I am in a great but confusing situation. Right now I am faced with multiple job offers! Last month, I could get an interview to save my soul and now I can’t decide. What should I do?

First of all, breathe!!  Be thankful you are in this position then pause and think about your original “wish list”.  If you are working with a professional recruiter who has presented you with a job offer from one of their clients, go through everything with them.   If you have been honest about your expectations the decision will be easier.  The recruiter should go through everything step by step with you so you can see what makes sense to move forward in your career.  Never look just at the job in hand but what the future might hold with a particular company or organization.  Don’t get caught up in the scenario of taking the “highest offer” only to find out that you are in a dead-end job or that you have joined an organization that won’t be around in a couple of years.

A great exercise to perform is to sit down and write a “pro/con” list.  On one side of the page put all the “pros” – all the things you like about the opportunity and offer at hand.  Then, on the other side of the page, write down all the “cons” – the things that you don’t like and even go as far as to mark the ones that are “deal breakers”.  For example, if an employer has offered you two week’s vacation and you know you must have four, find out if there is any “wiggle room “to start at three weeks and work your way up to four.

Negotiation of any offer is to be expected.  The great news is; your professional recruiter is trained to negotiate.  If they are truly working in the best interests of client and candidate alike, a win/win solution will come to bear.

I applied to many Recruitment Agencies and never heard back.

There are few reasons for this.  In the recruitment world, there are staffing agencies who have temporary, contract and direct hire openings, recruitment firms who only work direct hire and Executive Search Firms who typically work the upper end of the spectrum and are very focussed in a particular recruitment process designed specifically for their client.

When you apply to various recruitment firms and agencies, first ask what their policy is around sending your resume out into the marketplace.  You probably don’t want your resume going all over the place without your knowledge.  After all, it does contain some very personal information on it.  If a recruitment agency/firm, is as member of a Professional Association, they must abide by a strict code of ethics.  For example, in Canada, we have the Association of Canadian Search, Employment and Staffing Services ( ACSESS) and all of its members have committed to adhering to a code of ethics.

You may want to follow up with a telephone call once you send your resume in.  Don’t worry if you don’t get a “live” person on the phone, you simply want to leave a message to ensure that your resume didn’t get caught up in a spam filter.  Many staffing firms keep a very large data base so they can search it when they get new “job orders” in from their clients.  It never hurts to apply because something might come down the pipeline later when you least expect it.

What is the advantage of working with a Professional Recruiter when I am looking for a new job?

The advantages are many but let’s start with the first reason!  It won’t cost you a dime!   It does, however require an investment in your time and your commitment to be completely open and honest when you are working with a recruiter.  Typically, the recruiter works for the client company or organization from whom they receive compensation.  The fact of the matter is, they won’t be successful unless they can find qualified candidates for the role who actually accept the offer and become a productive member of their client’s team.  This is why it is so critical that you are honest as you work through the recruitment process with a recruiter.

You may send you resume into a recruitment firm and never hear back.  Although unfortunate, the fact of the matter is, you will hear if you are qualified for the particular role you applied to.  Typically, recruiters are busy filling search mandates from their clients and will not reach back out to you if you do not fit the current requirement.  Many, however will keep your resume in their data base until a suitable role becomes available.

You should think of a recruiter as another tool in your job search tool box.  They often have the inside story about roles that are not advertised and if you work with a reputable one, they will contact you when the right “fit” for you comes along.

When you are working with that special recruiter who really understands their client’s needs and has identified you as someone who might fit, it is a distinct advantage to trust them to present you … more than just a resume, they are able to “tell your story” to their client and perhaps give you the “edge” over other candidates who might just apply on their own to a posting they see on a job site.

Help! Is my co-worker helping or hindering?

What do you do when a co-worker keeps sending you postings for potential “next career moves?”  The answer to this is really based on a couple of things.  Do you trust your co-worker to have YOUR best interest at heart?  Do they know you well enough to point out career options for you?   What is the risk if you do apply for another role while still employed?  Can your co-worker offer any insight into the new potential role?  Do you know yourself well enough to be clear on what you are looking for when an “unsuspecting” opportunity presents itself?  It is always better to be “moving towards” your next career option rather than “running away” from a situation where you are unhappy.

Help… I just received a counter-offer!

This happens all too often to candidates who are moving to a new career opportunity.  Here’s why it happens.  First of all, employers are not good at keeping the lines of communication open with their existing employees.  Without specific conversations concerning an employee’s career options, people are left to tell the story on their own.  This is where misunderstandings can occur and leave employees feeling like it is time to look around for new and better career options.  During the process of researching, applying, interviewing and getting job offers, an employee goes through a myriad of emotions.  They can be so disappointed with their current employer that any new opportunity seems like the best option.  However, without being “intentional” about their desire to move along in their career, an employee can be left to the whims of anxious recruiters trying to talk them into something or a company who seems too good to be true!.  Now… when the employee decides to make a move, they have to go to their employer and tell them that they are leaving… That’s when the counter-offer happens!  If only employers would be saavy enough to speak openly with their staff ( and in particular their high performers) to give them a good idea of what is coming down the pipe-line. If an employee is good enough for a counter offer, why wait until they come back to you to say they are considering leaving your organization.  Deal with it up front and have them stay – not have them go through the roller coaster of searching out career options.

Now, if you are the employee that just received a counter-offer, you have to stop and ask yourself..”why me and why now???”  Sometimes a counter-offer can simply mean that the organization doesn’t want you to leave because it is not convenient for them at this time.. .afterall, they have to replace you and that will take time.  Think about all the reasons you even went on the journey of searching out new career options.  Take your existing employer out of the equation as you look forward in your career.  If what you are looking at looks different, it is because IT IS!! You might be afraid of something new because you don’t feel comfortable with change… This is normal but should not be the reason you use to deter you from accepting a favourable offer from a new employer who will be providing you a whole new experience in your career.  Speak to people you trust, including your professional recruiter, who will walk you through the process of leaving one career to embark on another…


I wasn’t looking for a career change but got a call from a recruiter…

If you are good at what you do… expect to get calls from recruiters.  When you do get calls, here’s what you should expect.

The recruiter should be very professional and identify themselves as a recruiter.  They should not be on the phone “selling you” anything.  However, they should be taking the time to find out about you and your career and what is working and what isn’t working.  They need to get to know you “as a person” before you can be a “candidate” for anything.  Find out about their process…. If they are only looking for your resume to “flog it” out there, then chances are you will not be represented in the right light.  Expect that they will ask in depth, thorough questions… for everything including preferred work environment, to leadership questions to compensation and benefits questions.  Do they let you know where your resume is going and ask for your permission to send it or do they take that upon themselves.  Remember, your resume is your private information and YOU should be aware of where it is being sent ( unless of course, you choose to put it on a job board).  Working with a professional recruiter can be an excellent way to get the “inside scoop” on some companies you only dreamed of working for but first you need to be discerning of which recruiter(s) you want to give your resume to…