Lindsay Olson

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How to Decipher Job Ads

If you are looking online for your next job, I posted some tips on how to evaluate online job ads to make applying easier and help you provide the right information to the employers. See it here: How to Decipher Job Ads


Asking for a Raise

Are you wondering how to ask for your employer for a salary increase? Over on US News & World Report, I have a few tips and factors for you to consider: How to Ask for a Raise


Be Careful When Dealing with Counter Offers

You’ve been interviewing with another company and just got an offer. Now it’s time to resign and your employer blindsides you with a counter offer. Promises for more money, a better title, new projects can be tempting, but may have unexpected consequences. On US News & World Report, I talk about what you should consider when you’re presented with a counter offer. Read it here: Think Carefully Before Accepting a Counter Offer


Overqualifed for the Job and Questions to Ask the Hiring Manager

Here’s a quick round up of what I’ve been posting on US News & World Report’s On Careers blog.

You’ve found a job online that seems like it would be a great fit and exactly what you’d like to be doing at this point in your career. One problem – the company is asking for five years experience and you are pushing 20 years in your field. While you won’t always be successful getting your foot in the door, I’ve given some tips on how you can get past some of the initial judgements and have more success landing those interview. Read it here: How to Apply for a Job When You’re Overqualified.

The week I wrote about how as an interviewer you should be asking the right questions to find out if the position aligns with your goals. Read the 5 Questions to Ask the Hiring Manager for a few ideas to make a fully-informed decision about your next job.

Hooray for long weekends! Happy Labor Day!


LinkedIn Groups and Getting Your Resume in Front of the Right Person

I’m posting again for US News & World Report’s On Careers blog!

Last week I wrote about how LinkedIn Groups can help you build relationships and discover companies/opportunities that may not be posted elsewhere. Read it here.

It’s a great place to connect with like-minded people. My search firm, Paradigm Staffing, created a PR & Communications Jobs Community (come join us!) where we post our open positions and give a place for PR professionals to connect and discuss PR and job search strategies and topics. In the recent months, a topic was posted about age discrimination in the PR industry and it sparked such a lively discussion that several of the group member have taken it offline to create their own cause-related PR firm!

This week I posted about How to Get Your Resume in Front of the Right Person – everything from identifying the hiring manager, cold calling, and customizing your communication to that person is covered.


When to Say No to a Job


Originally posted on US News & World Report: On Careers – When to Say No to a Job

Interviews aren’t solely for the sake of the company—they’re intended to help the job seeker figure out whether the company is a match for them, too. And while most of us can’t afford to be too picky in this economy, if you interview for an opportunity that doesn’t feel right, listen to your gut.

Here are a few tell-tale warning signs about a potential job, ones that might set off that gut reaction:

1. The position has been filled multiple times and nobody has lasted more than 18 months. High turnover is a sign of multiple issues. It could be poor compensation, a negative work environment, little opportunity for growth, or often times, a bad manager. If you’re spending eight or more hours a day at work, you need to like most of the people you work with.

[See 21 Secrets to Getting the Job.]

2. You’re treated poorly in the interview. Were the interviewers prepared for the meeting? Were you left waiting for an unreasonable amount of time? Were you in asked to go in for day-long interviews and never given a restroom break or offered a drink or lunch? How a company behaves in the interview process is a clear sign of what it’s probably like to work there.

3. You’re asked by the interviewer to give confidential information about other companies or people. An interviewer may come right out and ask you to divulge information that you know you shouldn’t share. Don’t be tempted by such requests. Prepare for how you will deal with these situations in advance and you should be able to handle it gracefully. Acknowledge the request and the confidentiality of the information and back it up with something you can share because it’s public information. A reasonable person should understand and respect your reluctance to share proprietary information. If the interviewer continues to push, you’re probably dealing with someone who doesn’t adhere to ethical business practices.

4. You’re given a project that could be used for the company’s benefit—even if you didn’t get the job. Unfortunately, this happens too often. A writing test, a portfolio sample, a request for references, a walk-through of previous marketing/staffing/sales/etc. plans, even a mock assignment are normal requests to evaluate your skills for the job. Depending on the company, you may be asked to take a personality test and submit information for a formal background check. But a request to develop original, ready-to-use content for the company is not acceptable. Keep those ideas to yourself and spend your time looking for something more solid and with a company who will respect you and your ideas.

[See When to Ask for a Raise.]

5. The hiring manager has unreasonable expectations. Check the job description, twice. If this is a new role, it’s important to ask questions about the expectations. If the duties seem like something only a team of six could handle, you’ll need to bring it up. The company could be clueless about how much one person can realistically handle.

6. Salary doesn’t match the skills required. Your decision to take a position shouldn’t be only about the money, but you should receive a fair wage for the work performed. You have to consider the long-term benefits and not just short-term gain. However, a company offering a salary way off the mark is a sign of how they value their workforce. If they are cheap now, they are probably stingy on promotions and raises.

It can be difficult to be picky when the economy isn’t offering many jobs to choose from, but in certain situations, it may be smarter to pass on a job and wait for the right opportunity.


7 Ways to Use Facebook for Your Job Search


This week’s post on US News & World Report.

We often hear about how job seekers can use social networks like LinkedIn and Twitter to their advantage. But what’s sometimes overlooked is the biggest network of them all: Facebook.

We think of Facebook as a way to connect with friends, not necessarily hiring managers or employers. But with over 500 million active users, Facebook is useful for professional networking, too.

1. Follow your target companies on Facebook. Some companies, such as Ernst & Young and Ford Motor Company, have special Facebook pages specifically for recruiting. You might find out about job opportunities on their Facebook pages quicker than finding their postings on a job board or their own career portal. It’s also a place to learn more about the company culture and ask the recruiting department questions about the hiring process. In smaller companies, the page may even be monitored by the decision makers, putting you in direct contact with the person who offers opportunities or hires.

2. Contact employers directly. Facebook allows users to send messages directly to other users even if you aren’t friends with them, which is especially useful if you can’t find their contact information anywhere else. Be careful with this approach though. Some people only want to communicate with their “real friends” on Facebook. Before contacting someone, make sure you’ve done your homework, and send a personalized message making sure to let them know who you are and why you are contacting them.

Read 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 on US News & World Reports On Careers blog: 7 Ways to Use Facebook for Your Job Search


Tips for Working with a Recruiter

PR industry hiring is heating up. I’ve had several people comment about how many calls they are getting in the past few months about jobs. My recruiting firm has been inundated with new opportunities. Yay!

Someone recently told me about how it was becoming difficult to manage the time to take phone calls from recruiters about specifics positions she was contacted about mainly through LinkedIn. She wanted to know how to respond and keep the lines of communications open without putting them off. So that’s what I wrote about for my US News & World Report post last week – Tips for Working with a Recruiter. I hope it helps!


Ways to Stay Positive During Your Job Hunt

Life is Good Festival

An except from my US News & World Report On Careers blog post last week:

Rejections are an unavoidable reality during a job search. You’ll talk to many companies before you find the right fit. It’s discouraging, especially when you thought you had the job and you’re surprisingly passed up without reason or feedback. It’s okay to be disappointed, but set a limit on how long you’ll sulk, and then move on.

An important part of your job search will require you to evaluate yourself. While you won’t win them all, one of the most important aspects is to recognize the possibility that there may be something you can change, and if so, be open to it.

Recruiters can all attest to the frustration that some job seekers convey in their initial contact. Hiring managers are keen at sniffing out negativity, desperation, bad attitudes, and emotional imbalance. Simply being aware of the negativity and making a concentrated effort to focus on the positive can completely turn around a job search gone bad.

Read the seven tips on the full post at: Ways to Stay Positive During Your Job Hunt


How to Start a Job Search


Job searching seems like such a daunting task for most people. If you are currently employed, it’s hard to find the time to engage in a job search. If you find yourself unemployed unexpectedly, it’s hard to know where to start. Last week I talked about this on my post for US News & World Report – How to Start Looking for a Job. Check out the 7 tips to gain momentum in your search.


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