You have agonized over your resume and cover letter, spent countless days and hours sifting through job postings and submitting applications, you have been powering your way through interviews, and then lo and behold, your phone rings and you have received your first job offer!  Often times, people get so wrapped up with the application and interview process itself that they forget the protocol that comes after you receive an offer, or even multiple offers.  Here are some points to remember:

Consider your options.

We know it’s exciting to hear that you’re being offered a job, but just be careful that you are not so excited that you forget to consider your options.  We are not only talking about evaluating other opportunities and interviews you might have on the table, but also getting to better know the option you are being offered as well.  Dig in more on the details you might have not gotten from the initial interview, such as the schedule, compensation, etc. so you are equipped with the details to make an informed decision.

Don’t completely blow off your other opportunities.

A job offer does not mean you should frantically call all of the other interviews you have lined up and cancel, or even worse, decide just not to show up to them.  You don’t want to burn any bridges while you go through our first piece of advice and consider your options. Even if you do decide to take the original job offer, should you ever find yourself back on the market for a job again, you won’t have made any friends with hiring managers you decided to blow off.

Take the time needed to make the right decision.

You don’t want to drag out the process too much and make the manager regret extending you an offer because you seem ungrateful, but asking for a bit of time to wrap up your decision is more than acceptable.  If the position is not for an immediate temporary need and the manager is concerned more with finding a long term fit, they will appreciate a candidate who takes the time to make sure the position is the right option for them before accepting, rather than hiring someone who hadn’t thought it through and will leave the organization for another opportunity in a month.

Keep open lines of communication.

Above all, just remember to keep open lines of communication with all parties involved. Let the manager who made the offer know that you are grateful for the opportunity and how much time you will need to sort through a few things before giving your final decision.  If you have other interviews lined up, let those interviewers know you have an offer on the table, and they might be willing to bump up your interview so you can expedite the decision-making process.

Hiring managers and interviewers know and understand that job seekers might have numerous interviews and or even numerous offers on their plate at once, and the vast majority understand this and don’t expect you to give them an on-the-spot answer.  Taking the time to assess the options and pursue the most fitting opportunity will be better for both you and the employer!