Written By Marlo Wyant

A job should be more than “just a job.” It is where you will be spending most of your time after you complete your formal education. In this current economic climate, it might seem difficult to be selective with your prospects for employment. However, if you do enough research, networking, and interviewing you will be able to find a job or alternative option that will match your goals or, at least, help you realize your goals.

Stay Honest throughout the Recruitment Process
When you meet with recruiters at career fairs, professional networking events, you might have the tendency to try to tell recruiters exactly what they want to hear. Regardless of the industry, if a job seeker at a professional networking event or career fair is asked by any given recruiter “What do you want to do?” The common reply is “I want to work in the “__your___” industry and a have strong interests in opportunities with “_your__” company. While this might make the recruiter suddenly take a greater interest in you, you should always try to be as honest as possible with your goals. This way, recruiters will be able to understand your aspirations and help you find a position that fits you, not just a position that you know they may have.

Don’t just accept any job
Once you have been fruitful in your job search and have one or more offers, it is now the time to think critically about what you now have on the table. Consider the total benefits in an offer package once you have received one. Make sure you are satisfied with both the actual nature of work and the company’s benefits such as Relocation, Health Care Insurance, 401(k), Pension Plans, and Vacation Time. Follow up frequently with the company recruiters, current employees, and your potential managers to discuss your future work assignments. Try to get a good picture of what your daily life at that company would be like. If it is at all possible, try to arrange for at least one site visit so that you may be granted the opportunity to explore the area and examine the office environment that you will be working in for the next two or more years. Another good resource in gaining company insight is GlassDoor.com. This website allows current and former employees of a company to post anonymous reviews and salary information about their company.

If, after all of your completed research, you do not feel completely comfortable with the offer, you should not necessarily feel obligated to accept it. Before accepting the offer, you may want to consider if you have other potential companies where you might find opportunities. Another option to consider is if continuing your education would be a viable option. For many industries, graduate degree assist in making one more marketable and specialized, which allow one to find a niche in the industry.

If you find yourself in a Situation with Multiple Offers
Some individuals may find themselves in a predicament: two or more offers for employment. While this may seem like a great situation, it also can complicate the job-seeking process. The best way to tackle this dilemma is to make a thorough list of pros and cons. As mentioned previously, examine all aspects of the job, including salary, location, insurance, vacation time, and flexible working hours. Try to make a table that compiles these aspects of the job and see if there is a clear “winning” position. If you are still not sure, try to discuss the job with your prospective managers. Finally, having a second opinion is also helpful. Make a career advising appointment at the career center. At the University of Miami, the appointments are free and give you the opportunity to talk about your options with someone. Discussion with an advisor, who knows what to look for in an offer, may be the most beneficial in determining which job is the best fit for you. In the end, you can only choose one place of work. However, do not be afraid that the job you pick after graduation is your employment for life. The average American will change his or her career between 5 and 7 times in their lifetime.