Here Are the Top Things to Look for in a Job Offer, According to the Experts

So, you’ve tackled the phone screen and impressed hiring managers during in-person meetings. At long last, you’ve received an offer!

This is an exciting milestone in a job search, no matter how experienced a candidate you are. Once you’ve been extended a job offer, there are a few important aspects to examine before accepting or denying it.

Who better to offer this advice than executive recruiting experts, who see tons of job offers day in and day out?


When you’ve received a written offer, you may be inclined to rush through it or review it with rose-colored glasses. Neither of these approaches is smart. Instead, take your time and look carefully at a few specific factors:

  • This might be the first thing you want to review, but weigh it against the other parts of the offer. Benefits, opportunities for bonuses and raises, and other exciting perks you reviewed in your interview process, such as work-from-home privileges, could offset the salary’s importance. If you discussed salary in your interviews, is the amount in your offer reflective of what you discussed? And remember, it’s usually expected that you’ll negotiate your salary, so don’t feel like you’re obligated to accept it.
  • Employee benefits. Related to the point above, review all of the employee healthcare benefits and other perks. According to The Balance, benefits can represent up to 30% of your compensation package. Take the time to review all of the benefits and perks carefully, and record questions that come up as you do so. Ask the hiring manager all of your questions before making a decision.
  • Job responsibilities. Read the job responsibilities carefully, and ensure that they align with what was on the job description and what you discussed in the interview. If you have questions or need clarification on a certain point, ask for it before.
  • Suggested start date. This is a minor detail in the whole scheme of an offer that could be overlooked, but it’s extremely important. Will the proposed start date give you enough time to resign and wrap things up at your current position? Conversely, are you in need of an income sooner than the start date allows for? If the start date doesn’t suit your needs, be prepared to negotiate a new one.
  • Non-compete verbiage. Because non-compete clauses can sometimes be written in more complex “legalese,” it’s easy to skim through them and move on. However, these rules can severely limit the direction your career takes in the future. If you leave the company and are forbidden from working for a similar company for a certain amount of time, it could drastically impact your job prospects later on. Review this information closely and carefully consider what you’re willing to agree to before accepting the offer.
  • An arbitration clause. Many employers include a clause in their offer letters mandating arbitration through a neutral third party (typically behind closed doors), as opposed to a courtroom. In other words, agreeing to an arbitration clause is an agreement not to sue your employer. While it’s unsettling to think about this before potentially starting a new job with the company, ensure you’re protected by reading and understanding the clause thoroughly.
  • How much time you have before making a decision. The hiring company will probably give a deadline within the offer letter of when they need an answer. But if you’re waiting on additional offers or just aren’t sure what you’ll do, it’s okay to ask for a deadline extension.

Here’s an additional point of consideration: What if your current employer makes you a counter offer? We recommend never accepting—here’s why.


Have you considered working with an executive recruiter to navigate the job search process? Ciresi & Morek has proven experience placing the best candidates in their ideal positions. To see what positions are available today, view our Active Searches.

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