How NOT to Screw Up a Job Offer

Finding your next challenge can be difficult enough as it is—hours upon hours of researching, screening companies and their reviews, learning about company cultures, tweaking your resume, attending interviews, and yet we see a significant chunk of job opportunities slip through the cracks at the offer stage. With all of the time put in by the Applicants, the Hiring Managers, and potentially by an engaged Recruiter, it’s a shame that these potential partnerships fail to work out at the very last step. There are a number of factors at play here and often times there is more than one person to blame. However as an Applicant, there are some precautionary steps you can make to minimize the chances of losing out on a great opportunity at the last minute.

Here are 4 simple tips to follow:

  1. Make your salary expectations clear. Salary is one of the most important pieces to any career opportunity—don’t wait until the last minute to discuss it. Rather than wasting your own time and the hiring company’s time, make your salary expectations clear up front, even during your first conversation about the role. It goes without saying that you should always keep an open mind about other perks the role or organization offers other than cold hard cash, but don’t be afraid to ask about the set salary range for the role as well as present your own expectations well before an offer presentation.
  2. Be prepared to accept the offer. Before you begin looking for your next opportunity, you should have a general idea of what you’re looking for so as to not send yourself on a wild goose chase. Taking a long time to “think” about the offer of employment after receiving it doesn’t look great on your end. It looks like you’re not sure about what you really want and that you’re possibly not that excited about the opportunity—now you may genuinely be taking some time to consider the offer in accordance with your lifestyle, living expenses, commute, etc. But most of this thinking can and should be done before even applying so when that offer comes in, you’re ready to rock.
  3. Accept the offer for what it is, not what you’re used to. Just because your last company paid for your gas or provided catered lunches, doesn’t mean every other company can or will in the future. I often speak with candidates who provide a very specific wishlist of health benefits, perks, and expenses they want provided by their next employer. Although this can be an added bonus, you should really see the opportunity for what it is and what it can do for you in the grand scheme of things.
  4. Never accept the counter offer. I’m shocked to even have to say this, but accepting a counter offer from your current employer only after they’ve learned that other companies are interested in you is a really bad move. It may pay you a bit more in the short term, but accepting a counter offer can be detrimental to your career in the long run. The main cons to keep in mind are that there was a reason for you to begin looking in the first place and your loyalty will always be in question after returning to your employer.
  5. Use your Recruiter. If you’re working with, or have been approached by a Recruiter for your next role, take complete advantage of the opportunity! They’ve been down this road before and can help negotiate on your behalf. Keep in mind that Recruiters are often paid for their services once they have successfully placed a candidate within an organization and so it is in their best interest to help you land the job.

Navid Amin is Recruitment Consultant at RMSG in Toronto, Canada. Navid helps clients through designing and implementing hiring initiatives. He is passionate about sales, marketing and technology. Connect with him on LinkedIn at and follow him on Twitter at @Navid_Amin.