How to Juggle More Than One Job Offer (and Get What You Want)

How to Juggle More Than One Job Offer (and Get What You Want)


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While it may seem unlikely as you puff up your LinkedIn profile and go cross-eyed reading job listings on Indeed, it’s actually possible you’ll get multiple offers—or have multiple viable job opportunities on the line—in the same timeframe.

It’s an exciting prospect no doubt, but it can also be nerve-wracking. So, what to do? How can you leverage this bounty to your advantage without squandering either opportunity? Here are a few tips.

Express excitement, without saying yes

First, make sure you’ve expressed gratitude and enthusiasm for the job offers while resisting the urge to accept either one right away. You can say something like, “Thank you so much. I think this is an excellent fit for my skill set and I’m excited about this opportunity.” You can then buy yourself some time by asking, “By when do you need a final decision?”

Make sure you have a written offer before negotiating

If the offer is verbal, it’s not official nor solid enough to use as leverage. Make sure you get a written offer before making any moves. If you don’t have one yet, you can either lean into the extra time this gives you, or go back to HR and express enthusiasm (again—they want to know you’re into them) followed by a polite request to review all the details in writing. (Details being salary, paid time off, benefits, work/life balance, and so on.) Here’s what you should look for in an offer letter, besides just the money.

Be honest, and tactfully ask for more time to make a decision

Recruiters and managers know: Any good candidate is likely being courted by more than one company. If you have an offer in hand and anticipate another one coming soon, it’s well within reason to tactfully ask for more time.

You might say, for example:

“I’m very excited about this position and think it’s a great fit. I do have one final interview with another company this week and, while your company is my first choice, I’d like to give myself the opportunity to fully consider both options before making my final decision. Would it work for me to get back to you by next Monday at the latest?”

While there’s a bit of risk involved, most companies realize great candidates are in high demand and won’t hold it against you. (In fact, they may place a higher value on you knowing you’re wanted elsewhere.) The worst that can happen is they say no, we need your decision sooner. In which case, see below.

Mention the first offer, and try to get the second

Say you have an offer in hand from a company that is your second choice (Company B) but still have one more round of interviews at your first choice (Company A). It’s time to touch base with Company A to assess where you stand.

For example, you can say: “I’m really interested in this role; it seems like a great fit for my background and experience. I wanted to see if I could get a sense of the team’s level of interest in me as a candidate and timing for when the hiring decision will be made? I do have another offer on the table and while Company A is my first choice, I don’t want to miss another opportunity if the potential of moving forward is low.”

Most likely, Company A will appreciate your honesty, give you a straightforward answer and, if interested, do what they can to move the hiring process forward more quickly.

Avoid getting into the weeds on your behind-the-scenes process

If Company A answers your request by indicating they’d like to move you into the last phase but there’s some higher-level bureaucracy that may slow down the process, resist the temptation to detail how you’ll handle it.

Don’t say something like, “OK, the other company doesn’t need to know until X, so finding out by Y works for me because yadda yadda yadda.”

What you should say is something closer to, “Sounds great! Thanks for the additional information. I understand the process takes time. I will manage things on my end.”

Politely decline the other offer

When you reach a final decision, it’s time to decline the other offer like a pro. It’s up to you how detailed you want to be in this communication—you could mention that while you’re a big fan of the company, certain aspects of the job weren’t the best fit for your long-term goals.

But keeping it short and sweet is also perfectly acceptable: “Thank you so much for offering me the position of XYZ at Company B. While it was a difficult decision, I have accepted an offer with another company. I greatly appreciate your time and consideration during the interview process.” Now go celebrate before you start your top-choice job, you champion.

 



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