Cornell University

Office of Career Services

201 Ives Hall, 607-255-7816

Making a Decision

Students and staff converse at the ILR Sophomore Future FairNow that you have an offer, you need to make some big decisions: Is it the right job for you? Does your offer include satisfactory compensation? Are there any terms that you need to modify for the job to be completely acceptable?

This is a good time to enlist assistance from OCS staff to help you sort through the different issues you need to weigh.

Understand the Job and the Offer

Get your offer in writing. If there are any aspects of the job offer and the work assignment that you're not sure of, now is the time for clarification. You need to know when you're expected to report for work, how long you'll be at that location, who your supervisor will be, how long you have to make a decision about acceptance, when salary/performance reviews occur, etc.

If you think you'll need more time to decide on a job offer, ask for it as soon as possible. Suggest a specific date by which you can let the employer know, and then follow up as you indicated; do not delay by even a day.

Understand Your Compensation Package

In addition to your base salary, your offer may include some of the following financial considerations:

  • Relocation stipend
  • Signing bonus
  • Vacation time
  • Health and other insurance coverage
  • Education benefits
  • Spousal assistance
  • Stock options
  • Performance-based compensation

These factors will have different value to different individuals, so you need to think about what is important in your situation.