What to look for in your benefits package

When you're searching for a new job, you're probably looking for a position that has an appropriate salary. However, it's also important to carefully review the benefits package that you're offered, as this is a way that companies try to sweeten the deal for top candidates.

Here's what you should look for in your benefits package.

Healthcare packages

One of the major perks of having a full-time job is that the company will usually offer medical, dental and vision insurance. When evaluating a job offer, look into what provider the company works with, as well as the deductibles, monthly premiums and flexible spending options. You may also want to inquire about short-term disability insurance.

Paid time off

Everyone needs a break from work now and then, so check out your potential employer's paid time off policy. Some organizations offer one or two weeks of paid vacation, while other more lenient companies have "unlimited" policies. Find out what your benefits package would include for vacation, what the company policy is on taking time off and how quickly you accrue PTO.

Wellness programs

Another benefit that's become increasingly popular in past years is corporate wellness programs. A full-time job often takes away time that you would normally spend exercising, so companies have started promoting healthy lifestyles through a variety of wellness incentives. See if your job offer includes options for you to stay fit and manage stress.

Paid leave

Sometimes unforeseen family or medical circumstances may require you to take time off. In these situations, it's good to have paid family leave options. While certain companies do offer paid leave, there are no federal requirements that mandate it. Keep this in mind if you anticipate taking a leave of absence after starting your new job.


You should start planning for retirement as early as possible, which is one reason why many job seekers are interested in 401(k) programs. Look into whether your job offer includes any type of 401(k) matching or contributions - this often means the company is invested in the futures of its employees.

Company fun

Another way that companies draw in younger workers is with fun corporate events or a laid-back office space. Perks like video game rooms, free lunches or sponsored happy hours are becoming commonplace in startups and other businesses. However, these benefits shouldn't outweigh more important issues such as health care and retirement.