Career-related resources (National Business Employment Weekly published by The Wall Street Journal and Petras, 1998) recommend three basic steps to be broken down and analyzed when evaluating an offer:

  • Assess the company
  • Assess the position
  • Assess the salary and benefits package

Each year the question is raised, "Is it ethical to accept a job offer and continue actively seeking until a better offer comes along?" In a word: NO! 

For more information on the principles of ethical conduct: Click Here [PDF]

The Company

  • How did the interviewer treat you?
  • Did you feel comfortable during the interview? Did you like the people?
  • Where is the company going; is it growing or downsizing?
  • What is the company's market share?
  • Who are the company's competitors?
  • What is the growth potential of the company's products/services?
  • Would you be working in a strong division?
  • Are the functions of the position well supported and respected by the rest of the company?
  • What is the culture of the company?
  • How well will the combination of your style and your manager's style merge with the company as a whole?
  • How is the company's rate of employee retention? 

The Position

  • What are your specific job responsibilities and are they clearly defined?
  • What is the history of the position? What happened to your predecessor?
  • Where does the "normal" career track lie?
  • What is the growth potential in this position?
  • How long are you expected to stay in the position before advancing?
  • How does the position fit with your short- and long-term career goals?
  • How can the position provide bridges to future opportunities?

The Salary and Benefits Package

  • How does the complete package meet or exceed what others are receiving for the same position at the same level of skill?
  • How comfortable do you feel with your salary and benefit package?
  • What are the industry standards for salaries at your level?
  • What are the reasons if you have been offered a salary much higher or lower than usual?
  • What is the company's pension plan and what is the vesting period of your plan?
  • What is a rough estimate of pension benefits that will come to you after 10 to 20 years? (assuming you have a "normal" career path)
  • What is the relative safety of the pension and how are the retirement funds invested?
  • Does the company offer a 401(k) plan? (a company-sponsored savings and retirement plan)
  • How much vacation, sick time and personal days will become available to you?
  • Does the company offer educational benefits?
  • Check into the full range of medical, dental, and disability benefits.  
  • Although it is difficult to assign dollar values to certain benefits, try to determine their worth by reading through the company literature-a good benefits package can be worth 25% to 30% of your salary.
  • For more information about Benefits: Click Here [PDF]


Deadlines and Sign-On Bonuses

Because of the increasing competitive nature of the job market, many employers will extend an offer with a deadline for you to accept or reject the offer. In some cases, an additional incentive of a sign-on bonus is attached with the offer. Typically, you will receive a one-time bonus if you accept your offer within the given deadline. Communicate closely with each organization that has extended you an offer, and inform them of the timeframe you expect to make your decision. Some employers may be willing to extend the deadline while others will need to enforce the timeframe of their hiring schedule.  Be prompt in corresponding with employers. Acknowledge receipts of offers of employment; then, take time to make a thoughtful decision. As soon as possible, write the employer of your decision. After accepting an offer, notify those organizations whose offers are being rejected.

Employed? Grad School? Other Plans?

It is important to UW-Stout to know what its graduates do after graduation. UW-Stout's interest in you does not end at commencement. Also, your experiences may well help next year's class. Please complete a questionnaire when you decide on a job, are accepted to a graduate program, have decided on other plans, or are still seeking employment at graduation. Employment Surveys are available in our office. Salary information is kept confidential.