Friday, June 4, 2010

Managing Two Job Offers

Your excellent qualifications and job search diligence have resulted in two job offers, so now what? First, make sure you have some form of written offer in hand from both companies. After enthusiastically reiterating interest in each position and expressing gratitude, ask each potential employer for a response deadline. Most companies expect that you may need a day or two, and none should expect you to make a decision on the spot.

To handle both job offers in a way that earns you respect, you must manage your words and actions professionally. Under no circumstances should you attempt to manipulate a company into extending a better offer by playing one offer against the other or setting ultimatums. In fact, it is not necessary to mention to either prospective employer that you have another offer under consideration.

If faced with a situation where you have already accepted one job offer and now an enticing second offer arrives, be extremely careful in your approach. By recanting the first offer, you could jeopardize your professional relationship and any future opportunities with the first company. This is not to say that you should stick with the first offer, but you had better assess that it is well worth it in the long run to retract your first acceptance in favor of a more appealing second offer.

In both cases, when breaking the news to the company you are turning down, be gracious, straightforward, and apologetic when explaining that, after careful consideration, you have decided to decline their job offer.

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