What Should I Review Before Accepting a Job Offer?

Hurray! You just received your first job offer by email and you are all set to take it up as the first step of your career growth. But wait! While you may feel excited about the offer and have the irresistible urge to accept it on the spot, there are a few very important things to consider and research and review beforehand. Take a look at some of the more essential points you need to consider in order to ensure you secure the right job which guarantees your happiness in terms of career prospects and progression in the long run.

Review the job description

Your first step in reviewing a job offer is to take a very close look at the job description. A detailed job description would:

  • Provide a clearer picture of the qualifications, skill sets, and experience expected by the employer.
  • Enable you to understand your duties in the new organization and whether they align with your interests.
  • Clarify whether you need to work on-site or remotely. In the case of the former, you would then need to review additional factors like relocation costs, cost of living expenses, lifestyle changes, and so on.
  • If you feel that the job description does not accurately reflect the actual job responsibilities and qualifications, consider talking to a hiring manager to inquire about the details.

Review the job offer

Your next step would be to have a close look at the actual job offer letter sent by the company. Some of the more important points you will have to take note of here include:

  • Base salary: This is the key factor to consider when deciding to accept or reject a job offer. Would the base salary offered by the company match your expectations? You will know the answer to this question only if you know how much your skills and experience are really worth. Take some time to visit websites like Glassdoor and Vault which help you review your base salary based on average salary bands on par with your position, industry, location, and other criteria.
  • Signing bonus: Does the company offer a signing or starting bonus? Would it be in the form of a single payment, multiple payments, or stock options?
    Bonuses/Incentives: Would the bonuses/incentives be calculated on personal achievements or the company’s wider performance? Would they be calculated on an hourly, daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis? Would they be paid out on a weekly, monthly or yearly basis? Would they be commission based or have any clauses which make them unrealistic or hard to attain?
  • Stock options/profit sharing: What stock options does the company offer its employees? Would they be given based on your performance or your tenure? Does the organization have any profit-sharing plans for its employees?
  • Relocation assistance/work visa sponsorship: Does the company offer relocation assistance? In some cases, it may be related to reimbursing travel /moving costs or temporary lodging. If your work requires you to move to a new country altogether, would the company be willing to provide visa sponsorship for you, and help you obtain a visa for your spouse and kids at a later point in time?
  • Insurance: What insurance plans does the company offer for its employees? What do the plans cover? What percentage of it would have to be paid by the employee, and what are the eligibility criteria to claim insurance if needed?
  • Vacation/time-off benefits: Does the company offer allowance for vacation, sickness or sabbaticals?
  • Additional reimbursements: Would the company be willing to offer reimbursements for additional options like tuition (in the event you need to enroll for relevant educational courses), company cell phone, company car, etc.?
  • Total compensation: It is vital to understand what your total compensation would be including all bonuses, expenses, benefits, reimbursements, insurance, and other components. Compensation is a big factor for people and needs to be reviewed thoroughly before making a decision.

Review the employer

Another very important factor to review before accepting a job offer is the company itself. While you may not get this information from the recruiter/hiring manager, you may want to take some time to get online and do some research on these quick facts.

Reviews: THE most important thing you need to research about a company. Online reviews from existing employees and former ex-employees will tell you a lot about a company and its reputation. Check for company reviews on employer review websites like Glassdoor.com and Comparably.com to see what the employees have to say about the firm.

  • Work culture/diversity: Another factor to consider when researching a company is its work culture and diversity. Again, the best place to find this information would be online reviews while you may get some useful information about it from the company’s website as well.
  • Management style: The management style plays a very important role in an employee’s happiness and longevity in the organization. Ideally, you will be looking to join a company where employees have independence, office politics are discouraged, productivity is high, employee retention increases and communication is effectively managed between different levels of management.
  • Long-term goals/roadmap: A company’s long-term vision will tell you a lot about its focus on having a direction, devising novel methods of attaining goals and encouraging employee performance in the process.
  • Job security: It is considered vital to check if the company has a history of layoffs which might put your career in jeopardy in the future. The company may not advertise any layoffs so you may also need to review news websites and social media websites.