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Comparing Job Offers Takes Analysis

By: Margaret Hansen

By Margaret Hansen

Decisions, Decisions

You've waited months for a decent job to come through. Finally you have a successful week of some great interviews with a few well-respected local employers. Hope and relief ensue.

Until... two of the top-notch employers both offer you a job. They need a quick answer and each has 10 people waiting behind you ready to take the job. Nice problem, right? Maybe.

But, it requires some analysis on your part. It's important to know what you care about in a job.

Compensation and Benefits

In a past JobsIntheUS.com poll, job seekers told us that Compensation and Benefits were the most important deciding factors, with 42% of the group choosing this option.

Culture and Development Opportunities

Although salary stands out as the most important to the largest number of our poll takers, there are other considerations. Another 35% told us they care more about some non-negotiable elements of a job - Work Culture and Advancement / Development Opportunities. These are often set by senior management and change less often.

Flexibility and Reputation

Flexibility of schedule and the reputation of the employer tied as most important to 11% of the group, while only 2% said that non-traditional benefits or perks would tip the scales for them when reviewing a job offer.

Questions to Ask Employers

What's most important to you in a job offer that would sway your decision? Once you do the math and tally the actual salary (salary plus monetary value of benefits plus paid time off, etc.), you can respond initially to an offer with some questions.

Here are a few questions you could ask a potential employer to get a better idea of the culture, advancement opportunities, flexibility, and perks:

  • How many hours per week do people typically work?
  • What do employees' schedules look like?
  • How many long term employees do you have? What is the average length of service for employees?
  • Does your company participate in any charitable giving and/or volunteering?
  • What kind of employee recognition programs do you have?
  • What kind of performance appraisal structure and career paths do you have?

These questions are a good starting point for further discussion. Make sure that you have all of the details before making that final decision. You'll probably only get one chance to make the one that's right for you.


Margaret Hansen has been writing professionally since receiving a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Maine. She has worked for multiple organizations as a weekly newspaper reporter, a weekly newspaper editor, and in a variety of internal/external marketing communications roles. Her freelance career has focused on writing and editing for print, email and web publications in the employment industry, as well as manuscript editing and resume writing.