When you first get the job offer it will often be a verbal offer and is likely to be subject to taking up references and perhaps even a medical examination.
So never say you are accepting a job offer, or resign from your present job until you have received a formal offer in writing for the new position. Occasionally, after an interview, employers try to shorten their process by asking if you will accept the job there and then. It’s flattering and gratifying to know they like you enough to make an offer but be very careful or you may find yourself caught out with no job.
You should be careful in your response and if you are interested say “I would like to accept it but please confirm your offer in writing” and I will then confirm with you.
A formal job offer should include all these points:
- job title
- normal hours of work
- place of work
- holiday entitlement
- notice period
If something is not covered, you need to find out what it is as you will not be able to make your decision without this information. And don’t wait until you start work to raise any outstanding queries. It will be far too late to discuss or negotiate anything else by then.
Check your job offer letter carefully against what you understood was being offered, and don’t sign the acceptance letter unless you are fully satisfied with it. You still have time to raise any questions.
As the job offer letter forms the basis of your new contract, you need to be sure. And finally, don’t accept the first job you are offered unless it’s the right one.
At interview, it’s too soon to get involved in in-depth discussions of money and perks unless you are sure that the company wants you rather than one of the other candidates — in other words, once they have offered you the job. When you know they are prepared to ‘buy’ then you have room to start and negotiate.
KNOW YOUR NEEDS
Consider your current or last remuneration package — in other words, not only your pay, but things like benefits, pension, bonus, private health insurance, overtime payments, car loan and whether you have additional expenses because of the location of the new job.
KNOW THE MARKET
Use the internet to gather information so that you know the market value of someone with your skills. What are the industry averages for your level of responsibility and oferty pracy type of work?
KNOW HOW TO TALK ABOUT PAY
If you are pushed at an early stage to discuss your pay expectations, say that you would like to come back to this when you have more information mangastream the job demands and responsibilities. Or you could give a very general indication of what your pay expectations are whilst confirming your interest and enthusiasm for the job.
If you are already on the market, beware of firms trying to get you below your market worth. You must be ready to justify why you are worth more — because of your skills and experience, and reassure them that you are not just looking for a stepping-stone.
If they ask you what you are prepared to accept always say: “I have an idea but what do you have in mind?” so that they name the figure first.
If the pay offered is lower than your expectations, start to negotiate. Start your negotiating with the salary itself and emphasise that whilst the pay is not as important as the opportunity and the challenge of the job, it is important; and then proceed to the benefits package. Be prepared to negotiate a compromise. If it looks as if you are not going to reach a compromise, make sure you still sign off on a pleasant note. They may come back to you later with a better offer or remember you favourably when a bigger job comes up.
Always aim to leave a positive image!
With over 25 years running businesses; as a Career Coach and Consultant in many sectors; Peter Fisher is well placed to guide job seekers through the steps needed in order to achieve that all important new position.