Evaluating the Total Package

While salary is certainly the most important element of a job offer, it is by no means the only point of consideration. The total package includes all of the benefits and other perks that are provided to you as an employee of the company. One of the biggest errors many college grads make in evaluating an offer is to look exclusively at salary as the measure of acceptability. Benefits seem to be an ethereal element that will never actually be used. The Invincibility Factor ("I'll never be sick, disabled, die, or need to get my teeth cleaned") runs high among many new grads. If you have not been provided a formal benefits package to review by the time the job offer is made, ask that it be sent to you. If you are given the information verbally, take copious notes and ask clarifying questions on any areas you do not understand.