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Community Question | How do I handle multiple job offers?

A man tosses an orange into the air.

Sometimes, you can get discouraged while job hunting. And sometimes, good things come in groups. On Facebook recently, an Idealist posed this question:

"When interviewing for a few different jobs at the same time what do you say to them as you wait to hear back from the others?"

While this seems like a good problem to have, it can still cause some awkwardness. Hopefully, the places where you are interviewing are professional and understand that you may have multiple offers. On eFinancial Careers, there is some great advice on how to handle some specifics.

Don’t Play Games

"There is “an etiquette to job negotiations,” says Pennell Locey, [vice president of career transition firm Keystone Associates]. First and foremost, don’t string your prospective employer along. It’s best not to be difficult when you’re in the midst of negotiations.

“It’s fine to say that you have another offer on the table and that you don’t want to hurry the process,” she adds. That may buy you time to consider the multiple offers on the table. You may want to tell your prospective employer that they are your number one choice. But resist the temptation to fake a competing offer.

Use Finesse

"If possible, interviewees should avoid the specifics about money. Make sure you come prepared to talk about salary, if backed into a corner. Do your homework on the firm and the role, and try not to lowball yourself. If you feel it’s appropriate to mention the other offer, avoid the details. Mention the importance of the base, for instance, and that the other position does have a higher base."

“It’s considered bad form to get into the specifics,” says Locey. “Try to stick to generalities and salary ranges.” The three essential salary numbers are the current salary, the minimum required to make the move, and the ideal amount to make the move. Take a look at the entire package, including bonus and benefits."

Additionally, the Chicago Tribune offers advice on staying organized when you have multiple interviews, and the University of Colorado Boulder Career Services department has some great advice about what to consider if you do find yourself with multiple job offers.

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