Multiple Job Offers

A good job offer is the goal of every job search. But what happens if you receive multiple job offers at the same time? 

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Image Credit: Neil Gould (sxc.hu/profile/ngould)

For most people, the process of finding a new job is an uphill battle. After sending out dozens of resumes, the hope is that you will land a handful of interviews and if you’re lucky, a decent job offer.

But what happens if you receive multiple job offers? It’s not an unrealistic scenario. In fact, highly qualified job seekers often find themselves being wooed by more than one employer.

Multiple job offers can be a good thing. But if you aren’t prepared to manage the negotiation and decision-making process, multiple job offers can also cause chaos and confusion, damaging your chances to achieve the best possible employment outcome.

  • Start with Facts. Right away, it’s important to establish the facts. An actual job offer from an employer is very different from a hunch that an employer might eventually offer you a job. Be realistic and never, ever lead an employer to believe that you have another offer unless you are positive you really do.
  • To Disclose or Not to Disclose? Job seekers are sometimes unsure whether or not to disclose the existence of another job offer to a potential employer. But think about it: if the other offer is solid, you have nothing to lose by disclosing that information to your employer. If you say nothing, the potential employer may be angry that they didn’t have a chance to field a competitive offer.
  • Weigh the Benefits. The decision-making process associated with multiple job offers should revolve around weighing the benefits – literally and figuratively. Although a salary-based bidding war is great, other factors (including advancement opportunities, company culture and fringe benefits) should also influence your final decision.
  • Make a Decision. Proper etiquette requires job seekers to make a decision and notify all potential employers as quickly as possible. Dragging out your decision to elicit a better offer from one or both employers can backfire, especially if the employers feel like you are playing games or taking advantage of the process.

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