Lindsay Olson

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When You Need Time to Consider a Job Offer

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You always want to start off on the right foot with your new employer. How the offer process is handled will impact how the relationship starts – or ends. That’s what I talked about for my post on US News and World Report’s On Careers blog this week. Here’s an excerpt:

You’ve gotten a job offer, and now it’s time to evaluate it. You should congratulate yourself for getting this far in the process.

But remember, a company needs to know you’re just as excited about them as they are about you. You need to manage the relationship with your possible next employer correctly to solidify the relationship and for everyone to feel like this is the right decision.

When you’re at the point of getting an offer from a company, most hiring managers will assume a few things:

  • You’ve discussed the opportunity with your family
  • You’ve given the job serious consideration without knowing the exact package or contractual arrangement
  • You want to work there

If fact, they assume this when you provide your references, even before they extend an offer. That’s your cue to ask any pending questions about the job or the company. While your reference checks are in progress, that’s when you should to start considering the opportunity like you have an offer in hand.

Read the rest and the tips about how to ask for more time if you need it: When You Need Time to Consider a Job Offer

Photo credit: Robbert van der Steeg
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All About Promotions and What Questions Your Resume Should Address

180104293 ef4fc25e90 All About Promotions and What Questions Your Resume Should Address

LinkedIn released data last week in regards to the months people are generally promoted worldwide. In the US, the best months for promotion are January and July. I wrote a post for US News and World Report’s career blog about how to position yourself for a promotion in the coming months.

On another note: The job market is heating up. We’re busier than ever with PR and communications requisitions coming in for agency and in-house PR roles. With more opportunities opening up, it’s probably a good time to give your resume an update or two. Check out my post this week on the questions your resume should answer on US News and World Report’s On Careers.

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Where Job Seekers Should Be Online

4711899689 aa35b9b333 Where Job Seekers Should Be Online

The Wall Street Journal reported this week that companies are decreasing their spending on job boards and refocusing their recruiting efforts by using employee referral programs and social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook. So if you haven’t updated your online presence recently, now’s the time to do it. This week I wrote a blog post for US News and World Report On Careers about the tools job seekers should consider to stay visible online.

Check it out: Where Job Seekers Should Be Online

What sites, tools, or applications do you find helpful?

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How Managers Can Improve the Hiring Process

2496186980 1ecbd9089e How Managers Can Improve the Hiring Process
This week’s US News and World Report post covers the other side of the hiring equation: the employer’s hiring process. We make assumptions about a company based our our interaction with the hiring team throughout the process. And those assumptions affect the company’s reputation as an employer. It may still be an employer’s market, but that doesn’t mean job seekers aren’t making their decisions and declining an offer based on your process – and talking about it! Read the post on On Careers: How Managers Can Improve the Hiring Process

What advice do you have for employers?

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Tips for Evading the Salary Question

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Do you get choked up when asked about your salary during an interview? You’re not alone. That’s what I talked about this week on US News and World Report’s OnCareers blog. Here’s an excerpt:

It’s hard not to panic when asked about salary during a job interview—and it will inevitably come up during the interview process. This can be especially difficult when switching industries or moving to a new city.

But how you respond to questions about how much you want to make will directly affect your future compensation package. That means that gracefully dealing with salary questions is one of the most important interviewing skills you can master.

Here are some key points to consider when discussing your salary requirements with a potential employer:

Timing. When you’re asked about salary early in the process, recognize it as a screening tool to either bring you in for an interview or eliminate you from consideration. For this reason, do not include your salary requirements in a cover letter.

Instead, salary discussions should come toward the end of the interview process, when the company already wants you and understands your value—when you have more leverage. Salary ranges tend to be more flexible once the employer knows you’re the perfect candidate. Few hiring managers will let their perfect candidate get away because of a small gap in salary range.

For the remaining four tips on how to evade the salary questions, check it out on the blog: Tips for Evading the Salary Question

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6 New Year’s Resolutions for Job Seekers

341866875 a0e8c69f1e 6 New Years Resolutions for Job Seekers
As the end of the year approaches, we’re all inspired to make life-changing improvements. While you’re reflecting on 2010 and planning for 2011, take some time to think about your job-search strategy and include it in your resolutions.

Here are six New Year’s job-search resolutions to consider:

1. I will build my online presence.

If you’re reluctant about using social media tools for your job search, let go of your fears in 2011. Building an online presence is likely to take your job search to new heights. What do employers see when they do a Google search for your name? Consider starting a blog, uploading your VisualCV, participating in LinkedIn group discussions, and making new connections with like-minded professionals on Twitter. A strong online presence raises your visibility with potential employers and could help you uncover hidden job opportunities.

[See 10 Smart Ways to Use Social Media for Your Job Search.]

2. I will update my resume and personalize my cover letter.

Don’t lose an opportunity to apply for a job because you haven’t updated your resume. The beginning of the year is a wonderful time to reflect on your career accomplishments and future goals—and incorporate them into your resume, cover letter, online profiles and other job-search materials.

Check out the rest on US News and World Report’s On Careers blog: 6 New Year’s Resolution for Job Seekers

Photo credit: Tim Hamilton
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Job Seekers: Don’t Make These Mistakes

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Everyone makes mistakes once in a while. No matter how long you’ve been in the workforce or how much you’ve honed your interview skills, you’ll still make the occasional mistake. And when you’re looking for a job, some of those mistakes can be fatal.

Here are five common mistakes candidates make during the interview process and lessons you can learn from each:

1. Writing the wrong company name on your correspondence. Job seekers spend countless hours interviewing before finding the right position, so it’s natural to use some of the same content from a previous follow-up letter. That’s fine—it saves you time. But double-check that you’ve addressed the letter to the company you’re interviewing with. It’s also wise to double-check the spelling of the interviewer’s name.

Lesson: A lack of attention to detail could cost you the job. As a job candidate, you must convince the prospective employer that you truly want to work for their company, not any company.

For the rest of the tips, go see my US News & World Report this week at Job Seekers: Don’t Make These Mistakes

Photo credit: Digimist Sweetzspot
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Social Media for Your Job Search

3598159727 e6850ce763 Social Media for Your Job Search

I got an inquiry from a reader the other day after posting the article about Twitter to find a job article.

His question:

Using LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc. does not seem to help find me leads. I have profiles posted, but no one contacts me whatsoever. What’s up with that?”

LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook aren’t the magic solution to your job search. The leads will not come pouring in because you have a profile up. You need to work at developing your network and improving your online visibility – before you need them for a job search. Social sites are a component of your job search toolbox. You must be proactive to make them work for you.

That’s what I talked about in my  post on US News & World Report this week. 6 Ways to Boost Your Job Search on LinkedIn. Check it out!

Photo credit: Dean Meyers
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How to Work with a Recruiter to Find a Job

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Have you ever been contacted for multiple recruiters about the same company? That’s what I wrote about on US News and Word Report this week. Here’s the excerpt:

For job seekers, working with a third-party recruiter often raises questions. Who exactly do they work for? What’s the best way to use their connections to your advantage? And more specifically, what should you do if you’re contacted by more than one recruiter who represents the same company?

Unlike internal recruiters, who work directly for a company that’s looking to hire, third-party recruiters work for an employment agency that’s contracted by a company to find talent.

Say Recruiter Joe contacts you about a position for a software company. He collects your resume, says you’re qualified and indicates that he’ll talk to the software company about your candidacy. A few days after that conversation, Recruiter Jane calls you about another position with the same software company. You’re really interested in this second opportunity, but you haven’t heard back yet from Recruiter Joe. Should you pursue the position with Recruiter Jane?

To find out what you should do, go read it on US News: How to Work with a Recruiter to Find a Job

Photo credit: Alex Tran
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How to Use Twitter to Land a Job

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This week on US News and World Report’s On Careers blog, I posted about using Twitter for the job search.

Here’s an excerpt:

Are you using Twitter for your job search? If you have yet to see results, don’t give up! Using the social-networking tool, you can find real jobs and connect with real people who are hiring.

One of Twitter’s most useful aspects is the access it provides you. Recruiters, HR representatives, hiring managers, and executives all use Twitter on a daily basis. Unlike an online job posting where you can only apply via the information provided, Twitter allows you to interact with these people directly by sending them an @ reply or a direct message. Your resume is much more likely to be seen and seriously considered if you’ve interacted with a company representative rather than applying to a job post along with hundreds of other job seekers.

Visit US News to read the rest of the tips to get noticed and hired on Twitter.

Image credit: Joe Lazarus
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