You're job hunting, and you interview for several positions you are qualified for. Soon enough, the offers start rolling in, but you're torn about which one to choose. Between salary, benefits, company culture and career advancement possibilities, there's a lot to consider.
Having multiple offers is an enviable position to be in, but it's not so uncommon, said Margaret Freel, corporate recruiter at TechSmith, a business and academic software company.
If you're debating between two or more offers, here are a few tips to help you make your decision.
1. Determine your priorities.
First, you need to consider your priorities – such as location, certain job duties or overall lifestyle – and how well each job would accommodate them.
"It's best to start your job search with a list of what you want in the new job," said Jason Dukes, business coach and founder of Captain's Chair Coaching. "Once you begin to receive offers, you can compare the jobs to your list to see which one best fits your criteria, and then choose."
Maritza De La Cruz, senior bilingual staff recruiter for Combined Insurance, stressed the importance of a holistic approach to examining a job offer. In other words, don't just consider the money.
"Review each opportunity as a whole package in terms of location, salary, benefits, 401(k), medical insurance cost/coverage, bonus, equity," De La Cruz said. "I think it is extremely important that applicants look at company culture fit, financial stability and whether the company empowers you to grow professionally."
Most importantly, said De La Cruz, assess how confident you are that you complement the existing team.
2. Consider the potential workplace.
The company culture and type of people you work with will affect your day-to-day and long-term job satisfaction. How happy you'll be overall is the single most important factor to consider, said Joanie Spain, career advisor at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music.
Freel agreed, noting that you can learn a lot about how a company operates and treats its employees just from the interview and offer process.
"Use your own intuition with things that give you pause for concern. That's an excellent internal barometer to consider in these situations," Freel said. "It's important to not jump to conclusions, though, as well. If there's something you're unsure about, ask questions and see how they answer."
3. Decide within a reasonable timeframe.
Although the phone call notifying you of a job offer may seem urgent and intimidating, don't feel pressured to say yes or no on the spot. De La Cruz recommends that candidates who have received a job offer decline or accept within two business days.
"In my experience, if a candidate goes beyond that, the prospective employer starts sensing red flags in their mind," she said.
Plus, if the prospective employer reacts impatiently to waiting two days for a decision, that is a reflection of the company's office culture, and you should take that into consideration while making your decision.
4. Be your own advocate.
If the company is putting pressure on you to accept an offer, explain that you would like more time and the reason why, said Freel. If the company truly values you for that position – as opposed to just wanting to fill the position with whomever it can find – it will allow a reasonable amount of time for you to make a decision.
"If [they don't], then you may have your answer about how they treat quality candidates," Freel said.
Additional reporting by Brittney Morgan and Shannon Gausepohl. Some source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.