The process of deciding on a job offer should be taken very seriously and handled in a professional and ethical manner.
Receiving job offers is not like the process of college admissions, when you might have received multiple offers of admission within a close timeframe, and had one deadline by which to make a decision.
Employers each have their own processes and timelines. You might receive one job offer and be asked to give a response before another employer with whom you interviewed is ready to make a decision on whether to offer you a position.
During your job search process: Keep in mind your values and preferences; do your research on geographic location and cost of living; consider your short- and long-term goals; reflect on the type of work you truly desire; consider the culture and personality of organizations and potential colleagues and supervisors; factor in your own family considerations; consider the potential for advancement along with salary and benefits. You owe it to yourself and your future employer to be as informed, prepared, and self-aware as possible.
Be sure you know the ethical issues involved in accepting a job offer. The employment world is small, and if a candidate accepts a job, and later goes back on his/her word – called reneging – employers tell other employers, and they make phone calls to faculty and the career center director. It is considered one of the worst possible behaviors and will damage the reputation and future employability of the person who reneges. Once you accept a job offer, cease all other job search efforts, and inform all other employers for whom you are a job candidate that you have accepted an offer.
In addition to ethical issues, see the menu topics on salary research and negotiation, and how to communicate with prospective employers for various purposes, including acknowledging an offer, declining and accepting, and other situations. We encourage you to seek advising in Career and Professional Development for assistance with this process and how to handle the details of your particular situation.