How to Evaluate a Job Offer

By Monica Wells

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If you've just received a job offer from an employer, you're probably wondering whether it's a right fit for you. There are several important factors that make a job offer really great, so instead of relying on your initial excitement, try to objectively evaluate the job offer and make sure you fully understand the proposed terms before you accept it and sign a contract. Here are 5 things you should pay attention to before reaching out to the employer and accepting the job.

Assess the professionalism of the employer

If you're a job seeker on the lookout for attractive employment opportunities, you probably know your way around online services that publish job postings. Some of the most attractive positions are usually advertised on services like Gumtree, where companies post their most recent vacancies.

How do you make sure the employer is worth your attention? See whether the job posting includes the full name of the company and different methods of contact. Does the posting explain the responsibilities entailed in the position? Make sure to research the company on Google and have a look at its website.

Examine offered salary

Look at the proposed salary amount and imagine yourself living with it for the next year – you're not likely to get a raise before that time. It's a good idea to start your job search with a particular salary range in mind. It will simply make your job easier once you'll have to assess an offer.

If the proposed salary is below that range, consider negotiating a higher one. Before setting out to do it, research average market rates for this kind of job and someone with your background and experience.

Have a look at the benefits

Evaluating benefits is crucial. If you're facing a lower salary, a great benefits package can be a deal breaker. A bad benefits package can cost you a lot – just think about a large chunk of your salary spent on private health care.

When assessing the benefits section, look at health insurance: Which services are included? What's your monthly premium? What are the copays for routine visits or prescriptions? Next, make sure if the company offers a retirement plan and how many paid vacation days you'll have per year.

Are there any hidden costs?

When examining the job offer, think about the everyday reality of going to work there. Will you need to commute? How much will you spend for gas? Will you need a fancier wardrobe? Will you have to cover the expenses of networking with the community on professional events and conferences? Even if your salary is higher, you might end up with higher expenses for things you didn't need before.

Define what's important to you

You should also have a clear idea about your priorities in professional life. Is the company promoting values you care about? Count in your other responsibilities and needs. Will you need to get out at 6 pm every day to pick up your child from day care? Do you like open space offices?

In today's difficult economy, evaluating a job offer seems like an activity for people who are lucky enough to choose from various offers. Even if employment is hard to find, you should never settle for an offer just because you fear no other will make it your way. Choose smart and you'll push your career in the right direction.


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