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Job Hunt 101: Bag the Best Employer

Job Hunt 101: Bag the Best Employer

Brian O’Connell | MainStreet.com

September 14, 2009

It’s 2009. Do you know where your next job is?

Finding a new job is tough these days. New hires are in decline, unemployment is north of 8% so there’s plenty of competition and people who have jobs are making Herculean efforts to hang onto them.

And, if you do manage to land a meeting with a potential employer, the contemporary job interview process is way too one-sided.

Think about it. Companies can size you up like a side of beef. They can check references, implement background checks to see if you’ve been arrested or have a bad credit rating. Companies like Microsoft have even created calculated interview questions designed to see if you’re Mensa material or whether you should be fitted for a drool bucket.

Example: Why is a manhole cover round? Answer: Because it’s easier to cover a round hole with a round cover.

Seriously.

It’s high time that job seekers have some leverage. After all, we have questions, too. So if you’re hip-deep in a job hunt, look past the job responsibilities, the perks and the pay, and take a long look at the company itself. How much money does it make? How fast do they lay off employees? Any government contracts? (It’s a big plus in this day and age.) How does it treat its employees? Have they ever been sued? If so, how many times, for what reasons, and by whom? Is the company privately funded? By who?

Knowing the answers to these questions before you accept a job offer can mean the difference between the corporate fast track and career-induced chaos. Here’s where to start.

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