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Now What? Blog
The University of North Dakota Career Services blog is designed to provide career development information 24/7. Our goal is to engage students in answering their career and internship needs while also providing a forum for dialogue.
In addition to contributions from our career professionals we will also periodically add guest posts from students and select employers to give our readers multiple perspectives on issues that make a difference to career success.
*Our blog is an open forum for conversation and information sharing revolving around career topics and trends. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate content from our page.
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September 27, 2012
Accelerated Job Search Part IV: Closing the Deal
By now you've networked into a position to pick the low hanging fruits of your friendship after gaining clarity in your job search and narrowing the search field to focus on just what is important to you. At the same time, your targeted resumes and application packets are in exceptional shape and you are ready to start the interviewing process. Seeing interviewing as a skill can relieve massive amounts of anxiety, and because it is a skill, it takes practice to develop, particularly if it has been awhile since your last interview. Check out these helpful suggestions:
Plan Ahead: You've already done this! By researching career/job fields and specific companies you've gained valuable knowledge about what a company is looking for. A target resume should be the wealth of your experiences filtered through what the company is looking for in an employee, continue to use that knowledge to advantage during the interview process.
Role play: I always feel a little goofy acting, even though it helps me. Being fake smacks of, well being fake. It can be helpful to run through a few practice interviews with friends/family who have an idea about what they are doing. But asking someone who has never been in corporate America to help prepare you for a corporate interview is a recipe for failure.
Be Positive!: Be absolutely certain you are right for the job when you interview. Even if unsure, act sure. Exude a comfortable confidence in yourself and abilities, but beware of coming across as arrogant. Consider arrogance false confidence, or overcompensating for insecurity because interviewers probably will.
Keep it clean: Avoid bashing or blaming anyone, particularly past employers. Even if you have good reason to be bitter, it is an unattractive quality that fails to impress employers. When asked about past work, take the high moral ground and give general reasons similar to: "It wasn't a good fit" or "I'm looking for a new challenge."
Get connected: Building a rapport is the single most important aspect of an interview, fail and it is a sure thing you'll fail to land the job.
Evaluating a job offer isn't always easy; often there are too many factors to consider. Fortunately, you have spent time researching yourself (if not go back to the clarity stage) and have an idea about what is important to you. The next step can be negotiating a job offer.
Chasing multiple careers/jobs can get tricky when you have a job offer on the table, and waiting for other job offers to come in. it is perfectly acceptable when offered a job to ask for a week, give or take a few days, to make a decision. It is also perfectly acceptable for a company to say never mind and withdraw their offer. It happens, but if a company wants you bad enough they will hopefully be understanding understand and give you a little time. Here are a few things that, depending on the company, may or may not be open to negotiation:
Job related conferences or professional affiliations
Job specific perks (company cars, event tickets, ect.)
When negotiating be sure to:
Show interest: Convey your desire and excitement to work for the company.
Lay out your position: Be professional and rational in indicating where you would like to make a few adjustments. Be clear and open about your needs and the reasoning behind them. Try not to make the issue personal, it is after all, only business.
Listen: Allow the other negotiator to plead their case. Thank the other negotiator then consider any counteroffers. Avoid being hasty, a little time may be necessary to consider everything on the table.
Respond: The party willing to walk away often has an upper hand in negotiations, be aware of how much you are willing to lose to win. Regardless of the outcome, be respectful when submitting any final offers or counteroffers. When negotiating be careful about pushing too hard, if you win, you still have to work with these people. Starting off with everyone feeling resentful is another recipe for disaster.
If the job search process is stalling out, or you are not getting the desired results (i.e. a job interview) then there is a monkey wrench in the works somewhere. Not every opportunity will lead to a job and patience is a necessity, particularly in the present economy, but if things are not moving along then it is time to reevaluate.
Look at your job search process to see at what stage things are breaking down. Getting interviews but not getting called back afterwards then there is a good chance it's time to brush up on interviewing skills. Not getting interviews or the dreaded "You are Over/under qualified" response then take a closer look at application/resume materials. Failing that, speak to a professional career counselor to avoid compounding the problem.