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7 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Accepting a Job Offer

7 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Accepting a Job Offer

With unemployment rates high, being offered any job is a call for a celebration! Pat yourself on the back for having the resume that stood out, and for making a great impression at your job interview. You deserve it! But… Before you jump the gun and scream your answer from the rooftops, make sure it’s what you genuinely want. Ask yourself the following questions to see if the position is right for you before accepting a job offer.

1. Am I sacrificing any serious goals?

You’ve always wanted to be a writer, but this job will have you on call 24 hours a day. When will you have time to write? Or what if the job calls for so much writing while you’re on the clock that you don’t have the desire to work on your novel when you get home? You have to weigh your goals against your desire for the job. If you’re ok with scrapping your novel and throwing yourself into the new job for a year or so, go for it! But if not, writing is going to make you feel horrible. Then the job probably isn’t worth it. Hold out for something that will fulfill you during the day, then give yourself time for your own passions and goals after hours.

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2. Can I expand my skills and experience?

Will this position help you grow? Will it use skills you’ve already developed? Will it call on experiences from your past jobs? Once you’re out of college and done with retail jobs, you need to make sure that each subsequent job you take will help you move forward somehow. You don’t want to waste time treading water just to earn a paycheck. Make sure the job can use your skills and help you grow them to fit the position even better.

3. Do I understand the job duties?

Did your potential employer go over the job position with you? Do you know what you’ll be doing each day once you clock in? Make sure you understand all of the job duties. You need to know what’s expected of you, and you need to be sure that you can accomplish these tasks to satisfaction. Can you do these tasks every day without losing your passion? If you have any questions or issues with what’s expected of you, make sure to clear it up before you accept the job offer. Once you say yes, your employer assumes you’re saying yes to everything he’s outlined for you.

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4. Will my needs be met?

Will you be happy with this job? Are your daily duties things you can (and will) enjoy doing? What about the pay – is it enough to meet your needs, or will you have to be on an extreme budget? Do you need insurance, and does the company offer it? Do the work hours allow you to pick your kids up from school? Make sure you’re getting what you want and need from this job before accepting it, realizing it comes up short, and feeling stuck.

5. Can I see myself working for the company?

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    Does this company have the same morals and goals that you do? If you’re passionate about recycling, you’ll want to work for a green company – or at least a company that will encourage you to start a recycling program! Don’t work for a big production plant that sends pollution up into the air during every working hour. What are the other employees like? These people will be your coworkers – do they seem happy? You’ll spend more time with them than you do your family! Could you be around them every day? Can you take orders from your boss, or does he seem like he’ll be too demanding and cause a lot of trouble?

    6. Will I be able to move up?

    Does the job hold any future for promotion? If you can’t be promoted, could your duties and title change if you prove yourself? You don’t want to be stuck in a job that won’t reward you for your hard work. Also, think about how loyal you’ll feel to the company. It’s important to have loyalty, of course, but will you feel tied to the job if something better comes along in the future? Will you feel guilty, like you put in so much time and effort with the company, you’ll be pushed into staying, even if you are being promoted or compensated? It’s great if you want to stay with the same company and move up the ladder, but if you’ll feel bad leaving them behind for something better in the future, then you probably should hold out for that dream position now.

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    7. Will I enjoy the job?

    Look back at all your answers. How does the job look, now that you’ve been honest with yourself? Does it look like the right thing to do? Will you enjoy the job? Will you like going to that office, working with those coworkers, and complete tasks for that boss? If your answers were all pretty negative, don’t feel bad! It’s better you find out on the front-end that you won’t enjoy the job, instead of accepting it and feeling stuck. If so, congratulations! You’ve found a great new job that will help you learn and grow.

    Featured photo credit: Bill Strain via flickr.com

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    Last Updated on April 25, 2019

    How to Write a Career Change Resume (With Examples)

    How to Write a Career Change Resume (With Examples)

    Shifting careers, tiny or big, can be paralyzing. Whether your desire for a career change is self-driven or involuntary, you can manage the panic and fear by understanding ‘why’ you are making the change.

    Your ability to clearly and confidently articulate your transferable skills makes it easier for employers to understand how you are best suited for the job or industry.

    A well written career change resume that shows you have read the job description and markets your transferable skills can increase your success for a career change.

    3 Steps to Prepare Your Mind Before Working on the Resume

    Step 1: Know Your ‘Why’

    Career changes can be an unnerving experience. However, you can lessen the stress by making informed decisions through research.

    One of the best ways to do this is by conducting informational interviews.[1] Invest time to gather information from diverse sources. Speaking to people in the career or industry that you’re pursuing will help you get clarity and check your assumptions.

    Here are some questions to help you get clear on your career change:

    • What’s your ideal work environment?
    • What’s most important to you right now?
    • What type of people do you like to work with?
    • What are the work skills that you enjoy doing the most?
    • What do you like to do so much that you lose track of time?
    • Whose career inspires you? What is it about his/her career that you admire?
    • What do you dislike about your current role and work environment?

    Step 2: Get Clear on What Your Transferable Skills Are[2]

    The data gathered from your research and informational interviews will give you a clear picture of the career change that you want. There will likely be a gap between your current experience and the experience required for your desired job. This is your chance to tell your personal story and make it easy for recruiters to understand the logic behind your career change.

    Make a list and describe your existing skills and experience. Ask yourself:

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    What experience do you have that is relevant to the new job or industry?

    Include any experience e.g., work, community, volunteer, or helping a neighbour. The key here is ANY relevant experience. Don’t be afraid to list any tasks that may seem minor to you right now. Remember this is about showcasing the fact that you have experience in the new area of work.

    What will the hiring manager care about and how can you demonstrate this?

    Based on your research you’ll have an idea of what you’ll be doing in the new job or industry. Be specific and show how your existing experience and skills make you the best candidate for the job. Hiring managers will likely scan your resume in less than 7 seconds. Make it easy for them to see the connection between your skills and the skills that are needed.

    Clearly identifying your transferable skills and explaining the rationale for your career change shows the employer that you are making a serious and informed decision about your transition.

    Step 3: Read the Job Posting

    Each job application will be different even if they are for similar roles. Companies use different language to describe how they conduct business. For example, some companies use words like ‘systems’ while other companies use ‘processes’.

    When you review the job description, pay attention to the sections that describe WHAT you’ll be doing and the qualifications/skills. Take note of the type of language and words that the employer uses. You’ll want to use similar language in your resume to show that your experience meets their needs.

    5 Key Sections on Your Career Change Resume (Example)

    The content of the examples presented below are tailored for a high school educator who wants to change careers to become a client engagement manager, however, you can easily use the same structure for your career change resume.

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    Don’t forget to write a well crafted cover letter for your career change to match your updated resume. Your career change cover letter will provide the context and personal story that you’re not able to show in a resume.

    1. Contact Information and Header

    Create your own letterhead that includes your contact information. Remember to hyperlink your email and LinkedIn profile. Again, make it easy for the recruiter to contact you and learn more about you.

    Example:

    Jill Young

    Toronto, ON | [email protected] | 416.222.2222 | LinkedIn Profile

    2. Qualification Highlights or Summary

    This is the first section that recruiters will see to determine if you meet the qualifications for the job. Use the language from the job posting combined with your transferable skills to show that you are qualified for the role.

    Keep this section concise and use 3 to 4 bullets. Be specific and focus on the qualifications needed for the specific job that you’re applying to. This section should be tailored for each job application. What makes you qualified for the role?

    Example:

    Qualifications Summary

    • Experienced managing multiple stakeholder interests by building a strong network of relationships to support a variety of programs
    • Experienced at resolving problems in a timely and diplomatic manner
    • Ability to work with diverse groups and ensure collaboration while meeting tight timelines

    3. Work Experience

    Only present experiences that are relevant to the job posting. Focus on your specific transferable skills and how they apply to the new role.

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    How this section is structured will depend on your experience and the type of career change you are making.

    For example, if you are changing industries you may want to list your roles before the company name. However, if you want to highlight some of the big companies you’ve worked with then you may want to list the company name first. Just make sure that you are consistent throughout your resume.

    Be clear and concise. Use 1 to 4 bullets to highlight your relevant work experiences for each job you list on your resume. Ensure that the information demonstrates your qualifications for the new job. Remember to align all the dates on your resume to the right margin.

    Example:

    Work Experience

    Theater Production Manager 2018 – present

    YourLocalTheater

    • Collaborated with diverse groups of people to ensure a successful production while meeting tight timelines

    4. Education

    List your formal education in this section. For example, the name of the degrees you received and the school who issued it. To eliminate biases, I would recommend removing the year you graduated.

    Example:

    Education

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    • Bachelor of Education, University of Western Ontario
    • Bachelor of Theater Studies with Honors, University of British Columbia

    5. Other Activities or Interests

    When you took an inventory of your transferable skills, what experiences were relevant to your new career path (that may not fit in the other resume sections?).

    Example:

    Other Activities

    • Mentor, Pathways to Education
    • Volunteer lead for coordinating all community festival vendors

    Bonus Tips

    Remember these core resume tips to help you effectively showcase your transferable skills:

    • CAR (Context Action Result) method. Remember that each bullet on your resume needs to state the situation, the action you took and the result of your experience.
    • Font. Use modern Sans Serif fonts like Tahoma, Verdana, or Arial.
    • White space. Ensure that there is enough white space on your resume by adjusting your margins to a minimum of 1.5 cm. Your resume should be no more than two pages long.
    • Tailor your resume for each job posting. Pay attention to the language and key words used on the job posting and adjust your resume accordingly. Make the application process easy on yourself by creating your own resume template. Highlight sections that you need to tailor for each job application.
    • Get someone else to review your resume. Ideally you’d want to have someone with industry or hiring experience to provide you with insights to hone your resume. However, you also want to have someone proofread your resume for grammar and spelling errors.

    The Bottom Line

    It’s essential that you know why you want to change careers. Setting this foundation not only helps you with your resume, but can also help you to change your cover letter, adjust your LinkedIn profile, network during your job search, and during interviews.

    Ensure that all the content on your resume is relevant for the specific job you’re applying to.

    Remember to focus on the job posting and your transferable skills. You have a wealth of experience to draw from – don’t discount any of it! It’s time to showcase and brand yourself in the direction you’re moving towards!

    More Resources to Help You Change Career Swiftly

    Featured photo credit: Parker Byrd via unsplash.com

    Reference

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