Have you ever been told you’re perfect for the job, then received a rejection letter? Has an employer said he’d call and failed to do so? Have you sent out several resumes and received no acknowledgments?
These and other job search challenges can be resolved by common sense, good timing, networking, research and confidence. The following discusses common dilemmas and possible strategies for dealing with them.
1. How will I know if an inside candidate is being considered for the job?
Ask interviewers. Find out the candidate’s strengths, how her background compares to yours, whether the company favors inside candidates, and if so, how likely the insider will accept an offer. This will facilitate candid communication. Interviewers’ responses to questions will supply answers and enable you to develop an argument for your candidacy.
2. I was offered a position, pending budget approval and sign-off from a senior executive, and advised I would receive an offer within two weeks. Five weeks and several unanswered phone messages later, I got the employer who coolly told me they still needed budget approval and the signature.
Write a letter indicating you’re open to renegotiation of the compensation package should there be a snag in budget allocation, and that you’d be happy to meet with his superior to expedite a decision. This will show you’re sensitive to the employer’s needs and are flexible about compensation. The employer will appreciate your patience and flexibility.
3. An interviewer said he’ll make a decision within two weeks, but it’s now three weeks and I haven’t been contacted. I have an impending offer from another company. What should I do?
It’s common for employers to procrastinate when making hiring decisions. Call your contact to determine whether a decision has been made. Advise the company that you have an impending offer from another company, but prefer this organization. This shows you believed they’d contact you as promised, and since another company is competing for you, time is critical.
4. I left my job after personality conflicts with my supervisor. How do I approach this subject in interviews?
Don’t approach it. If the prospective employer asks why you left, say you need more challenge, or other. Try to maintain control over the interview. Focus on the prospective position. Anticipate and answer questions. Show why you want to work for the company. Confidently demonstrate how your accomplishments can contribute to the company’s bottom line. Ask relevant questions such as challenges the prospective employee will face, and examples of situations they’d like handled. Demonstrate how you’d resolve problems.
5. Are job websites effective ways to find jobs? I’ve sent resumes to several employers with no success.
Sending resumes over the internet is ineffective. Few employers can respond to the thousands of people who answer ads. Research your desired jobs and companies. Know each company’s products and services; become conversant with recent developments in the industry. NETWORK. Identify company contacts who can introduce you to decision makers. Get your resume to hiring managers. Follow-up contacts. If nobody responds, call or email again. Don’t take rejection personally.
6. A prospective employer called to schedule a phone interview. How can I prepare?
Employers usually call to schedule interviews. Take these seriously. Prepare. Dress professional, smile. Stand or sit tall. You’ll feel and speak professional. Have your resume, other documents and paper handy to take notes and jot down questions. Prepare a loose script with key words and ideas you’d like to present. Write names and titles of everybody as you’re introduced. Listen attentively.
If an employer calls without a prearranged appointment, and you’re not prepared, excuse yourself politely and offer to return the call at a mutually convenient time. Follow-up with a thank you note.
Never accept or decline a job offer on the spot. Show enthusiasm, but don’t commit. Thank the interviewer and ask for time to consider it. Don’t focus solely on what’s in it for you. Consider what you can contribute. Evaluate the offer thoroughly. Know how the position will use your skills and match needs and other important criteria. If a decision doesn’t feel right, request a deadline extension. Negotiate desired changes. Once you and the employer have agreed on everything, get the offer confirmed in writing.
Dr. Carole Kanchier, psychologist, coach, speaker, digital/newspaper columnist and author of award-winning, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life, helps individuals and organizations dare to change. https://www.amazon.com/Questers-Dare-Change-Your-Life/dp/150840896.