This blog is the final post of a 5-part series titled “Everything You Need to Know Before you Enter the Job Market.” Our career expert, Sadie Guzman, will explore the job search process from start to finish to make sure you are fully prepared to land your next career opportunity. Haven’t read the first blog yet? You may find it here.
Congratulations! You Received a Job Offer. Now What?
You just wrapped up your final interview, and all you have to do now is wait to hear the results. Welcome to the best part of the job search process: actually landing the job! Before you get that verbal job offer, make sure you’re prepared to have a conversation about salary, negotiation, and next steps.
Preparation and Process
We talked in the last blog about being prepared with your salary expectations before entering the interview process. If this is a step you skipped, make sure you do your research on the salary you’re looking for based on your years of experience and market rate.
With most companies, a recruiter or human resources professional will call to congratulate you and offer you the position. They’ll typically cover the salary, benefits, start date, bonuses, and other important details about the offer package. If you find yourself in this situation, make sure you’re grateful for the opportunity. Thank the person you’re speaking with for their help throughout the process, and re-state your interest in the company. Keep in mind, though, that you don’t need to verbally accept the offer over the phone right away. Many candidates like to take a couple of days to think it over before committing. If you’re ready to do so, you can accept, but there are a couple of things to be aware of during this process, which we’ll dive into next.
Before you accept an offer, you should ALWAYS negotiate. I’m a recruiter, and I can tell you that most candidates don’t do this! Recruiters and talent acquisition professionals expect a negotiation, so it’s not taboo and you should begin to get comfortable with this process. Negotiating is as simple as asking if the offer is negotiable in the first place. From there, the company will have a conversation with you about whether it is or not.
The reason you should always negotiate is that your base salary dictates your future earnings. Even a few thousand dollars can quickly add up throughout your career. The first thing you should try to negotiate is your base salary. Again, be gracious about the opportunity, but ask if there’s some wiggle room in the number. This can be done on the initial verbal offer call or when you call back after thinking about the offer for a few days. Make sure you know exactly how much you’re looking for and why you’re looking for that particular amount. For instance, is it because of your years of experience, the cost of living in your area, etc.? In this scenario, the recruiter will most likely get back to you after they’ve spoken to the hiring manager. If you hear back and your counter offer is accepted, congratulations!
But let’s say the offer is not negotiable; this doesn’t mean your offer is off the table. Your offer won’t go away just because you asked for more money; this is a common misconception. If the salary isn’t negotiable, you could ask if other things in the package are negotiable, such as benefits or sign-on bonuses. Again, you’ll want to know exactly what you’re looking for when you have a conversation about this.
Overall, you’ll have success in the negotiation process if you conduct your research ahead of time, have an open and genuine conversation with the recruiter, and show your excitement about the opportunity.
Handling Multiple Offers
If you’re active in the job market, chances are, you’re going through multiple interview processes at once. It’s always a best practice to be open and honest with the companies you’re interviewing with. Letting recruiters know that you’re in several interview processes can help them move you through their process quicker.
Let’s say you’re interviewing with company A and company B. Company A offers you the job, but you have the final round interview with company B scheduled for next week. What do you do? Again, just be honest with company A and tell them you want to make the best decision for yourself. One thing you can always negotiate for is more time! Ask your recruiter if you can have a few days to think about the offer and if you can accept (or not) after hearing back from company B. The worst they can say is no, but, in most cases, they won’t. From there, you can evaluate both offers and choose the decision that best supports your career goals.
Signing & Next Steps
Once you accept an offer and sign on the dotted line, you should inform all other companies you’ve been interviewing with that you’re off the market. Often, people don’t do this and continue to see if there’s a better offer out there. This can cause multiple issues.
For instance, if you’ve already given your word that you’ll be joining a certain company, backing out at the last minute might burn some professional bridges and make it less likely that companies will want to hire you in the future. Once you accept a position, it’s a best practice to pull out of any other interview processes and just move forward with the company you chose. You should have evaluated your options long enough to know that the one you went with is the best choice for you. Don’t consider the “what ifs,” just confidentially start your new job!
Lastly, to wrap up your job search process, make sure to give notice at your current company. This can be done in person or in writing. Most times, two weeks’ notice is an accepted length. Some candidates give their current supervisor a heads up when they’re in the final round of interviews as a professional curtsey, but this isn’t required.
Starting On the Right Foot
Now that you’ve started your new job, go in with an open mind to set yourself up for success. Use this transition time to be a sponge and learn as much as possible while you’re the new employee. I recommend meeting with your team members and other employees in the company for quick coffee chats – even virtual ones. You’ll want to start getting to know your colleagues and their working styles right away to hit the ground running.
That’s it for this blog series about the job search process from A to Z. Feel free to reach out on LinkedIn if you have any follow-up questions!
Sadie Guzman is a Corporate Recruiter and has over seven years of experience supporting job seekers to achieve their career goals. She is passionate about hiring trends, recruiting best practices, and demystifying job search myths. She considers herself an advocate for those seeking employment. In her free time, Sadie loves traveling, spending time with her husband and Pomeranian, and playing in an adult kickball league!
Connect with Sadie on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sadieguzman/