How to Tell a Potential Employer You Have Another Offer

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To start, if you’re reading this article, congratulations!

It likely means that you have at least one job offer and are interviewing with another organization. That’s a fantastic accomplishment, and one that you should be proud of.

That said, it also creates the awkward situation of trying to coordinate the timing of two job offers so you can make a decision with as much information as possible about what is best for you.

So throughout this article, I’m going to provide a list of rules to follow about how to tell a potential employer that you have another job offer. At the end, I offer an example email template that you can leverage for this situation.

The end goal of the rules and the email is to enable you to professionally inform your other potential employer about your job offer in a way that hopefully moves them towards making you a job offer with enough time to decide between the two employers.

Let’s get started.

Rules for Telling a Potential Employer You Have Another Offer

Wait Until You Have a Written Offer

Even if you hear from HR or a hiring manager at company #1 that you will be receiving an offer, and even you hear the specifics of what that offer will be, do not inform company #2 about your offer until you have it in writing. 

The offer is not totally official until you have it in writing, so make sure to request that from the company making you an offer before moving forward with informing company #2 that you have an offer.

Let The Other Potential Employer Know Quickly

Once you have the written offer, let the other potential employer know as soon as possible about the offer. You’ll want to give them as much time as possible to decide if they want to offer yo, prior to whatever deadline you’ve committed to about the other offer.

Let The Other Potential Employer Know of a Deadline

Once you receive the job offer from company #1, you’ll want to establish a timeline by which you’ll respond. If you’re navigating that job offer, and waiting on one from a potential alternate employer, you’ll want to try and negotiate as much time as you can to give company #2 ample time to coordinate an offer.

Depending upon the timing of when you receive an offer, it often makes sense to request through the following weekend to reflect on the offer to make a decision.

Regardless of how much time you have before a decision, you’ll want to let company #2 of your deadline ASAP and communicate that you’d love to hear a decision from that by that time if possible.

Be Honest About Your Situation

If you received a job offer from company #1, and you’re strongly leaning towards taking it, then it’s best not to string the company #2 along. 

However, if you’re seriously considering company #2 and/or there is a number that would get you over to the other company, then be sure to communicate what that is.

Be Mindful of Their Context

If you received an offer from company #1, but you’re only in a phone screen phase with company #2, it’s unlikely they’ll have an offer ready for you by the time you need to decide on your offer.

You would still want to communicate your other offer, but be sensitive to the fact that they probably can’t offer you that quickly.

Example Email Template

Regardless of where you are in the interview process with the other employer, I think the below email template serves as a pretty good starting point for telling a potential employer that you have another offer.

Dear {Hiring Manager},

 

I wanted to reach out and let you know that I’ve received another job offer.

 

I have not yet responded to that offer, as I am still very interested in the {name of position} role at {company name}. Prior to making a final decision, I wanted to be sure to let you know about that offer.

 

I committed to responding to my other offer by {insert date}. If possible, it would be great to hear a decision on an offer from {company name} no later than {insert date}. That would enable me to make decision about the best next steps with full information.

 

I would be happy to discuss further or provide any additional information to help make the process as smooth as possible on your end.

 

Warm regards,

 

{Name}

Be sure to update the above template based upon the context of your conversation with company #2. As mentioned above, if you’re only in the phone interview stage, it’s unlikely they would give you an offer by the time you need to respond. Be sure to be mindful of that and update your communication accordingly.

About the author

Dan Slocum

Dan is the founder of Best Fit Work and a marketer and business professional with over 10 years of experience. Dan writes to share content, tools, and resources to help people discover and thrive in their own best fit work.

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