Managing multiple job offers

Jobs in IT and engineering can be very rewarding. Where else do you get to be at the forefront of technology, problem solve every day and get the chance to work with a really diverse range of people?

When the time comes to progress onto a new role and you are in the position of deciding between multiple job offers, how can you do this without burning bridges? After all, you never know when you might end up working with these employers again in the future.

Woman deciding between multiple job offers

Here is what we suggest to ensure that you make the right decision for you in the best way possible.


Identify your preferred role during the application process

If you have more than one attractive application in the pipeline at one time, it is a good idea to identify before you receive any offers which would be your most preferred role to work within. Doing this before multiple job offers arrive will make your decision an easier one to make. The best way to do this is to study the job descriptions carefully and take the time to research each company, looking into their values, achievements and (most importantly) what they can offer you.


Manage expectations

If you are unable to make a decision on your preferred role, you may find yourself in a trickier situation. In this instance, the first thing to do is manage expectations.

Accepting a job offer and then retracting this acceptance later down the line is not good long-term for your career, and you may find that this decision follows you. The best thing to do here is to defer giving a decision to the employer for as long as is fair and acceptable whilst you wait to find out about the other role. It is not unreasonable to ask for a few days to think about the offer, but you shouldn’t leave things for longer than a week as no employer wants to feel as if they are a safety net or second best.


Weigh up the pros and cons

Once you have received both job offers you will likely know very quickly if not straightaway which role you would prefer to take. However, if you find that it is a close run, it’s time to write a list.

Useful factors to compare during the decision making process include:

  • Career prospects the companies are able to offer
  • The work you will be doing day to day
  • The type of technologies you will be using
  • The company cultures
  • The commute, or if relocation is required, what the new area is like
  • Salary and benefits packages


Accepting an offer

Once you have received multiple job offers and made your decision, it’s time to accept. It is important to make sure this is done and confirmed before turning down the other role to prevent cutting ties too early and risk being left with no offers.

Turning down the role you won’t be accepting tactfully is key, as you never know when your paths may cross again in the future. When speaking with the employer, try to use language along the lines of:

“I have been really impressed by your company and am over the moon to have been offered the position. However, I have also had another offer from another company. It has been a very difficult decision to make and I am sorry to say that I have decided to accept the other role at this time. I really enjoyed meeting you and your team and thank you for taking the time to consider my application.”

Now, all that is left to do is hand in your notice at your current job. You should also prepare for the possibility of a counter offer being made by your employer once you have done this, as they may be reluctant to lose you to a different company. Find out how to go about managing this situation here.


You may also like to read:

What happens after you get accepted for a contract role

When is the right time to move jobs?

How to manage in a new job

Advice Centre

Research and Knowledge

Engineering and IT job profiles

Free Resources