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Multiple Job Offers

How to Get Them/How to Manage Them

By the editors of gecc

If you possess the technical skills in high demand today, recruiters say that you are likely to receive more than one job offer. Yes, even though many companies are still restructuring their management ranks (i.e., "downsizing"), they will continue to recruit college graduates because they need fresh talent to help their companies grow.

Besides having high-demand technical skills, graduates who receive multiple job offers do so because they are inquisitive, positive and truthful. According to Vicki Spina, career strategist and author of Getting Hired in the '90s, these three attributes are often what graduates lack:

  • Be Positive. "If you hate the interview process, it will come across," says Spina. "You have to find at least one thing about the job search/interview process that you like—such as meeting people or getting to know the companies—and celebrate it."

  • Be Inquisitive. Phillip Jimenez landed a job at Inland Steel because he did his research and asked outstanding questions during his interview. At a job fair, he visited Inland's booth and spoke with a recruiter who told him there were no present job openings.

    Jimenez struck up a conversation with the recruiter anyway, sharing his knowledge of the company with her. She was so impressed with him that, one week later, she called Jimenez about a job that just opened. He interviewed and was offered the job of his dreams; one that provides the international experience he was looking for—and a salary of $10,000 more than what he had expected.

  • Be Truthful. Employers will like you better if you talk about both your strengths and weaknesses. When you open up to the employer about your weakness, it makes your entire conversation more believable and sincere. But once you bring up your weakness(es), be sure to tell the interviewer what steps you have taken to improve.

Weighing All the Factors

How do you choose which job is right for you?
First, start by developing a "pros-and-cons" list for each job. Make sure this list is all-inclusive. Think about the features of each, such as salary, benefits, corporate culture, commuting time, flexible work arrangements, tuition reimbursement, on-the-job learning opportunities.

Determine what is really important to you.
For most recent graduates, says Spina, educational assistance is important because many of them plan to seek higher educational degrees.

"Don't go for one offer just because it has better pay and benefits," says Spina. "Go for the one where you feel comfortable working in their environment. Money will not be enough a year from now if you hate the environment."

If you are weighing offers and they are pretty equal down the line, this is where your gut feeling really comes into play. Look at your priorities and ask yourself what truly is important to you."

Never Burn Your Bridges

Keep in mind the importance of diplomacy when rejecting an offer, because in today's fast-paced work world, you never know when your work environment may shift or when your job may be eliminated.

Paul Siker, principal of The Guild Corporation in McLean, Va., offers this example for diplomatically declining an offer: "I really appreciate the offer, and although I feel another position I've been offered is a better fit for my goals, I really want to say how impressed I am with your company and how much I've enjoyed everyone I've had the opportunity to meet. Perhaps in the future, there will be something that's a better fit for both of us."

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