7 Tips for Comparing Job Offers

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During your job search, the idea of landing a job is probably a dream come true.

Whether you’re worried about finding a job that aligns with your career goals or one that simply makes ends meet, landing a job isn’t an easy task. However, if your dream becomes a reality and you receive a job offer (or three!), what do you do next?

While multiple job offers can seem like the best thing to happen during your job search, you now have to make a decision — which offer do you accept? From salary and location, to the job responsibilities and company culture, you’ll have to decide which position is the best fit for you.

Deciding between multiple job offers doesn’t have to be stressful. If you take the time to weigh your options, you can end up making the best decision for your career. Here are some helpful tips to guide you in the direction of accepting the right job for you:

 

1. Consider the location.

When you compare both jobs, take a look at locations and if they’ll have an impact on your daily routine. Will either position require you to relocate to a new city? Are you going to have a new 45-minute commute? Or will you have the opportunity to work from home? Location is essential to choosing the right job. Pay attention to the location of each job and determine if there will be any extra costs involved with accepting the position.

 

2. Ask yourself: Does the position match the lifestyle I want?

The biggest mistake job seekers make when accepting a job offer is not thinking about whether or not the opportunity aligns with their career goals and lifestyle. When accepting a job offer, you must make your needs a priority. If you accept a job that doesn’t fit your lifestyle, how are you going to find the motivation to excel in the workplace?

During your decision making process, make sure you are considering your personal needs such as work-life balance, schedule, and of course, salary. These factors will help you determine which job will satisfy your personal and professional life.

3. Take an inside look at their culture.

Company culture can tell you a lot about a position before you accept it. It’s important to explore the differences between each company so you can have a better understanding of what each job has to offer. Consider questions such as, if you have to work over-time, do you want the flexibility to work on a laptop from your home? Does the employer withhold values that align with yours? By asking these questions about each company’s culture, you’ll be able to determine which job is right for you.

 

4. Look at room for growth.

Whether or not this is a priority for your career, you should look at the opportunities available for promotions and decide if they fit your into your career goals. If job growth is something you desire, make sure you choose the position that gives you the opportunity to move upwards in the company. On the other hand, if you want to find a job where you can have the same position for the next 10 years, you’ll want to consider that, too.

 

5. Opportunities within the workplace.

When you accept a job offer, you want to make sure the position fits your career goals. Accepting a job just isn’t about having a higher salary or great perks, it’s about the learning experience, too. Determine if the company provides you with opportunities for professional development and training in the workplace. If continuous learning is an important element for your career goals, make sure the position you accept meets those needs.

6. Follow your intuition.

The bottom line is only you know what opportunity is the best fit for you and your career. During your job search, you have to trust yourself and your decision making process. Regardless of which job you choose, this decision is for you. If you’re having trouble deciding between job offers, try picturing yourself with each company. This can give you a better idea of which position is the best option for you.

 

7. Take a look at the bigger picture.

After you gather information about the different companies, it’s time to decide which job is the best option. Although salary and benefits might be the biggest factors, you need to pay attention to the smaller details. Regardless of how much an employer can pay you, if you don’t like the company’s culture or it doesn’t fit your lifestyle, then chances are you won’t be happy with the job.

 

You’ll never know when you’ll end up with multiple job offers during your job search. However, if this does happen to you, don’t let it catch you off guard. Be sure to consider all of the details and how they fit into the bigger picture. This is your job search and your career. Choose the path that’s best for your goals and you’ll be on your way to a rewarding career.

 

Have you had multiple job offers before? What helped you during the decision making process?

 

About the Author: Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.

 

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Search Business News to Find a New Job

By Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC – GetInterviews.com

Investment Banking Analyst, New York, NY
Marketing Intern, Nationwide, USA
Analysis Group Head, Miami, FL
In-House Editor, Los Angeles, CA
Research Analyst, Denver, CO

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Reading the news with an eye toward your job search can open up unexpected leads and contacts for a new job. The key lies in what you are looking for when you read the news. Learn to mine the news for hints of impending job opportunities and you will be landing a new job before others are even aware of potential openings.

Review the Job Market

To gain a sense of local hiring trends and openings, online job sites are the obvious starting point. However, between the hidden job market and inside employee interest, by the time you hear about openings your chances of getting hired may be quite slim. Information on who is hiring is only part of the picture. Analyze the openings you see across industries as well as specific positions. If you notice there are many openings for a certain type of position, for example project managers, at several different companies, you may be in a stronger position to gain an interview. Thoroughly research the companies with openings and submit your resume with a 3-point plan of potential improvements that address specific concerns for each prospective employer.

Analyze National Trends

To add power to your search, expand your analysis to national papers such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. What you’re looking for in these papers are trends and news of business expansions.  A simple online search for “business expansion” can also provide a game plan for regional and national opportunities. Research global companies to identify possible local expansions. Is Ford opening a new plant? Is Johnson & Johnson rolling out a new quality assurance program? What tech firms are merging? Any of these changes may foretell increased hiring efforts. Put yourself first in line with your keen investigative skills and unique perspective on the hunt!

Business Section Leases and Mortgages

Investigate shifts in local business locations. Businesses signing new leases or gaining new mortgages could signal impending hiring increases. Create a list and begin a cold-call campaign. Follow up with your resume, including any plans you may develop for increasing the company’s client base, quality improvements, or streamlining production.

Identify Small Businesses

Economists consistently tout the importance of small businesses in hiring, though it’s often difficult to find those opportunities. Small businesses may not advertise openings in traditional ways simply to save on time and expenses. Enlist the local Chamber of Commerce or other directories to create a list of local small businesses. Small business owners appreciate innovation and hard work, qualities exemplified by seeking out their business in your job search. Fewer layers of administration also favor the likelihood that you will speak directly with the business owner making the hiring decisions. No HR screening or gatekeepers in lean small businesses!

Create Opportunities

Even if you are able to identify local job options, businesses may not be able to offer a full-time salary. Build your own opportunities by tethering together several part-time options across small businesses. In addition to increasing your immediate salary, you are also expanding your professional network. Each person you meet has the potential to connect you with another opportunity. Your winning attitude can help open that door!

Thinking outside the box has become a trite term, but the approach remains powerful. By reading the newspaper from a unique perspective, you will be leaping ahead of the competition. Distinguishing yourself in how you manage your job search is a great way to show potential employers the value and creative energy you can bring to their company. Mine the paper for opportunities and you will be in a new job before anyone else even realizes the company is hiring!

About the Author: Alesia Benedict, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC) is the President of GetInterviews.com, the country’s leading resume writing firm. They provide professionals with customized, branded resumes and career marketing documents. Her and her firm’s credentials include being cited by JIST Publications as one of the “best resume writers in North America,” quoted as a career expert in The Wall Street Journal, and published in a whopping 25+ career books. Established in 1994, the firm has aided more than 100,000 job seekers to date. All resume writers are certified writers. GetInterviews.com offers a free resume critique and their services come with a wonderful guarantee — interviews in 30 days or they’ll rewrite for free!

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What to Consider When Making a Career Switch

Analyst, White Plains, NY
Sourcing Professional, Seattle, WA
Client Services Analyst, San Francisco, CA
Corporate Development Manager, Burlington, MA
Private Equity Associate, New York, NY

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We’re no longer of a generation that chooses one career and sticks with it.  While our grandparents may have stayed with a single company their entire working lives, nowadays people bounce around companies, continents, and career paths all the time.  Unfortunately, this means that our forefathers may not be able to give us the best advice when we decide we want to make the transition.  So here are some important things to consider while making that uncertain, foreboding, and always exciting career switch!

Assess Where You’re At

A crucial part of changing direction is determining exactly where you currently stand.  It’s important to understand why you want to make a change, and what specifically you have at the moment that you want to modify.  Is your work unfulfilling, not paying you well enough, or leading to a dead end?  And are there ways you can remedy these current problems without jumping ship?  Making a career switch is a huge task, so instead of falling into the “grass is always greener” mentality right away, it may be wise to evaluate whether or not you can find ways to be happier where you currently are.

Do Your Research

Before you make any hasty decisions, it’s important to understand what you’ll be getting yourself into.  You don’t want to transition out of a career just to find the same problems in the new industry you’re entering.  For the new field that you’re considering, make sure you have a solid understanding of salary range, career path, corporate culture, and so on.  You don’t want to glorify a new career solely because it presents a change, and then come to find out that you were happier beforehand.

Get Qualified!

Just because you feel passionate about a new position doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to come easily to you.  Even if you’re an expert in your current field, you may find yourself having to start from scratch when you transition to a new one.  Figure out what prerequisites are essential for the new career you’re pursuing, and accept the fact that you may have to spend considerable time becoming qualified for the new position.  This might mean taking classes, learning new skills, or hitting the books and catching up on industry literature.

Make Connections

Another step to start thinking about is how you’re going to work your way into the “in crowd” of your chosen industry.  It’s important to know the right people when you’re making a career switch, as they’ll be able to impart advice, make introductions, and present you with new paths to consider.  To that end, think about finding a mentor you can chat back and forth with as you grow and become more established in your new vocation.

Making a career switch takes courage, so pat yourself on the back if you’ve decided to embark on this transition.  Remember that it won’t always be easy, but that the best things in life take hard work and tenacity.

Best of luck,

The Doostang Team

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Update Your Job Search Strategies

By Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC – GetInterviews.com

Research Associate, New York, NY
Marketing Analyst/ Associate, Boston, MA
Investment Banking Associate, San Francisco, CA
Research Analyst, Chicago, IL
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Making a change in jobs can be challenging at any time in your career, but may feel even more daunting for those who have been with a particular company for a relatively long time. Putting together an effective job search and resume can be difficult for workers who may not have been out in the job market recently. A few strategic tips can help you position yourself as a viable candidate while reducing potential vulnerability to ageism.

Use dates and years of experience judiciously.

It is not necessary to include dates of graduation, professional training, or membership in professional associations. Simply listing these credentials is acceptable. It is not in your best interest to describe your vast experience in terms of 25 or 30 years of experience.  Consider describing experience with adjectives such as “broad”, “deep”, or “expansive” instead. Simply put, try not to call attention to your age, but rather your skills and expertise.

Limit the length of your work history.

Most hiring managers are only interested in the last 10 to 15 years of your experience. You may feel great pride in accomplishments early in your career, but highlighting your status as “rookie of the year” from 1987 is more likely to hurt than help your job search. Including points such as these could brand you as outdated, which may quickly end your consideration for employment.

Tailor the cover letter.

Individualize the cover letter by using the name of the hiring manager or contact person.  This may require time online to identify the person to whom you address the letter. An effective cover letter serves dual purposes: enticing the reader to learn more about you and listing your qualifications. By leading with a specific name you personalize the cover letter and show that you have done your homework.

Update the cover letter.

Review current business letter formats, for both written and electronic communication. Following the styles from your first typing or computer class will identify you as outdated. Email should also be formal and include traditional greetings and a signature with all your contact information. For example:

Name
Email Address
Phone
Cell Phone
LinkedIn Profile
(can be an asset if you have set one up)

Also be certain to include an appropriate Subject Line, such as:

Sales Management Position
Human Resource Manager Application
Financial Analyst Position – Your Name

If you are uncertain about the appearance of your email, send a test version to a friend, family member, or separate account of your own. If you choose to send a test email to another email account of yours, be certain not to send to an existing work-related account. Most company email is considered open to viewing by upper management. Using company resources for a job search is not good form.

Emphasize diverse experience.

A practical outcome of experience is the accumulation of many transferable skills. Related skills and experiences that distinguish you from other candidates can be included in the cover letter and in the summary section of your resume. Connect the dots for the reader by showing exactly which skills will benefit the potential employer, rather than just stating you have “transferable skills”. You can also highlight your ability to be flexible and adaptable – a team player – as you describe these additional skill areas.

Avoid early salary discussions.

Experienced workers have a reputation for being more “expensive”, so it is important to be cautious in any requests for salary expectations. If required, you may respond by stating your flexibility or describing salary expectations as within normal market range.

Mobilize your network.

With broad experience, you have probably built a solid network of contacts. Now is the time to reach out to those contacts to explore knowledge about openings and let people know you are looking. Think about professional organizations, alumnae groups, or local civic groups.

A job search takes time and career transitions rarely happen as quickly as you would like. Hanging in there while opportunities develop may be the hardest part of the search. Using strategies that make you less vulnerable to negative perceptions from hiring managers helps position you to move more quickly through the search process to a new job.

About the Author: Alesia Benedict, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC) is the President of GetInterviews.com, the country’s leading resume writing firm. They provide professionals with customized, branded resumes and career marketing documents. Her and her firm’s credentials include being cited by JIST Publications as one of the “best resume writers in North America,” quoted as a career expert in The Wall Street Journal, and published in a whopping 25+ career books. Established in 1994, the firm has aided more than 100,000 job seekers to date. All resume writers are certified writers. GetInterviews.com offers a free resume critique and their services come with a wonderful guarantee — interviews in 30 days or they’ll rewrite for free!

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Are You Letting “Too Much Information” Ruin Your Resume?

By Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC – GetInterviews.com

Project Finance Analyst, New York, NY

Market Research Analyst, Philadelphia, PA

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True or false? Including everything on your resume an employer will need to know about you will help facilitate the hiring process.

While it may sound like a helpful hint, the correct answer is false. In fact, including certain details on your resume can seriously damage your job search. From decreasing your chances of landing an interview to influencing potential salary, “too much information” on a resume can be detrimental for any candidate.

If your resume contains any of the following, you are putting yourself at a major disadvantage right from the beginning:

References

Your professional references should be always be listed in a separate document and provided when requested – and that usually doesn’t happen before the interview. Since the primary function of a resume is to land the interview, sending your references as part of your resume is premature.

Some jobseekers think this is a good way to take advantage of networking opportunities by dropping the name of a reference or two to impress a prospective employer. Your resume is still not the right place to accomplish this. To emphasize your relationship with a professional contact, simply mention it in the cover letter. (Be sure to do so subtly, however. For example, “My former colleague from XYZ Company, Jack Smith, suggested I contact you directly because he felt my skills would be a perfect fit for your organization.”)

Salary History & Requirements

The dinner table isn’t the only place where talking about money is considered rude. A resume should not indicate compensation requirements or salary history. Aside from etiquette, doing so could literally cost you.

If you disclose your bottom line and it’s less than what an employer was willing — or even expecting — to pay you, you’ve just inadvertently volunteered for a pay cut.

Unless a salary requirement is mandatory to apply for a position, do not surrender this important information, or you will risk compromising any leverage you may have in future salary negotiations. When a concrete figure is required to be considered for an opening, this information should be incorporated in your cover letter, not your resume.

If salary history is requested, it typically comes later in the process and should be prepared in a separate document.

Hobbies

Whether you spend your weekends as a Cub Scout Leader or enjoy skydiving in your spare time, extracurricular activities are almost always irrelevant to one’s career, and therefore, do not belong on a resume. Since your resume is a professional piece of communication, reserve the limited space to present only information related to your professional qualifications, and keep leisure activities separate.

There are exceptions, particularly for professionals who engage in outside activities directly related to their jobs. An accountant who serves as treasurer for a local charity, an aspiring gym teacher who volunteers as a soccer coach, and a construction worker who donates his time and skills to building houses for the poor are good examples. When in doubt, if an activity or affiliation doesn’t support your career objective, leave it out. Most employers are only interested in their employees’ after-hours activities when they need staff to work overtime.

Educational Details

For mid- and senior-level professionals, detailed information related to your college years is not necessary. Unless you are a recent college graduate with little career history to offer, keep the emphasis on your professional achievements and the tone at a higher level. Your grade point average and past extracurricular affiliations are far less important than your recent work highlights.

Also be sure to omit your year of graduation unless you finished school in the past 5 years. Though age discrimination is certainly prohibited by law, volunteering your age can never help you.

Reasons for Leaving

Whether your former boss threw you a going away party or had security escort you from the premises, your reasons for leaving any job should be reserved for a job application. They simply don’t belong on your resume regardless of the circumstances. If you wish to have an opportunity to explain a sticky situation like being fired, wait until at least the first interview so you’ve had a chance to make an unbiased first impression.

Overall Content

The most important issue to consider regarding the quantity of information is overall content. Employers do indeed want to know about important work you’ve done throughout your career – but they do not need or even want to know every detail. Summarize your best assets rather than inundating the reader with minutiae. You have literally under a minute to make an impression on a prospective employer, so you must be very careful choosing what content to emphasize.

Nothing will help land your resume in a “no” pile faster than making it too long, too cluttered, and too cumbersome to read.

About the Author:

Alesia Benedict, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC) is the President of GetInterviews.com, the country’s leading resume writing firm. They provide professionals with customized, branded resumes and career marketing documents. Her and her firm’s credentials include being cited by JIST Publications as one of the “best resume writers in North America,” quoted as a career expert in The Wall Street Journal, and published in a whopping 25+ career books. Established in 1994, the firm has aided more than 100,000 job seekers to date. All resume writers are certified writers. GetInterviews.com offers a free resume critique and their services come with a wonderful guarantee — interviews in 30 days or they’ll rewrite for free!

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Doostang News March 22: Show Me the Money! Tips for Negotiating a Raise

Hedge Fund Analyst, New York, NY
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Asking for a raise can be a bit tricky. There’s that sentiment akin to asking your parents to tack on a few extra bucks to your allowance; and then there’s the walking-on-eggshells feeling you get in trying not to overstep your boundaries with your boss. But asking for a raise is OK, and it’s a two-way conversation that you can navigate tactfully if you keep a few things in mind:

Do Your Time

Although rightly deserved in some cases, a raise is not going to present itself on Day 2, no matter how convincing you are in presenting your case to your boss. The fact is, in order to rationalize paying you more money for the same work, an employer must see that you have made progress and remained loyal to the company. A company can find any old schmo off the street to do the work for a starting level salary. But go above and beyond, and they may be inclined to attach a few more dollar signs to your value.

Determine Your Reasons

In order to present a convincing case to your boss, it helps to understand why you are asking for a raise in the first place. Is it because your living expenses have gone up? Are you expecting a new addition to the family? Don’t misunderstand; simply desiring a higher salary for your excellent work is a completely valid point. But if you can present these motivations to your employer, you may find that they’re more likely to side with you on this one.

Be Reasonable

Of course you’re going to sound like a child when you put forth the whole “I want a million dollars” offer. That, and you’re going to get shut down very quickly. In order to be taken seriously, present a sensible figure to your boss, one that is on par with the work that you complete. This will get you much farther in negotiating with you boss.

Practice Savvy Negotiating Tactics

Alright, that said, you may want to present a number to your employer that is a bit higher than the actual raise you wish to receive. The boss didn’t get to where they are by being a pushover. They’ll likely try to bargain you down, trying to take you at your bottom limit. Before you propose anything, then, figure out what your bottom limit is. Give your boss a number that is higher than this – but not too high – and once negotiating begins, don’t allow yourself to go below this bottom line. Hopefully, the two of you will settle on something in the middle.

Understand Your Value

Logically, a company wishes to pay as little as they can while still employing reliable employees who complete great work. At the same time, their great wish is to keep their workers happy, which is equally – if not more – important to business. You may view a large corporation powerful and yourself lucky, in that they decided to give you a job in the first place. But it’s crucial to realize that you are equally as vital to them as they are to you. You are valuable and they know it. If you’re doing a great job, bring this up in a negotiation. Present numbers, graphs, or work samples when you go in to speak to your boss. Tell them that you’re worth it and show them why. Make them an offer they can’t refuse.

Keep these 5 things in mind when negotiating with your employer and you’ll be more likely to get your point across, make a favorable impression, and walk away with what you deserve.

Good luck!

The Doostang Team

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Doostang Talks Money – MBA Salaries in the Current Economic Climate: Investment Banking and Private Equity

Curious about the payoff for Finance careers? Mareza Larizadeh, Founder of Doostang, recently sat down with MBA Podcaster to discuss recent MBA salary trends.

Listen to the full interview here:

MBA Salaries in the Current Economic Climate – MBA Podcaster

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