Tips for Evaluating a Job Offer

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Written by Kathleen Walder Content Writer, IntelyCare
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Reviewed by Ayana Dunn, BSN Content Writer, IntelyCare
Accepting a job offer

Has this ever happened to you? You start a new job that seemed perfect when you accepted the offer, but within the first few weeks, or even days, you get a sinking feeling that it wasn’t what you expected. If you’ve been in this situation, you know job satisfaction is about more than salary. Evaluating a job offer before you jump on board is critical. To keep it from being overwhelming, you can use our simple 21-point worksheet to gather the information you need to make a regret-proof decision in your search for good nursing jobs.

How to Evaluate a Job Offer

Taking time to evaluate a job offer means you can’t say yes on the spot. There’s no need to worry — most employers expect you to take a day or two evaluating a job offer. So, ask for 48 hours to respond and get out a sheet of paper and pencil (or open an Excel spreadsheet).

Make three columns — Considerations, Importance, and Offer. In the first column, copy the list of 21 aspects to consider below, plus anything else you want to add. In the second column, indicate how important that item is to you. You can give it a numerical value or write a note. Based on the offer and your investigation, you’ll fill in the third column.

Compensation Package Considerations

Your compensation package can go far beyond salary. It includes everything that has monetary value and comes directly from your employer.

1. Salary

When looking at how to evaluate a job offer, salary is probably at the top of the list and something that you may want to negotiate. You have several ways to look at salary:

Is it the salary you asked for? If the job offer matches the salary that you asked for, consider it a win.

Is the salary offer competitive? A “competitive salary” means you are being paid the same as others in your area with the same title. This information is available on LinkedIn, Glassdoor,,, and other websites.

Is it an increase from your current job? A job change usually means a salary increase.

Is it what you need to live on? Will the salary allow you to meet your expenses? You may have to step back and create a budget to determine this.

Is it fair? If you’re paid an hourly rate, you’ll be compensated for all the time you spend on the job. Will you be expected to work on holidays? Will you receive the standard double time or time and a half? On a salary, you may work more than your scheduled hours with no additional pay.

2. Bonuses and Incentives

Is there a signing bonus in your offer? Does the company offer incentive pay if patient satisfaction scores rise? Check out the past few years of scores on their website or in the annual report.

3. Pay Increases

Some companies guarantee a yearly pay increase to mirror the cost of living. Beyond that, are there “routine” annual increases based on performance? Know the company policy on raises.

4. Retirement and Savings

Don’t overlook this if you are early in your career. Retirement benefits include the company matching the money you put into your retirement fund.

5. Health Benefits

Medical, vision, and dental insurance coverage is one of the most significant expenses for an employer. Lack of coverage can put you in debt if you have a major medical event. Find out about workers’ compensation and their procedure and coverage for work injuries or violence.

6. Professional Development and Tuition Reimbursement

This can include the company paying registration and travel expenses for you to go to national or regional nursing conferences. It can also be tuition reimbursement for college classes or degree programs.

7. Time Off Policy

Time is money, especially if you don’t get paid when you take a vacation. Check the company’s policies about paid time off, sick days, vacation, and family leave. Do you get a fixed number of days off per year based on tenure with the company? Can you save up days for an extended vacation next year, or do you “use ‘em or lose ‘em?” How many days in a row can you be out? Will you be paid for allowed time off that you do not use?

8. Perks

A company provides perks for things that you would typically pay for yourself. This includes a car, computer, or phone. If you’re a travel nurse, will the company provide housing or reimbursement? Who is responsible for these expenses if you or the company break a contract?

Personal Financial Considerations

With any job, you incur personal expenses that are not reimbursable. The variations in these expenses are important to consider when evaluating a job offer.

9. Relocation Expenses

If accepting the job means relocating, will the company cover those costs? Will they manage your relocation, including packing and temporary housing until you find a home?

10. Commute Time

Will you have a shorter or easier time getting to this job than your current one? Take gas and car maintenance into consideration.

11. Parking

Does the company have employee parking, or will you have to find and pay for your parking? How far away is the parking?

12. Daycare

Does the company have on-site childcare? Is it free? If you’ve been working from home and your new job includes office time, will you need pet care?

13. On-Site Gym

Many companies have workout facilities for employees. You can save a nice chunk of change using workplace facilities rather than paying for a gym membership, exercise, or yoga classes.

14. Employee Discounts

Companies can make deals for employee discounts on everything from cell phone service to footwear.

Non-Financial Considerations When Evaluating a Job Offer

The following items are not compensation-related but are things you need to consider when evaluating a job offer.

15. Support

A job offer should identify your unit structure, and who you go to with questions and concerns, or for support.

16. Responsibilities

What are the core job functions you discussed while interviewing? Take note and clarify anything out of the ordinary or unfamiliar in the offer.

17. Work Environment and Remote Options

Do you see working from home as a benefit, or do you prefer in-person human interaction?

18. Scheduling Flexibility

Do the work hours complement your lifestyle, and are they flexible? Can you set your own schedule?

19. Company Reputation, Values, and Civic Involvement

Is it important you work for a “green” company? Does the company support initiatives you believe in? Will you be proud to say you work for the company?

20. Travel Requirements

Do you enjoy traveling for work, or would you rather always stay on the ground? Know how much travel is involved in the job before you say yes.

21. Impact on Long-Term Career Goals

Before starting any new job, ask yourself if it moves you toward your career goals or teaches you a skill important for your development.

IntelyCare Offers You Something Different

Rather than just evaluating a job offer, you can take control of your job search and find the latest opportunities on a platform designed for nurses only. Ready to take the next step in your career? Check out the great nursing jobs on IntelyCare today.