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How to Ask about Job Perks, Benefits & Accommodations

Before you can settle in to your new workplace and claim loyalty to your new employer, you'll need a few specific accommodations. And if your employer can't provide these necessary perks, benefits or allowances, you may not be able to accept the job offer in the first place. But at the same time, we're all taught from an early age that it's rude and presumptuous to prevail upon our employers for benefits that will make our own lives easier at some expense to the company. Your employers are generous, benevolent people who are already putting themselves out by giving you the gift of a fair salary, so asking for more would be outrageous and impertinent…right?

Wrong. Your employers benefit greatly from the work you provide, and if you need (or want) certain accommodations in return, it's a good idea to just speak up and ask for them. And the earlier in the process you make your desires known, the better. Here are a few tips that can help you get what you need.

Allergy or Medical Accommodations

If you have a severe environmental allergy (to nuts or latex, for example), or you'll require handicapped or medical accommodations, bring this up during the interview process. There's no need to state this information on your resume, but once your resume and cover letter have been reviewed and you've been invited into the next round, make sure your needs can be met before you go any further. If you're applying to work for a company that simply doesn't have the budget or ability to accommodate you, getting this out in the open will save time for both of you. If you wait for an offer, accept the offer, and show up for work for the first few weeks without mentioning your need for an essential accommodation, you'll be creating headaches for yourself (and for your employers, who may just shrug and shake their heads.)

Health & Retirement Benefits

You don't want to ask about the company's health benefits, retirement plan, bonus opportunities and annual increases during the first ten minutes of your first interview. But after you receive a formal offer, make sure the HR office sends you a packet of written, detailed information about the benefits you'll receive as an employee of this firm. Review them carefully, and if you can't afford or can't accept the options on the table, let your employers know. They may be able to make some changes. If they can't, you'll be able to reject the offer on your own terms and keep looking for something better.

Parking & Commuting Requests

If you need a transportation pass or parking allowance in order to work here, mention this after you receive a formal or informal offer. If your employers are able to accommodate your request, then they should do so. If they choose not to, they should be smart enough to know that their competitors probably will.

Flexible Work Hours

Flexible work hours are like parking accommodations; if your employers really want you onboard, and they're able to meet your needs, then they would be fools not to. If you need to work from home occasionally, say so. Explain why. And let the negotiation process begin.

A Great Resume Gives Provides Leverage

If your resume makes a great first impression, you'll start the hiring and negotiation process from a strong position. Before they even meet you in person, your employers will be ready to make concessions and arrangements you haven't even asked for. Visit MyPerfectResume for tools and tips that can make this happen.

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