Those Job Offers… What Went Wrong?

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Anne Weeks
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You’re doing well in your job search and expect more than one offer to come your way. You feel as though you have finally made it to the end, but then, for whatever reason, none of the offers materialize.


no job offers meme

What might you have done wrong?


  • Timing: Timing is everything. If you are offered one job while waiting on an offer from another job – one you would prefer – how do you politely delay the first offer without sounding like you are not interested? First, don’t tell the first offer that they are second fiddle. Tell them you would like some time to consider the offer and what is their absolute deadline for an answer. This may buy you a few days (but, realize they will suspect you are possibly waiting on another offer). Second, contact the company from where you are waiting to hear and tell them they are your prefered job, you have another offer, and are they able to make a decision within the timeframe the first company set. If not, then you will have to decide what you are willing to risk.


  • Trustworthiness: When a company is planning to make an offer, they will check references. You never want a reference check to go badly because you were not honest in the interview. Be sure to be accurate about your past experience, your skills, your reason for leaving a job, or if you are a recent college senior or recent graduate, your credentials. Even the slightest exaggeration can surface and cause you to lose an offer.


  • Salary: Whether you are discussing your potential salary or a past salary, again, be honest. Be clear about past earnings. As for potential earnings, be sure to have done your research and know what a typical salary range is for the job. This allows you to confidently give a salary range or to appropriately negotiate the offer.


  • Perks: If there are perks that are deal-breakers for you, such as working from home, travel expenses covered up front, contributions to retirement, day care available onsite, etc. be sure to raise these issues well before waiting for an offer. Deal breakers need to be communicated in the interview or before.

To read more about mastering the job offer, read these:
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Anne Weeks

Anne Macleod Weeks is a graduate of Lawrence and Villanova Universities. She has been an educational administrator and English teacher for 38 years, specializing in the area of college admission. Ms. Weeks has been a leader in the college admission and Advanced Placement arenas and has published on pertinent educational topics in a variety of national papers and journals. She currently resides in Nova Scotia, Canada.

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