How to manage multiple job, placement or internship offers

As career consultants we are often offering guidance on how to stay resilient during your job search. How to handle rejection and how to keep yourself motivated during what can seem like endless months of applications, tests and interviews.

However for some students, there is another challenge, and that is how to handle multiple job offers, how to remain professional when turning down an employer and how to ensure you are not burning any bridges for the future.

Here are our top tips for students in this position.

What do you want?

First things first, you need to decide which job offer you want to accept. You need to consider all the factors that led you to apply in the first place. Think about the role, location, time, salary and where the opportunity might lead, then match these things to your personal skills, circumstances and values.

Some students may want to make a list of pros and cons others will go with their gut feeling for an organisation. This is ultimately your choice, and whilst you may want to sound out other people for their opinions, this is about where you will be working and your career!

Don’t spend too long deciding

Put yourself in the position of the recruiter and other applicants. Whilst you need to make a considered decision, it’s not a good idea to keep the employer hanging on endlessly. When you receive the call or emails offering you the position – thank the employer and let them know when you will respond, provide a set time frame, 24 -48 hours maximum. You can say you need to discuss the offer with your family or academic institution.

How to say no

Within the time frame outlined call the employer or recruiter and politely decline any offers you don’t want to accept. Be professional and honest. There is no need to give too much detail. It is good practise to also decline the offer in writing.

Write to the person who has made you the offer, and as with all communication make sure you use exemplary language and punctuation. This is a formal letter and should be written as such.

An example of suitable text might be:

Thank you for your offer, and the opportunity to work or your company. It has been a very hard decision but I have decided to accept another position as I feel it a closer fit to my skills and career aspirations. I would like to thank you once again for your time and offering me the opportunity.

Can I use multiple job offers to leverage a better deal for myself.

Whilst this may be a tactic used by experienced hires, it is not something we would advocate for undergraduates or recent graduates. You have applied for a position for which the terms and conditions were outlined; the expectation would be that you have entered into the recruitment process knowing this. The sheer competitiveness of internship and graduate roles means negotiation is usually a fruitless task.

What if I have a job offer but I’m still waiting to hear from a company that I really want to work for?

This situation is really difficult. You should follow the advice given earlier on asking the employer offering you a role for time to consider the offer. Then it is worth contacting the other company to find out where they are with their recruitment process and when you can expect to hear from them. It may be worth mentioning that you have an offer in hand and that they are your preferred employer; however this may not speed up or influence the process.

Ultimately you will have to make a decision. You can’t leave the employer who has made the offer hanging on indefinitely nor can you pressure the prospective employer to make a decision any faster than they want to

Consider what you want from the placement or role and decide whether at this stage you can risk giving up the offer in hand.

Once you have decided, let all parties know, the employer whose offer you are rejecting or accepting and if applicable, the employer whose recruitment process you would like to withdraw from.

In Conclusion.

Whilst holding multiple offers is an envious position to be in, it is important that you communicate clearly and effectively throughout the process. You may wish to apply to an employer you reject now in the future or you may cross paths professionally with any of the individuals you have met during the recruitment process. The way in which you approach this process will dictate how you might be viewed in any future professional transactions.

Here at City Careers we would be happy to help you work through this scenario should it arise, book in to see a careers consultant.


Only a few days left to apply for THB  – a graduate scheme in insurance – work in the City!

THB graduate scheme now open - work in the City!

Insurance is not a sector that many students think about who are interested in a career in finance. Yet the sector employs a high number of grads in prestigious premises in an industry that is growing, with a good work/life balance.  Having spoken to many young grads in the sector, they have talked positively to me about having interesting and  challenging work, with early responsibility. This is a new grad scheme and THB are interested in grads of any discipline.

THB is a specialist mid-sized insurance and risk management company with more than 700 people, nearly $2 billion of premium placed and offices in:

Middle East
North America
South America

THB’s head office is in the heart of London, which is where it is hosting its new graduate scheme.

The Programme
The newly-launched, 18-month graduate programme offers you the chance to learn about roles within THB’s Technical, Claims and Broking teams based in London.

You will visit 3 or 4 business units, as well as spending time in Central Operations and undertaking an external placement. It’s a great way to understand how the business operates.

The aim of the graduate programme is to give THB a pipeline of talented people who want to develop a long-term career with the business.

You will receive:

  • An induction programme that gives you the essential skills and knowledge you will need to succeed at THB
  • Exposure to different part of the business
  • A short-term external underwriting placement
  • An appreciation of the roles of the THB central operations team
  • A THB mentor who will give you advice and support throughout the scheme
  • An active network of colleagues and resources.

Your Development
You will spend around one day per month focusing on your personal development during the programme.  You will attend relevant workshops available through the current in-house THB Learning and Development offering, in addition to technical and professional learning.

Your induction programme will quickly integrate you into THB, letting you navigate the business, building on processes, and equip you with an essential toolkit of knowledge, skills and behaviours to be effective during the programme and beyond.

As part of the programme you will complete the CII Award in London Market Insurance within the first six months and complete the CII Diploma in Insurance by the end of the programme. Beyond that you would be expected to achieve full ACII status within 2-3 years.

Every graduate will be matched with an existing THB employee to mentor and support you.

You are welcome to apply to the THB programme if:

  • You are eligible to work in the UK
  • You have a 2:1 degree or above in any subject
  • You have GCSE (or equivalent) Maths and English – minimum grade C.

THB is a relationship business so we are looking for enthusiastic people with fantastic communication skills, a great work ethic, the desire to learn and the ability to build relationships really quickly.

How to Apply
We want to make sure you are right for us and we are right for you, so our selection process is challenging. It’ll give you a great insight into how we do things at THB.  The stages are:

  1. Application with CV and cover letter – deadline 31 January 2017
  2. Telephone interview – during February 2017
  3. Verbal and numeric reasoning tests – during February 2017
  4. Full day assessment centre including interviews – 25 April 2017

Application to the scheme does guarantee a particular role or business unit – permanent placement will be confirmed towards the end of the programme.

To apply, send your CV and cover letter to recruitment@THBGroup.com, explaining why you think you are the right person to join the programme. More info is available on the Careers page of their website.


Guest Blog Post: The benefits of a mock interview

In this post, Nursing Graduate Olanike Akinde talks about the benefits of having a mock interview:interview in progress

“The funny thing regarding interviews is that the saying ‘by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail’ actually sings true.

Myself, a postgraduate diploma student in child nursing knew the importance of this saying from my previous career in Accounting hence why I used the services of the Careers Service at City. Continue Reading


PwC remove their UCAS points criteria for graduate jobs

PwCHere at City Careers, we are always keeping an eye out for changes in recruitment practices. We have noticed that some graduate employers have started to be more flexible about their entry requirements, which has got to be good news for graduates. The latest of these is PwC who have removed their UCAS points criteria for graduate jobs. PwC have stated that they believed their old practice of requiring UCAS points resulted in a lack of diverse applications from graduates because this put people from poorer backgrounds at a disadvantage. Richard Irwin, Head of Student Recruitment at PwC, says: “We want to target bright, talented people and extend our career opportunities to untapped talent in wider pockets of society’. PwC has defended the new policy by asserting that it could “drive radical changes in the social mobility and diversity of the professional services industry.” Read more what PwC have to say here. Will be interesting to see how the other three in the Big Four respond, along with other key graduate recruiters…….




Why is a 2:1 not enough and how can using social media help?

Interesting article here by Rod Ardehali about why a 2:1 is not enough to get a graduate job. What I found most interesting was the comment made by Kate Parkinson, Recruitment Director at Accenture  who stresses how students who use social media effectively can get an edge on the competition. She advises not only following companies, but also using social media to connect with individuals in companies. It’s a great way of getting an insider’s view and learning more about company culture. Doing this demonstrates initiative and  the good networking skills that employers expect.

Last term, I hosted an employer presentation for students delivered by Paul Roberts, Graduate Resourcing Partner at Axa. He advocated using social media to get in touch with companies as a way of making yourself stand out. He is impressed by students and grads who get in touch and introduce themselves using social media. Paul  said he remembered their names and looked forward to meeting them at fairs and other employer events.


Change in recruitment practice for KPMG



  • CityCareers visited KPMG this month and learned that the firm is keen to recruit a wider range of graduates including those from  widening participation backgrounds. They have dropped their requirements from 320 UCAS points to 300  for graduate entry.   They are also willing to look at the broader picture e.g. disappointing A level results but a good degree result.
  • Audit  is seen by the firm as a good grounding for progression into their other services and KPMG are planning to increase intake. 
  • The firm are continuing to experience problems recruiting to regional offices (but have no problems recruiting to London).  There is also a growth in audit practice outside of London.
  • Some readers  might be interested to know (perhaps for interested siblings) that KPMG are also changing their recruitment expectations for their School leaver programme. They are  launching a new programme with lower requirements, additional to their current school leaver programme which will require BCC A level grades (current programme requires ABB).  The new programme does not include degree study but does involve studying for professional accountancy qualifications.