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Job Hunting / Career advice

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Well, 2 years ago I came to this same forum and posted my resume, asking for advice. You guys ripped it apart and really taught me how to write a resume. Got a offer on my first interview and never looked back. I've been there 2 years now doing my thing... the work environment is good and I enjoy what I do and the people I work with.. I also make good money... However I think that If I can make more money somewhere else AND be closer to my home, then why not take a look around and see what's out there? Sunday night I updated my resume and put it on monster - and I'm in awe at the response. I know its only recruiters, but I've had at least 15 emails and 10 phone calls for recruiters wanting to talk to me about job opportunities. The developer market is RED HOT in my area (central NJ / NYC), even with how th economy is right now... I already have an interview with a direct company that is only 15 minutes away from my house next week, that a recruiter has set up. My current commute is 1 hour each way =(. So here's my question for you guys. Since I am comfortable where I am, and basically want to be very picky about taking accepting a job offer... should I be honest with prospective employers? The last thing I want to do is accept the very first job offer that comes my way. Can I tell them that I am still looking around and will get back to them? Can I put my availability for longer then 2 weeks to give myself time to get other offers? During the interview, can I tell them that I'm excited to work for them but want to consider some other offers I have? OR will that turn them off from me? How long do companies typically give to sign and respond to an offer letter? What about haggling salary? How does this work exactly? Is it like a car salesman basically? Can I say 'I won't take less then this, take it or leave it' and walk away? I've never been in the position to haggle before, but with my skillset now I won't take less then a certain amount. Like I said, I'm not in a rush and enjoy where I am now, so I want to be stern and picky. Also, about references. I now have some great references... And have put togeather a reference sheet with 3 great ones (one is a CIO, another a VP, (both ex-bosses) another is a fellow developer). At what point does the reference sheet come into play? Do I give it to the interviewer after the interview is over? OR only when they request it? Or do I send it with my resume?? Thanks very much for your advice

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Phil gravely asked:

>should I be honest with prospective employers? The last thing I want to do is accept the very first job offer that comes my way. Can I tell them that I am still looking around and will get back to them?

Have you ever heard of the title "The Most Dangerous Game"? A short story by Richard Connell, or a novel by Gavin Lyall. But I digressed. That's what you're about to play.

>Can I put my availability for longer then 2 weeks to give myself time to get other offers?

No. The great response you got from posting your resume has given you an inflated feeling of being in a seller's market. Well, it isn't. It's a buyer's market.

>During the interview, can I tell them that I'm excited to work for them but want to consider some other offers I have? OR will that turn them off from me?

What do YOU think?

>How long do companies typically give to sign and respond to an offer letter?

Forget "typically." Ask each one. After getting the offer letter, and only if you really want to play this Most Dangerous Game.

>What about haggling salary? How does this work exactly? Is it like a car salesman basically? Can I say 'I won't take less then this, take it or leave it' and walk away?

Sure. But now you've walked away. And you're not getting that job.

>I've never been in the position to haggle before, but with my skillset now I won't take less then [sic] a certain amount. Like I said, I'm not in a rush and enjoy where I am now, so I want to be stern and picky.

Fine.

>At what point does the reference sheet come into play? Do I give it to the interviewer after the interview is over? OR only when they request it?

The latter one.

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