will make you feel most fulfilled at work. What projects would you focus on in each role? Will you have opportunities for upward mobility and professional growth? Is the company located somewhere you’re interested in living?
- Consider which environments you thrive in. Are you more inclined toward a smaller environment versus a large, complex organization? Do you like the idea of a close-knit, collaborative team or a very focused position within a larger infrastructure? Do you want to work remotely or in a hybrid environment, or do you have your heart set on in-person work? All of these factors should be considered when you’re weighing your options!
- Take note of the benefits. When considering an offer, think about the full range of benefits you’re being offered, not simply the salary number. What does the paid vacation time look like? Does the company offer retirement matching or stock options? What caliber of healthcare, dental, and vision benefits might they extend? Are there additional perks, such as fitness memberships, tuition reimbursement, or a home office stipend? A comprehensive benefits package can quickly add up to create a lucrative offer, even if there are larger salaries on the table.
- Get the real scoop on company culture. Consult Handshake reviews to learn more about past employees’ experiences at a company. This is a simple way to get the tea on what to expect from an employer when it comes to stress-level, work-life balance, DE&I (diversity, equity, and inclusion) efforts, and more.
Ask for help
If you find yourself in Dalvin’s shoes, be sure to reach out to your school’s career services center, where the advisors on staff will be thrilled to help you weigh your options and draft professional responses. You’ve clearly got a bright future ahead of you!