‘Help! I have multiple student job offers, what do I do?’

There are times when you sweat over job application forms for hundreds of placements and internships and nothing seems to come of any of them.

And then there are those other times when you might only apply for a few student jobs but end up getting multiple placement or internship offers.

This might sound like an ideal situation – and while it’s better to be offered jobs than not – it can present certain difficulties.

If you ever find yourself stuck in this position, here’s what you need to do to make sure you land the work experience you want, while rejecting the others in a professional manner.

How to handle multiple job offers

When dealing with more than one job offer, it makes a lot of sense to think about the bigger picture for your career, rather than just the here and now.

For example, one job offer letter might come with a bigger salary attached than the others that are vying for your attention, which is of course tempting.

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However, if that placement or internship doesn’t have the same career progression and development prospects that others do, it could be wise to avoid it.

A slightly greater salary at this stage doesn’t warrant being stuck in a dead-end job or career further down the line.

This is especially true if you could be flying high and getting promotions had you accepted another placement or internship.

What to do with multiple job offers

Remember, the good thing is that you’ve got at least one student job offer. So either way, you should soon be enjoying the perks of working life and gaining great experience.

One way to help clarify in your own mind what job might be best for you is to list on paper the pros and cons of each.

If one placement job’s list of pros far outweighs the others, then it might become clear which one is best for you fairly quickly.

How to reply to a job offer

If more than one company has given you that magic phone call and offered you a placement or internship, take into account the position that they’ll be in.

The recruiters may have pressure on them to fill the role promptly and have a number of backup candidates who they’d offer the job to.

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This may mean they’re not in a position to give you ages to respond. So don’t leave them hanging on for too long!

Give them a timeframe in which you plan to get back to them with an answer, be it 24 or 48 hours.

Say you need time to think it over and discuss it with your nearest and dearest.

This means you’ll have time to go through each placement or internship offer and make an informed decision without feeling the need to rush.

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How to decline a job offer without making enemies

There are many companies out there and many graduate recruiters, so you might not think you’ll ever run into the same ones again.

However, you’d be surprised. Recruiters move around and jobs come and go, so you may well run into the same people in the future.

This is why it’s so so important to always act professionally and avoid making enemies.

If you mess someone around, keep them hanging on in hope and generally make their life a misery, chances are they won’t think well of you.

This could definitely harm your chances of ever getting a job offer from them again.

Accepting one job offer while rejecting another job offer

What do you do with a job offer while waiting for another?

You may find yourself in a situation whereby one company has offered you a student job but you’d rather work for one that you’re still waiting to hear from.

This can be a tricky scenario to manage, because you don’t want to say no to the first offer only for the second one not to materialise – then you’re left with a big pile of nothing.

If you do get an offer, it’s always a good idea to ask for some time to think it over – even if it is the one you really want. Most graduate recruiters will expect this.

It also buys you some much needed time if you’re waiting to see what happens with the others.

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If you can, try and get in contact with the company that you’re waiting to hear from to see what stage they’re at with recruitment.

Let them know that you’ve had another offer but would ideally prefer to work for them and try to find out when they’re planning to reach a decision.

You can’t leave the first placement or internship job offer hanging forever so you may be in the nervy position of either accepting that one, or turning it down and hoping for the best from the second one.

You’ll have to judge whether this is a wise move because every situation is different.

If you’re desperate to hear from the company you’re waiting on, then call them and ask (tactfully) whether they can give you a firm idea of whether you have a chance or not.

Have you ever been faced with turning down a job offer after completing job applications? How did you deal with the situation? Comment below with your thoughts or experiences – we’d love to hear your thoughts on how to turn down a job offer.