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Least Favorite Job Search Phase
Time is on your Side Print
Written by Abby Kohut   

Closing the deal on a job offer is like negotiating a good price on a car; that is, you should rarely accept on the spot, even in this economy.

The last car I bought was a red Mazda-3. I have always wanted a little sporty gem and finally it was my time to go buy one. The salesman went back to check with his manager as many times as you might be called in for more interview rounds. At the end of the day, the price was finally on the table. The offer was in my hands.

I looked at my husband and then at the car. I looked at the car and then my husband and then the car and then the salesman and then my husband, and then…I said what no one expected…”I’d like to think about it over night – will you be here tomorrow”? After spending half a day with me, he was ready for this deal to be settled. I was not. I began to walk out the door, and his manager suddenly appeared. And then, suddenly the spoiler and the car alarm that I wanted were included in my price. I took the car and continue to “zoom zoom zoom” around town.

In this economy, your first instinct will be to say yes to whatever someone offers you. I’m here to tell you that in MANY cases, the offer is not their best offer. The fact is that if a company offers you a job, it’s you that they want to hire, so your attempt to negotiate a better offer is expected, regardless of this economy.

The first step to a good negotiation is asking for more time. Instead of saying yes on the phone, ask if you can have 24 hours (or the weekend if it’s a Friday) to consider it regardless of whether you’re planning to accept. The only reason to decide on the spot is if the company says it’s now or never when you ask for the extra time. Then, you have a decision to make. Asking for time indicates to the company that there is more that they may have to do to convince you to take the job (i.e., more money, more benefits, etc.). They will be thinking about their next move while you are thinking about yours.

Absolutely Abby’s Advice:
Asking for extra thinking time is a perfect way to get the ball rolling on closing your deal. Stay tuned for other parts of the negotiation in future posts!
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Drawn from my 18 years of experience and research in recruiting and Human Resources, my blog posts are intended to provide insight into what corporate recruiters and Human Resource professionals look for when they are evaluating your qualifications. Simply reading these blogs will not guarantee you success. However, consistently applying the strategies mentioned, as well as developing your own personal interview style, will greatly enhance your chances of victory amidst the competition. I wish you the best of luck with your search as you begin to take charge of your career!