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Four Things to Keep in Mind Before Accepting a Job Offer

January 22nd, 2016

You landed an offer! And that’s great news…especially after the weeks and months of patience, care, and anxiety you’ve poured into your search so far. But before you submit your enthusiastic “yes” and call an end to this grueling ordeal, think twice. Not every job is the perfect job for you, and if you say yes simply because you’re ready to start collecting a paycheck, you may create more problems for yourself than you solve. In the long run, it’s better to walk away from a weak offer then accept it and deal with regrets later on. Here are a few questions you’ll need to answer before making your decision.

Are you being paid what you’re worth?

What you’re worth is not always the result of a simple equation. You may be tempted to accept a salary that parallels that of your last job, or even a lower figure on the grounds that it’s better than nothing at all. But be careful. Your skills and experience have increased since you stepped into your last position, and your value has gone up, no matter how long you’ve been searching for work. Your potential employers don’t get to decide what your time is worth; you do.

Are you ready to stay for at least six months?

This may be a placeholder position for you, and that’s fine. It’s perfectly OK to accept an offer and continue looking for something better while you step into your new role. But how soon do you expect to leave? Will you be able to provide your new employers with at least two weeks’ notice? And will you be able to limit your search time to evenings and weekends only? In some cases, it might be easier and more practical to simply say no an offer you feel isn’t right for you and continue dedicating yourself to the search full time.

Will the benefits of this position meet your needs?

Your health insurance, pension benefits, and tuition reimbursement may be just as important as your salary considerations. Make sure these employers are able to offer what you need, when you need it. Don’t be surprised to discover that you’ll need to complete a six-month probationary period before your benefits can be activated.

Will this position help you reach your goals?

If you’re stepping into this role because it offers the potential advancement opportunity, exposure, experience, or mentoring that can move your career forward, confirm these things before you say yes. Don’t make assumptions. Gather evidence that your employer’s promises can and will be met.

For more on how to ask the right questions and find a job that works for you, reach out to the staffing professionals at Merritt Staffing.

The One Question Your Resume Must Answer

October 23rd, 2015

Your resume will break down your assets as a candidate and describe them, point by point, in separate subheadings focused on your education, your work history, and your specific skill sets. But while each of these separate aspects of your profile will need to be addressed, your primary argument can be summarized with one question: Why should you be hired for this job instead of someone else? What can you bring to this role that no other candidate can? Here are few things to keep in mind as you build your document around this central point.

Answer before you write.

Before you take a single stab at the actual text of your resume, spend some time thinking about this question, and imagine how you might answer in person if you were speaking to an interviewer. What would you describe as you strongest assets? How would you list your most valuable assets? Keep in mind that the two lists may not be identical. For example, you may offer basic proficiency in a critically important skill area, but you may also be a high-level expert in an area that’s of secondary importance.

Separate your skills from your unique skills.

Think about the skills and accomplishments you plan to highlight in your resume and in the text of your cover letter. Then separate these offerings into two categories. If you’re applying for a mid-level accounting job, you may be very proud of your bachelor’s degree in accounting (and you should be), but there’s a strong chance that every candidate in the pool will also hold this credential. What are the skills and traits that truly set you apart? What have you done that few others will also be able to claim?

Keep these unique qualities at the center of your summary.

No matter how you choose to populate the subheadings of your resume document, you’ll need to focus strong attention on your summary, the short descriptive paragraph at the top of the page that most employers will read first. This short, hard-hitting statement should be built around the skills and qualities that help you stand out, not just the ones that help you fit in or meet the basic requirements for consideration. Instead of wasting valuable space in this section by calling yourself a “hard worker” or an “experienced professional”, cut to the chase: what can you bring to the table that nobody else can?

For more tips and tools that can help you create a winning resume and land the job you’re looking for, reach out to the career management team at Merritt.

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