When I graduated college, I thought getting a job (any job!) was an achievement. The state of the economy wasn’t exactly blooming with opportunities so I thought I should take what I could get. But now I realize that being selective in that process is paramount to future success, even if you’re choosing among limited options.
Opportunities may stream in on a regular basis but you don’t need to entertain each one. While demonstrating how you would be a valuable hire for the company, carefully evaluate the opportunity. Ideally, you and the company should be convincing each other why the relationship would be beneficial. If it’s just one-way, it’s unlikely to work out in the long term.
What To Look Out For?
Unsure about what to look for in an ideal job match? These tips will steer you in the right direction.
Culture is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing an employer because it is deliberately cultivated and will determine how comfortable you feel in your work environment. The company’s selection process will include elements to ensure you’ll be a good culture fit. Your task is to cut through the rhetoric to learn the true nature of the organization. During the interview process, observe how employees dress. If everyone is wearing a suit and you prefer polo shirts, don’t force it. Is the management team’s interview style structured or laid back? This is all part of the company culture.
A strong leadership team is an indication that employees are on the same page and working toward common goals. This shows there’s a structure to the process and employees know what they’re supposed to be doing to achieve the company’s goals. I recommend checking out LinkedIn profiles of the management team prior to your initial interview so you can be prepared with questions.
Training and development opportunities are imperative if you’re in an industry that requires additional professional qualifications in order to progress. Prior to signing an offer letter, ensure the company will train and support you. Learn what company training is available and if the organization will absorb outside training costs. Ask questions like:
Is the training specific to my job?
How will I learn the job, and how steep is the learning curve? How will I develop professionally?
Is training ongoing? Are the courses part of a development program? Do you offer follow-up courses, practice, coaching and support?
The people you meet during the recruitment process represent the company so be sure to pick their brains about what it’s like to work for the organization. Make an effort to meet as many members of the staff during the recruitment process as possible. This may start at a career fair presentation and carry through to the interview. Try to build a rapport with employees at various levels of the organization to see if you get similar messages.
Other factors come into play in deciding which company to choose as your employer. And every person’s wants and needs are going to vary. A training program may be the most important factor for you, but work-life balance may be more important to someone else. Whatever you determine is important to you, conduct thorough research before making your decision. We spend so much time developing our careers that it’s worth the effort to ensure the company we’re going to work for aligns with our expectations.
About the author
Jessica Johnson is a recruitment consultant at WilsonHCG. She started her recruiting career as a staffing assistant for a temp recruiting agency and was quickly promoted to recruiter. Before becoming a recruiter for an RPO, she also gained four years of experience as an agency recruiter. What she enjoys most about recruiting is being able to speak with so many different people and give advice to candidates about how to approach their job search and what to do to be more marketable within their industry. Jessica graduated from Ramapo College of New Jersey, with a bachelor’s degree in communications. Follow her on LinkedIn and Twitter