"Put your best fit forward." This is the essence of my philosophy in four short words.

As I see it, any job search is a dance between the job seeker and the potential employer, and in the end, there are two decisions to be made.

From the employer's perspective, comes the first decision: Are your skills and experiences aligned with organizational needs, and will you fit into the culture?

Decision the second: Is the position right for you? Does the work involved align with your goals and interests? Does the workplace culture feel like a fit to you?

All too often, job seekers place far more emphasis on the employer's decision than their own. Certainly, employers frequently appear to have more power in terms of the first decision--after all, they are the ones who evaluate all the candidates and extend an offer...

But the choice of where you want to work is also very much on the table in any job offer. The economics of supply and demand and your own fiscal reality may make your workplace preference seem like less of a choice, but whether or not you want to accept an offer is virtually always your choice to make.

A bad fit can have many unintended consequences, ranging from simple incompatibility of work style to major philosophical differences and a lack of enjoyment for how you spend much of your waking hours?

Heather Huhman, a careers expert at the Examiner, is running a great series on how to evaluate employers for how well they fit your needs. Here's a link to the first installment. Read on, and share your stories of occasions when you put your "best fit" forward and when you didn't...