Sunday, August 31, 2008

How and When to Accept a Job Offer in this Economic Climate

By Randi Lewis
~ ~ ~
It's the end of August 2008. The job market, like the housing market, has slowed considerably. Although there is more activity in some industries than others, this is not the best time to look for a job. It's a buyer's market - and you as job seeker are the seller.
~ ~ ~
Whether you are a college grad looking for that first job or a more seasoned professional who is required or just "itching" to look elsewhere, my advise from the employer's perspective is the for the most part the same. Although you don't ever want to look desperate, you should let employers know in an appropriate way, and especially if they ask you either directly or indirectly about your goals and priorities, that you are sincerely interested in the position with THAT organization.
~ ~ ~
If it's your first choice, let them know and tell them why. Here are a few other general tips - remember, your situation will vary - use your judgment and ask others for help in your process:
  1. Think deeply, analytically, and clearly about which position would be best for you - if you had the choice - and prioritize your choices.
  2. Be prepared to accept the job offer if it comes from your first choice - either on the spot or within short order. If you do not accept on the spot, let the employer know you are inclined to accept and let them know you will get right back to them.
  3. If you receive an offer from your second or third choice, express your genuine excitement and enthusiam for the offer and then try to buy time.
  4. In order to buy time, ask questions like: (a) What are the health and other benefits and would they be able to send you the information about the benefits; (b) Would they be sending you a formal offer letter; (c) What is their preferred timing for responding to the offer and for starting employment.
  5. Then, immediately let your other interviewers know you received an offer and your time constraints. Inquire in an appropriate way whether they could let you know your status within your deadline.
  6. When communicating with your first choice employer and you know you would accept the offer irrespective of the details - let them know that, if they gave you an offer, you would accept it on the spot. OR, if that is too bold for your style, let them know they are your first choice.
  7. In any case, do not string any employer along very long. The manner in which you handle the offer process will make a difference, at least in the short term, in the manner in which your employer will view your interest in the organization and your honesty and maturity in the process.

In this economy, when jobs are scarce, don't play hard to get. Your enthusiam and professionalism will be remembered by your employer.

Randi S. Lewis Founder, Resume Boutique LLC ~ 410.602.2500 ~ © Resume Boutique LLC 2008. All rights reserved.