28 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Accepting A Job Offer

Wednesday, 12. October 2011

You’ve sent out your inquiry letters, updated your professionally written resume, including your volunteer experience. You’ve got all your references lined up, hit the job fairs and aced all the interview questions. Congratulations! Your hard work has finally paid off and you’ve just received a job offer.

Is it time to crack out the bubbly and start celebrating? Not quite yet.

You may have spent the last few weeks, or even months, looking for a job and it can be very tempting to immediately accept the first thing that comes your way. Remember, this is going to be your new career, so you don’t want to be too hasty with your decision. Take your time to evaluate the offer and consider the following questions:

1) What is the start date?
2) What is the offered salary?
3) Do you consider it to be a fair salary?
4) Is the offered salary comparable to what other people in the same position are making?
5) If not, is the salary negotiable?
6) Do you think your salary demands are reasonable for the type of job you’ve been offered?
7) What will you do if the salary is non-negotiable?
8) Are there any other benefits that could make up for the salary?
9) Are the work hours manageable?
10) Is overtime expected?
11) Is flexitime available?
12) Is the location of the office going to work for you?
13) Can you handle the commute to the office?
14) Is telecommuting available?
15) What do you know about the potential co-workers?
16) Do you think that you will like the people you work with?
17) Will you be comfortable working in this office environment?
18) Is the corporate culture in line with your own values, attitudes, and goals?
19) Do you know who you will be reporting to?
20) Does your manager seem like the type of person you want to work with?
21) Does the company offer the possibility to advancement?
22) Do they promote from within?
23) Will you feel challenged with the type of work you are expected to do?
24) Will you need to travel as part of your job responsibilities?
25) Do you understand exactly what you will be doing in your new job?
26) Is this really the job you want?
27) Do you enjoy the field of work?
28) And finally how badly do you need the job?

Preparing For A Job Fair

Wednesday, 24. August 2011

I initially set out to write the most compelling, and most useful guide to help those that are planning to attend a job fair. Upon doing a little research, lo and behold, I found someone had already beaten me to it.

A useful guide on the internet about how to prepare for a job fair?

Surprise, surprise.

So instead of recreating the wheel, I’ll paraphrase for you what the good people at Virginia Tech have already put together.

Although their guide is geared towards new graduates looking for their first job, and students looking for internship opportunities, the advice is universal for anyone who is planning on attending a job fair.

1) So why should I even go to a job fair in the first place?

Well I’m glad you asked. There are many reasons why you should attend a job fair, the biggest one being, to find a job, or at the very least, direct you towards an industry that would be a good fit for you and your skills. As Virginia Tech points out, a job fair is a great opportunity to make a good impression in person.

When applying for a job, the only time you are likely to get any face time is if you are called in for an interview. A job fair can be an invaluable experience to put a face to a name, as we mentioned the importance of doing in last week’s post, Not Even A PFO Letter.

Another reason to attend a job fair is to learn about the prospective company. Their corporate website can only tell you so much, and meeting a current employee, in a semi-informal setting, will give you an idea what the company is like to work for and what kind of people they employ. Best of all, you can ask direct questions.

2) Okay enough already! I’m sold on the idea of attending a job fair, so how do I prepare for it?

As they say, patience is a virtue, but all right, I’ll speed things along a bit.

In order to be successful at a job fair it will take a fair bit of preparation on your part. The first step is to find out which employers are attending the fair. This can usually be found on the job fair website. If there is at least one employer that peaks your interest, then you should attend.

If there are multiple employers attending that you would like to speak with, then you should develop a list of priorities. Since job fairs only last a few hours, you will only get a chance to speak with a few of them.

It should go without saying that you’ll need to have plenty of copies of your resume available to hand out. If you are looking for more than one type of job, you’ll want to have multiple versions of your resume available. A professional resume writer can help you to create specific versions of your resume tailored to specific industries.

Not unlike our previous posts advising you to prepare for an interview, you will also want to prepare an introduction for yourself when speaking to representatives at the job fair. Something short that states a brief background on who you are and what you are looking for.

3) All right, so I’m prepared, but what should I actually do at the job fair?

This is your time to shine and leave a lasting (good) impression on the company’s representative. Show them that you have what it takes to be their next ‘so-and-so’.

Remember, no matter how friendly and open the representative is, you are still being judged. So things like, manners, eye contact, body language, and even your handshake, will all be taken into consideration when it comes time to make a decision about inviting you in for an interview.

For the full, unabridged version, check out Virginia Tech’s Career Services, Job and internship search guide on: How to prepare for a job fair / career fair.