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Salary & Benefits

Congratulations, you have received a job offer! You are probably feeling both excited and relieved. But what do you do next? How do you determine if this is the right position for you? It is important to determine your professional and practical needs before you make a decision on whether to accept the offer or not.

Evaluating a Job Offer

Evaluating your job offer is about more than just the dollar amount being offered. You need to determine if this is a position that will meet your needs and interests.

What's Important to You?


  • Living close to family
  • Time with family and friends
  • Travel within the job
  • Variety in the job
  • Your significant other's career
  • Telecommuting possibilities

Geographic location

  • Cost of living
  • Taxes
  • Relocation information
  • Appeal of city or town
  • Climate
  • Commuting time

Benefits (be sure to inquire about when your benefits will begin. Some benefits begin on your date of employment; others begin 30 days to a year after this date.) These are a few that you may take into consideration.
  • Signing bonuses (separate from the salary and benefits package)
  • Health insurance (including dental, vision, short-term or long-term disability)
  • 401K plans/retirement benefits
  • Stock options
  • Commission
  • In-house child care
  • Wellness programs
  • Relocation expenses
  • Domestic partner benefits
  • Tuition assistance
  • Vacation time

Once you have evaluated these areas you will be in a better position to make an intelligent decision about whether this is the right opportunity for you. For many new college graduates, the allure of a large entry-level salary may obscure the reality. Know what the expectations are once you start in your new position.


This site provides salary information, employment law, employee benefits, legal resources, and salary surveys and calculators: http://jobsearch.about.com/od/salary/Salary_Benefits_Legal.htm

Salary.com - can be searched geographically and by job title. Also provides insight into the value of the benefits package and what a typical paycheck will amount to.

Follow this link to an index of over 300 different salary surveys - http://jobstar.org/tools/salary/index.php



NACE job salary calculator

Accepting an Offer

Try not to accept an offer until you have fully evaluated the situation. If you are unsure, please stop by the office or make an appointment with your career counselor to discuss your concerns.

Once you have accepted an offer, you have made a commitment and should withdraw your application from any other companies. If you are participating in On-Campus Interviews you should withdraw from those as well. To renege on a commitment is considered unethical and unprofessional.

Confirm your acceptance by phone, e-mail, or in a letter to the company. Reiterate the details of the offer, including your salary, starting date, title, and any pertinent details you have negotiated. Send thank you letters to your references, in appreciation for their recommendations.

Let Career Center know about your acceptance. Records of students' placements offer us valuable data.

Declining an Offer

When you decline an offer, don't 'burn those bridges.' Thank the employer and state that, after careful consideration, you have decided to accept another offer. The companies you turn down now may be networking opportunities for you in the future.

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