Multiple Offers: Making the Choice

You got the call: the company you interviewed with has made an offer of employment. But wait – you just received the email from another company offering employment. How do you choose the correct company when you’ve received more than one offer of employment? It can be a delicate game of juggling the pros and cons of each.

M O N E Y

Money is often the first thing people look at when trying to decide on the correct position. If one company offers a significantly higher pay than the other, the answer may be right there in front of you. More money is always better, right? Well, not always. Other pros and cons come into the picture, particularly if you know each of the companies could potentially be the right fit.

P E R K S

Look at everything each company is offering, including health benefits, paid time off and offices. Then, look at the smaller things that you’ll deal with on a day-to-day basis. Is there onsite parking or parking vouchers, or do you have to pay to park? What perks come along with each company (cell phone reimbursement, paid expenses, daycare assistance)? What are each company’s values and working environment like?

Sometimes it’s the little things that can make or break your working experience. If one company offers you more money but doesn’t have great benefits or perks, they may fall second on the list to the company with the smaller salary but luxurious perks.

E X P E R I E N C E

If you still can’t decide, decipher which position will give you the best experience and help build your resume. Is one company more well-known than the other (meaning a bit more prestige with the position)? Will you have more responsibility at one than the other? Does one offer more room to grow within the company than the other? All of these factors could make your decision for you.

 

Rules for the Resume: Formatting

Making Your Resume Appealing to Potential Employers

Your resume is the first thing an employer sees of you; as such, your resume is invaluable. Making it appealing to your potential employer is pivotal in getting your foot in the door. Different formats and templates exist for resumes, but how do you choose what format to put it in?

It comes down to the type of work experiences you’ve had and the type of position/career you’re after. Follow these basic tips for your resume:

Consider a Chronological Format

Most companies prefer a chronological format, in which you list jobs and experiences from the most recent you have had, then going backward. This is a universally accepted format and works well for most career choices and employers. Not only will they see your current position, which will be most relevant to the position you are actually applying for, but they will also be able to track your career growth as they follow your job history.

Showcase Your Skills

There are a few times when another format works better than chronological. For example, if you are a recent graduate or career changer, the chronological format won’t work as well because you may not have a solid listing of experiences or employers to list. A more functional format for you is one which showcases your skills and abilities. Your professional skills are important to list in all types of resume formats, but when you don’t have a solid listing of work experience, your skills and abilities need to be displayed in an effective, eye-catching manner. You may also include your volunteer experiences in addition to detailed descriptions of each work-related ability you have to offer your future employer.

Present Your Projects

Another type of resume format is the project-based layout. This is particularly effective for people who have a specialized title. This format will serve to showcase the projects you have completed in the past while putting an emphasis on your ability to multi-task. Project managers and specialized consultants often prefer this layout as it details the most important aspects of their careers.

Design Tip

There is no shortage of resume designs and templates online and built into word-processing programs. Choose one that is professional and opt away from one that is too colorful or uses an odd font. Note: Some color can make your resume stand out, but choose wisely.

If you’re unsure of what format to go with, we recommend sticking with chronological. We also recommend speaking with a professional, such as your consultant at a staffing firm, who can point you in the right direction as well.

Wanted: Valuable Skills

It probably comes as no surprise that your list of skills is a pivotal part of your resume. Your skills are what defines your working ability and, as you may have guessed, your potential employer is looking for specific skills that show you are the right person for the job. Many jobs require a list of technical skills, but other skills are universally sought after by employers. And while your Skills section on your resume looks amazing on paper, you also need to back them up and demonstrate your abilities for each.

Communication

Communication skills are universal; all employers want an employee who can effectively speak and, in most cases, write. Listening is also a large part of communication. So how do you demonstrate your communication skills?

The first step is your resume. Your resume should be efficiently written and free of spelling and grammatical errors.

The next step is being prepared for your interview. Before your interview, practice your responses to the typical interview questions; this helps you quickly and effectively answer the questions in a precise manner. Look your interviewer in the eye, answer quickly, and know what questions you want to ask.

Multi-tasking

Multi-tasking is a strong skill for anyone to have. Being able to handle different projects at one time helps the interviewer gauge your ability to work under deadlines and get things done.

To showcase your multi-tasking skill, make a mental list of times you were “under the gun” and got things done correctly. Put a large emphasis on difficult tasks you completed in previous jobs. Let your interviewer know how you prioritize tasks and can juggle multiple projects at one time.

Problem-solving

Problem-solving is another universally demanded skill. People with this skill are able to be in a difficult situation and come up with creative ways to overcome them. Problem-solving is an ideal skill for anyone who works in a customer service position, but it’s also imperative for other fields. Give examples of difficult situations you overcame and how you did so.

Conclusion

While these are only three examples of universally sought after skills, they are three of the most important. During your interview, ensure you are able to effectively communicate your skills and develop an action plan to show your interviewer why you’re the best candidate for the job.

Knowing the Company You’re Applying To

How research and personal experience can help land you the job

Applying to a new company is an exciting and anxious time for many job seekers. A tough job market means the competition is hungry, too. It’s no secret that researching the company you’re applying at is a must these days, but what exactly are you supposed to research? What are you supposed to know about the company prior to the interview, and where do you find this information?

The first place to go is the company’s website. Check out the “About Us” page to find out more about the company’s history, what exactly they do, and what their core values are. Research it thoroughly and k now the information prior to your interview.

Next, check out consumer reviews of the company, particularly retail or service-oriented companies. Learning what customers have to say can also help you in your interview process – in more than one way. If customers love the company, chances are you’re applying at a worker-friendly venue with a smooth operation. However, you’re likely to find some negative reviews when researching any company. Knowing the negative reviews can give you leverage in an interview when you have effective and realistic ideas on how to fix the issues.

Next, visit the company (if it’s a public, walk-in environment like retail). Shop there or look around. Familiarize yourself with the product(s) and research them to know more about them. If it is not a public or walk-in company, check out the website again to familiarize with the products or services offered. Knowing this allows you to speak more confidently about how you are a good fit for the company and is always impressive to hiring managers.

When your interviewer asks you why you think you’re a good fit for the company (which is a standard question for in-person interviews), speak about the services or products offered, what you know about them, and which of your skills are going to be the most effective for the position. Researching the company always pays off for interviews; it also gives you a head-start on your position because you’re not going in completely blind.

What’s Your Personal Brand?

We often equate branding with large companies like Coca-Cola and Apple, but branding is essential on every level from the employee, the team, to the bigger picture of the corporation. When it comes to your personal brand, it’s important you have clearly defined what it is you want to portray to job seekers and future companies.

Not sure where to start? Think about these things.

1. What’s the story you want people to know about you when it comes to your career? Have you climbed the corporate ladder the traditional way, being sure never to miss a step—or have you had some other strategy with super star ideas? Once you define your personal story, you can begin to create your brand in more depth.

2. If you had to pick three words to describe your personality and working-style, what would those words be? Now, once you know those words, go and review everything that represents you and ask yourself if those three words can be felt through what you’ve put in front of someone. Check your LinkedIn, references, resume and even your personal appearance when you show up to a meeting.

3. Next, it’s time to look at the evidence that supports your personal branding story and “feel.” Do you have proof to back up what it is that you want to portray or are you trying to create an image of what you think people want to see from you? If you have the evidence, create a portfolio – even if it’s just for yourself, so you don’t forget. If you lack the evidence, begin to create it. Take on an extra assignment, enroll in additional coursework or find another way to coincide your brand with your actions.

Make a statement about yourself and your career by being clear about what you want to portray. But what you portray isn’t everything, it’s also got to be accurate!

What other tips would you share on creating a personal brand? What are you doing to create yours?