Career Advice

5 Things You Should Look for in Your Job Offer

By: Cathy Alianna Henson
Jun 18, 2021 • 5 min read

What You Should Look For In a Job Offer

The job search process does not end with you scoring an offer. While you should be incredibly proud of yourself for powering through your applications and interviews, it’s important that you take the time to check if the job offer is truly right for you. According to CNBC, almost half of job seekers in high-demand industries choose not to go through with a job offer — citing various reasons such as bad recruitment experiences, lackluster benefits, or a disappointing salary bid. You shouldn’t let the excitement of a new job opportunity cloud your judgment and accept on the spot. Below, we’ve listed five things you should look for in your job offer prior to accepting.

look for in job offer

Job Responsibilities

Before you even think of signing the contract, take time to fully understand what the job entails. Read the offer letter and ensure that the job responsibilities are clearly outlined. Doing so can help you clarify any confusion you may have regarding the job post. This will prevent you from taking on a position that has been deliberately misrepresented. For example, you might be signing up for a graphic designer job, but the company is actually expecting you to help out in marketing and the creative direction too. In addition, having the job responsibilities specifically stated on the offer letter and contract can protect you in case your boss tries to assign you more tasks that are outside your scope.

Base Salary

Verbally agreeing on an expected salary does not mean that the job employer will fulfill their side of the bargain. If you had a phone or email interview, it’s best to check that the discussed salary matches up on the contract and offer letter too. What’s more, you also have the right to negotiate your salary if what’s written on paper is lower than expected. Miscommunication happens all the time. So if you don’t want to be stuck with a job that makes you feel undervalued, do your part and check the written base salary on the job offer. Don’t be afraid to negotiate when needed.

look for in job offer

Benefits

Companies use various benefits to entice people to join their workforce. Laws like the Family and Medical Leave Act mandate some benefits like maternity leaves. Meanwhile, you can negotiate other perks during the interview process. For example, you can talk to your interviewer about their 401(k) policies. If they offer this to you, a Marcus article on IRAs recommends asking your employer when you can start contributing to the plan. This is because some companies have a waiting period. You should also ask if it’s possible to roll over your 401(k) since not all plans allow this. All in all, make sure to clarify the guidelines of every benefit. Because even though something might look good on paper, it may not be what you’re expecting.

look for in job offer

Confidentiality Agreements

One good reason why you should read the entirety of an offer letter is that you don’t want to accidentally break a non-disclosure and confidentiality agreement. These common practices in offer letters can help protect sensitive company information. If you accidentally breach a confidentiality agreement, a PBS post on NDAs states that it can lead to penalties, termination of employment, or even a lawsuit. If you don’t want to face these consequences, do read the offer letter carefully.

Arbitration Clauses

Simply put, an arbitration clause is a provision in a contract that details how the concerned parties should settle disputes and legal conflicts. It’s important to look out for arbitration clauses in a job offer contract before signing it. If you’re not mindful enough, an arbitration clause can prevent you from taking your employer to court in case they wrong you. So if you want to protect yourself, check the offer letter and be vigilant about any tricky arbitration clauses.

Don’t get too excited and sign yourself away to a job that isn’t worth your skills and experience. If you want to avoid trouble down the road, be sure to diligently read everything in the offer letter. Make sure that your future employer is fulfilling their end of the bargain!

We hope this article helps you know what to look for in a job offer prior to accepting. Congrats on the new position!

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