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How to compare job offers

manageSo you got lucky and got multiple job offers and now need to choose? Or you got admitted to multiple grad schools and don’t know which one to pick?

Here is what you do.

Pick criteria

First, you decide which the most important decision criteria are, e.g. location, pay, health benefits, retirement, commute, career prospects, your confidence in succeeding etc. Don’t overdo it, just pick the 4 or 5 that matter most to you. Actually, if you have a family, a significant other, that you want to involve in the process you should discuss the criteria and their relative importance with them.

Weight the criteria

Assign an importance weight ranging from 1-10 to each criteria (1 for lowest, 10 for highest). For example if commute is not a big issue, give it a 2, whereas if you are very concerned about salary give it a 10.

Score each job

Then score each job option on a range from 1-10 along each criteria, depending how well they perform. For example if one job has a horrible commute give it a 1 but give the job with a reasonable commute a 5, and the one with a real short commute a 10.

Put it all toghether

Then put everything in a table, multiply each score with its criteria weight  and then add up the score for each job option. The highest score should be the best pick.


If the highest score feels wrong, rethink your weighting and scores.

When discussing this with families, significant others, this approach is very helpful as it is based in numbers and easily understood. If you still disagree it will quickly lead you to discuss and agree on what is important to everyone involved.

Good luck!

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