When you receive a job offer, it's important to take the time to carefully evaluate it, so you can make an educated decision to accept it, or to reject it. The last thing you want to do is to make a hasty decision that you will regret later on.
Consider the entire compensation package - salary, benefits, perks, work environment - not just your paycheck. Weigh the pros and cons and ask for time to mull over the offer. It is perfectly acceptable to ask the employer if you can have some time to think over your job offer.
Remember that this is just the beginning and will not be the last job you will have. Evaluate your personal situation today and determine what the best course of action is for you and your career right now.
Many salary calculators are available online for free!
Salary.com - use a free salary wizard to see what the salary range is for your field nationally and locally.
JobStar Salary Surveys
The most comprehensive set of salary surveys on the Web. Includes education, healthcare, business, science, computer science, as well as government areas.
The Salary Calculator - Determines the salary you would need to make it in a new city, based on cost-of-living differences.
Salary Expert.com - Search by job title and location.
When you receive a job offer be sure to ask for the offer in writing. Read the offer over carefully and make sure that you understand the total compensation package you will receive including salary, benefits, vacation, etc. Sometimes intangibles like a flexible schedule and time off can offset a lower salary offer.
Various aspects of the offer may be negotiated depending on type of industry. Review tips for negotiating (PDF) and/or contact Career Services and speak with a career counselor to determine if negotiating is appropriate and to develop your strategy and approach.
If you decide to accept the offer, the organization should send you a letter detailing all aspects of what you negotiated. Write a letter of acceptance (PDF) outlining your hiring terms and if you decline, write a letter of rejection (PDF). The organization you interviewed with may post your ideal job at a later date. Remember to not burn bridges and leave the door open.
Career Tips – How to Ensure Smooth Transition to a New Job (PDF)