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10.7 The Six Things Needed to Close an Offer
- Learn that closing the offer requires focus, energy, and drive. The lack of these characteristics can prevent you from receiving the offer, even when you are a final candidate.
- Learn about the most important characteristics to express, especially during the final rounds of a job search.
Whenever you apply for a position, you should have the six attributes described in this section at your disposal, at every stage: when you apply, when you are contacted to interview, and most of all, as you continue in the interview process. You should use these attributes most of all when you are a candidate on the final interview slate because you need to continue to distinguish yourself among other candidates.
The process can be grueling, demanding, and downright difficult. If you are a student going through the on-campus or off-campus interview process, you have to balance your job search activities with exams and perhaps even finals. If you have a part-time job or even a full-time job while going to school, you have even more things to juggle. If you are searching for a job after you have graduated, or if you’ve been out of school for several years, there are always things in your life that command your attention. You need to master keeping these attributes “at the ready” because your life’s chaos should never been seen or even sensed by your future employer.
Let’s review why each of these six attributes is important and vital in the job search:
- High energy. This attribute is needed to succeed in any job. Being energetic means that you have the vigor, the force, and the get-up-and-go outlook needed to accomplish small and not-so-small tasks that any job will entail. Recruiters and hiring managers will sometimes call you back for several rounds of interviews. By demonstrating high energy, you prove you can handle any job given to you, and high energy will set you apart from others.
- Positive attitude. Any job or any career is packed and perhaps jam-packed with problems, issues, and challenges. If you have a positive attitude, you are much more likely to see the answer to the problem, the issue, and the challenge. Being pessimistic can have the opposite effect. Recruiters and hiring managers are very keen on identifying a positive attitude versus a negative one, so ensure you demonstrate this readily.
- Strong follow-up. This is particularly important because recruiters and hiring managers are often pulled in a number of directions during the job search. Having a strong follow-up ensures that you know what every next step is at every turn in your job search. There is also a fine line between strong follow-up and pestering; ensure you do not cross that line. The best way to avoid crossing that line is to not require that a recruiter or a hiring manager answer each of your e-mails. Whatever the stage in your job search, either simply state that you are still interested, that you hope for a positive response, or that you appreciated their time.
Determination to succeed. You will absolutely need a determination to succeed because you might face pitfalls, curves, and roadblocks at every stage of the search. Viewing this process as long term can be very helpful in ultimately getting a job offer:
- A long period of time can elapse between when you are first interviewed and when you are asked to interview a second time. This could be two weeks or two months. You will have no way of knowing. Having determination to succeed will get you through this drought.
- The interviewer could think you are a strong candidate, but not for this particular job, and may refer you to another division either on campus or off campus. Either way, you will have to drive this process through to fruition.
- The interviewer could turn you down because he or she went with another candidate, but later on, that candidate could renege on the job acceptance. It doesn’t happen often, but it could happen. The employer may then go to his or her original interview slate and decide to offer the job to the candidate who was second in line.
- Savvy interactions. During the job search process, you will have ample opportunities to interact with all types of employees at the company, and often, they will be at varying stages of seniority. You will no doubt have interactions with administrative assistants, managers, VPs, and senior VPs. No matter what the interaction, show yourself to be a person who can get along with everyone, and be respectful of everyone’s position, from the security officer who screens your bags to the individuals you meet in the elevators. Be savvy and show you have the good sense and ability to leave positive impressions no matter where you go. Remember that you do not know where the strong relationships lie in a company. The security guard could be very good friends with the recruiter. Administrative assistants often hold quite a bit of power. Always use good business etiquette in every interaction. Show that you are capable of being part of a team and getting along with all types of employees. It will serve you well.
- Posture. You can do two things to ensure you have good posture. One is to stand up or sit up straight, with your shoulders back and your head held high. The other way to ensure good posture is to execute every stage of the job search as outlined in this textbook, to ensure you have enough targets that will result in at least one or two offers coming your way. This type of posture means that you will always “care” about the result, but you will not be devastated if you do not get one particular offer because you will have the confidence to know that another will absolutely come your way. It is not be a matter of “if.” It is a matter of “when.” When you have that confidence, and that posture, you are in full control of your job search. You’ve heard the phrase “it’s the journey and not the destination,” and so it is with your job search. Having posture means you have the ultimate confidence that the outcome will be a positive one.
- Keeping upbeat and focused at the final stages of a job search are necessities. It’s difficult at times because you are often juggling multiple searches, going to school full time, and working.
- Demonstrating these top six characteristics, in addition to what you’ve already learned, is not a guarantee that you will get an offer; however, it will dramatically increase your overall chances.
- Think back to the last time you interviewed for a job and received an offer. Did you demonstrate the characteristics listed in the preceding section?
- Think back to the last time you interviewed and you did not receive an offer. Did you demonstrate the characteristics listed in the preceding section?
- What can you improve on, going forward?