Remember the teacher that would ask for a volunteer and when everyone in the class eagerly raised their hands he would select someone and tell them that they just volunteered to do extra homework? Oh, you sneaky teacher. You got us every time. The lesson that we were supposed to learn from this was that you shouldn’t accept something until you have all the information. Now fast-forward fifteen years. A place that you recently interviewed at has called to offer you a job. Your instinct might be to say yes immediately, but what exactly are you saying yes to?
After weeks of resume writing, networking, and interviewing, receiving a job offer is an exciting moment. You did it! You’re in! What are you waiting for? Say yes! While saying yes means the end to unemployment and the beginning to a new and exciting career, it’s important to take time to analyze the offer. Some employers may make verbal job offers, but it’s important to have an official written document that details the position and the compensation package. Here are some reasons why:
– A written offer ensures that the details discussed throughout the interview process are the same as what you are being offered
– A written offer allows you to evaluate the compensation package and decide if it’s sufficient to meet your financial obligations
– If you have received multiple job offers, having the offers in writing makes it easier to compare the terms of employment and compensation packages of each company
Once you receive a written job offer, carefully read and analyze this document so that you can make an informed decision as to whether or not to accept the job. Once you decide, let the company know right away.
In my case, for the job I was offered I was emailed two documents. The first was a full job description of the position that I was being offered. This allowed me to ensure that the responsibilities were the same as what was discussed throughout the interview process. I also received an official offer letter. This included information such as position title, supervisor, and start date. The letter also detailed the position’s compensation package, including base salary, retirement plans, medical and dental plan, etc. As the offer aligned with details discussed in my interviews I knew that the company was transparent, professional, and responsible.
The bottom line is that job offers and acceptances should be in written terms. If you are in limbo between being told you will be hired and receiving a written offer, I encourage you to continue job searching in the meantime. After all, your arm will get tired if it’s in the air too long while you’re waiting for your sneaky teacher to call on you to volunteer.