Understanding Job Offers – What’s Really in There?


If you have recently received a job offer, congratulations! You likely faced stiff competition and stood out as a top candidate. But before you agree to anything, it’s important that you scrutinize the offer carefully and understand exactly what is (and is not) included. Below are nine features to look out for:

  • Basic Info – All job offers will include basic info about your job title, the office location, start date etc. Do these details look agreeable to you, and do they match up with what you were promised during the interview?
  • Salary and Raises – The letter should also clearly spell out how much you will make on day one, and many provide information about when/how you will be reviewed for a possible raise. Make sure the amount offered can sustain your desired standard of living.
  • Bonuses – Some – but not all letters – will give you details about when you will be eligible for a bonus, how you will be evaluated, and how much you can expect to earn. Be sure to evaluate these details in the context of your larger compensation offer.
  • Deferred Compensation – Deferred compensation refers to things like stock options and retirement plans. This can represent a significant portion of your overall compensation, so be sure to evaluate the amounts/conditions/terms carefully.
  • Benefits – The quality of your benefits package can vary widely. Be sure to consider both the breadth and depth of the benefits offered in the context of your own circumstances. For instance, if you are young and relatively healthy, tuition reimbursement may be more valuable than extensive medical benefits. Don’t hesitate to request supporting documents if you need more information.
  • Mandatory Arbitration – It’s easy to overlook this detail, but essential to spot it when present. Mandatory arbitration limits your legal rights in the event of a future employment dispute.
  • Non-Compete Clause – This clause limits your ability to work for competing companies for a certain period of time after leaving your job. This can have a major impact on your future career prospects, so be sure to understand exactly what you are committing to.
  • Non-Solicitation Clause – This clause limits your ability to recruit co-workers, clients, or customers to follow you to another company. Again, this can have major implications for your career down the road.
  • Privacy Policies – There are limits to how much personal information your employer can require you to hand over. Carefully read over the privacy policies before you give access to private email accounts and social media profiles.

In theory, any of these details is negotiable. But pick your battles carefully. An employer may be willing to hire you, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be willing to fight with you. You would hate to miss out on an exciting opportunity because you chose to argue over a minor detail. Find more resources to help you evaluate your job offers by working with JH Technical Services, one of the top staffing agencies in Pittsburgh!

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)