During my first real job search a few recessions ago, I was quite confident about my probability of getting hired by a company where I received positive feedback after each of three interviews. I felt I was perfect for the job, and it appeared they thought the same. So I stopped my job-search outreach, which turned out to be a bad decision. I didn’t get the job and I lost a few critical months in the search process.
I thought of that experience as I read Alison Green’s column this week in U.S. News & World Report. Alison warns that no matter how confident you are about landing the job, you should never count on getting an offer until you, indeed, see it in writing. Here are the reasons why:
1. No matter how qualified you are, someone else might be more qualified. [Additional tips: 11 Insider Tips from the HR Department.]
2. They might be looking for something you haven’t picked up on.
3. Even when you are well-matched with the job, there can be some other problem.
4. Things change. Budgets get cut, positions get reshuffled. [Additional tips: Ignore These 10 Outdated Pieces of Career Advice.]
5. No matter what your working style, there’s an organization or boss out there that it would clash with.
As one of my first guest posts pointed out, a job search needs to be an all-out, full-time effort. Make no assumptions until the offer is handed to you.
Post Script: By not landing the job mentioned in paragraph one, I actually found a far better one–another reason to keep looking.