How To Generate Multiple Job Offers

By: bigduke
Your value in the marketplace often rises when an employer learns you've been offered a job by someone else.

First, an employer doesn't want to lose the pick of the crop to another organization. Second, if an employer has been considering you, but waiting to see if perhaps someone better will come along, the realization that you're about to join another organization may spur him or her to make you an offer now. And third, competition tends to loosen an employer's purse strings: if you have another job offer, there's a better chance for you to negotiate a higher salary with someone else.

Once you have a firm offer, it's up to you to let your other employer prospects know about it.

Arrange a meeting with the employer who made the offer for some time to consider it. This isn't at all unreasonable, and many employers will give you some defined period -- three days or a week or by Monday or whatever -- to make your decision. If an employer asks for a decision on the spot, don't be afraid to ask for a time out.

"I'm very pleased at your offer. It's a wonderful opportunity, and I'm excited at the prospect of working for you. I know you understand it's an important step for me, and I'd like a little time to think it through thoroughly. I'll give you my acceptance no later than close of business Tuesday. Will that be all right?"

If the employer refuses to give you any time, you may want to consider why you're being pressured. A legitimate offer for a legitimate job should allow time for careful consideration, even if the employer suspects you're shopping the offer around to see if you can land something better. A thoughtful, realistic employer realizes that making a quick hire while the candidate still has doubts about the decision is an invitation to problems later on.

Once you have a firm commitment that the job is yours of you accept it by a specified date, and all the terms have been agreed upon, you have until the time runs out to see if you can use the offer to leverage other offers. Now phone the decision-makers that have interviewed you at other companies that interest you. Tell each that you have a firm offer, and you must now make a decision.

"I enjoyed meeting you, and I have a serious interest in your company. I thought I should tell you that I have an offer from another firm, and I've promised them an answer by Tuesday. If you want to talk further with me, I'd like that. But it would have to be quite soon."

If you're successful in lighting a fire under other employer prospects, you could be in meetings right up until your Tuesday deadline, but you may well be rewarded with more offers, and the opportunity to make a choice. If nothing additional comes through, you can still accept the offer you have -- or reject it and continue your search.
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