Courtney Vena, Corporate Recruiter, Architectural Products Group (APG)

What do you do in your position?yankee
I partner with APG on their exempt level staffing needs nationwide.

What month/year did you start?
I started with Allied as a Recruiting Coordinator in July of 2013. I started my role as a Corporate Recruiter for APG in July of 2014.

Where is your job located?
Rochester, NY

What do you like about working here?
From my coworkers here in the office, to the managers out in the field, everyone that I get to work with is awesome. We work hard, but we also have a lot of fun. I also like that the company encourages career growth. Management is very supportive of the employees in all divisions/areas.

What are the best parts of your job?
It’s so rewarding to know that you have helped someone find their dream job and that you’ve helped your team find the best person for the job.

Why do you think Oldcastle is a good place to work?
Oldcastle really values their employees and invests in their personal career growth, including programs for college students and  people returning from military service. Some examples of our programs include the Manager in Training (MIT) and Management Development Program (MDP).

How would your coworkers describe you?
As a crazy Yankee fan

gennyDo you have any funny or interesting work stories to share?
I interned at the Genesee Brewery in college and I worked closely with the Talent Acquisition Manager. A candidate called in to say he was going to need to reschedule his interview due to being sick. He DID sound like he was ill, or so I thought.  I told him that I needed to check the schedule and would place him on hold as I did so. By accident, I clicked mute instead of hold and all of the sudden we heard a miraculous recovery from him! He started singing to a friend about how he was really playing video games and eating KFC. When I clicked back over to him, he started to “cough” and “sniffle” and continued to tell us how sick he was.

Keep in mind – this particular candidate’s real reasoning wouldn’t have scored him a reschedule. Note to job seekers: be honest about any scheduling conflicts or missed interviews. And, maintain your professionalism throughout the entire interviewing process, whether you think you are on hold or not!

stadiumWhat are your hobbies outside of work?
I’m a pretty dedicated sports fan. Some people in the office might argue that I don’t approach it with “logic” though. I will insist that the Yankees are going to make the post season until it is literally mathematically impossible, I will always choose Syracuse in my NCAA bracket to win it all, and the Giants win in Super Bowl XLII will forever be the best game in Super Bowl history.  None of this is open to discussion or debate.

When I’m not going to games or cheering at my TV, I also enjoy cooking and doing DIY projects.

If you would like, tell us about your family.
I come from a big extended family. When people tell me I talk too loud or too quickly, I tell them it’s the only way to be heard in my family!

Just for fun, we want to know – what was your first job ever?
My first job was at Daydreams Ceramic Café – a ceramic painting studio. They gave great employee discounts, so, needless to say, my friends and family received more painted ceramics then they probably would have liked.

 Want to connect with Courtney? You can follow her on LinkedIn.

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Oldcastle is North America’s largest manufacturer of building products and materials. With more than 2,000 locations throughout North America, we are in constant pursuit of the next generation of successful decision makers, leaders and problem solvers. Learn more about joining the Oldcastle team HERE.

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5 Hints To Make Phone Screens Less Scary

The phone rings. You know it’s someone from that job you applied to. The pressure is on. This call is the deciding factor whether you will get that initial in-person interview. First off, do not panic – you got this!

1) Pick a place for the call. Go to a space where you won’t be disturbed by children, pets or other people. You don’t want hiring managers to hear talking, the TV or music in the background during a call. According to Corporate Recruiter Nick Ragone, “If you are free of distractions, it will make the call more casual and conversational, which are keys to a positive phone interview.” Even if you have to go to your car to be alone, do it. Also, make sure you are using a phone that won’t drop the call. If you are using a landline, turn off call waiting! In addition, not every recruiter or hiring manager has their own office. It may be harder for the recruiter to hear you because of all the other conversations going on around them. You need to speak clearly and be completely focused.

2) Be prepared. This means having your notes, your resume, the job description, a pen and a glass of water at hand – at least five minutes before the call. Jot down your own notes BEFORE the call – things you want to emphasize, questions you want to ask and notes/answers to questions you think you might be asked.

3) Do your homework. Educate yourself about the position and the employer. “Make sure you research the company and the job, so you are familiar with the business/industry,” says Nick. “This will show that you have a vested interest in working with them.”

4) Practice your phone etiquette. Do you say “um” a lot or sound like you lack confidence? Better to have a friend pick up on these things and point them out so you can work on correcting any issues prior to the call.

5) Stand up, smile and look your best. That’s right – I said to dress up. “Why? They can’t even see me!” Well, the mere act of putting on your professional best can get you in a better mindset. The potential employer does not have visual clues to judge you by over the phone. You want to sound as good as you look. By standing, you’re automatically in a better posture position. As for the smiling – it’s an old customer service trick that really does make a difference. For years, I worked for a company that had a call center. During their training, I overheard the advice about this again and again, and it really does hold true. If you’re frowning and talking, you’re grouchy. Is grouchy the vibe you want to give off? Of course not.

Thank you for reading! Please share if you found this post to be helpful.

This post, by our Social Media Specialist (Recruiting Office), originally appeared on LinkedIN.

For more job search advice, follow us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest, and LinkedIn!

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Oldcastle is North America’s largest manufacturer of building products and materials. With more than 2,000 locations throughout North America, we are in constant pursuit of the next generation of successful decision makers, leaders and problem solvers. Learn more about joining the Oldcastle team HERE.

 

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Sue Doemling, Corporate Recruiter, Oldcastle Materials

SueDWhat do you do in your position?
If I say “I hire people,” that sounds so easy.  It’s more complex than that. I work closely with our managers to locate and hire talented professionals into important positions at Oldcastle. Many of my positions are located in the Southeastern United States (Florida, Alabama, and Georgia), but I will work on other Oldcastle Materials positions as needed.

When did you start working at Oldcastle?
I started right before the Christmas Holiday in 2012.

Where is your job located?
Rochester, NY

What do you like about working here?
I like the satisfaction of making people happy—the hiring managers and candidates selected.  Oldcastle has many unique opportunities. Finding the right candidate for the perfect job is extremely rewarding.

What are the best parts of your job?
Getting to enjoy a different adventure during the day is always delightful.  We have pot luck lunches, Lunch & Learn sessions, and other team activities. I also enjoy traveling to my Southeast Division (Tampa) in the cold months.  Rochester, NY, can be a snowy place to live and work, with a yearly average of 100 inches of snow.

Why do you think Oldcastle is a good place to work?
Oldcastle is a positive, forward-thinking, growing company.  When I joined Oldcastle, I had limited knowledge of the paving industry.  Everyone that I interact with inside the company have continued to provide encouragement. I tell my friends and relatives to consider Oldcastle — Our Materials Division provides excellent opportunities at all levels.

How would your coworkers describe you?
Quiet, shy and reserved – Not!

I enjoy having fun at work and making people laugh.  Our team works closely together to help one another meet our goals. It’s a fun, productive place.

clown

Keep the costumes at home!

Do you have any funny or interesting work stories to share?
Years ago, I worked for a manufacturing company. One day, a woman arrived in our lobby to drop off her resume. She was fully dressed in a clown costume—with clown shoes, makeup, the whole deal. She provided me with a bunch of balloons and her resume. She was applying for a Purchasing Manager position, not a clown job.   When I asked her why she was dressed this way, she said that she ‘would be noticed’ if she dressed this way.

Well, she was noticed.  Needless to say, we noticed her, but, she did not get the job.  This was not the ideal professional image that we desired for a management position in the conservative company I worked for.    

My advice — Don’t dress like a clown – and don’t act like a clown in the interview.

What are your hobbies outside of work?
I like to ski, swim and garden; but, mostly, I like to vacation.  Take me anywhere and I will be the perfect tourist. barn1

My husband and I reconditioned an old barn on our property, and added a nostalgic “Mail Pouch” painting on one side. It has created quite a stir. Many people travel to take photos of it. Our barn has been photographed by hundreds.  Last year, we painted the other side of the barn with a Jell-O sign. The town where I live (LeRoy, NY) is the birthplace of Jell-O.

If you would like, tell us about your family.
I am happily married with two teenage boys. They provide me with loads of family and sports activities.  

barnJust for fun, we want to know – what was your first job ever?
For my first job out of college, I was a Social Director at a resort in the Pocono Mountains, in Pennsylvania.  I lived on site at the resort and spent the days and nights entertaining guests. I called Bingo games, set up happy hours, and provided other fun activities.  This was not my career choice, but, it was a start to a party-planning life.

Follow Sue on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Suejobs

 

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Oldcastle is North America’s largest manufacturer of building products and materials. With more than 2,000 locations throughout North America, we are in constant pursuit of the next generation of successful decision makers, leaders and problem solvers. Learn more about joining the Oldcastle team HERE.

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Why Is A Good Resume So Important?

© Depositphotos.com/andrewgenn

You might find yourself asking, “Why is a resume so important?” This answer can be as simple or as complex as you want your resume. The real question should be, “What do I want my resume to do for me?”

I find that making a resume can be very tricky. To put it simply: If you were buying an expensive piece of electronic equipment, leasing/buying a car or a home and were not able to see it in person, what would you want the write-up to say about this particular item that you are looking to invest in? What can the “For Sale” sign say that is going to make you want to learn more?

So, how do you want to sell YOURSELF? What differentiates you from the rest of the pack? What is going to tell that prospective employer that YOU stand out from the rest, that you are worth spending more time with, learning more about, and hopefully extending an offer to?

The resume is your first chance to impress a potential employer. It gives you a chance to capture their attention without even having to meet them. If a potential employer only spends a few to several seconds on each resume, what impact do you want to make on what could possibly be your only opportunity to impress? In such a competitive job market, it is very important to stand out among the other candidates interested in a specific opportunity.

Your resume should do 4 very important things:
1) Show that you are qualified
2) Prove that you are actually passionate or care about the kind of work that you have been doing
3) Prove you understand how to do your job/the field in which you have been in
4) Show not only that you could do this job, or how you did the job, but HOW WELL you did that job

I can’t emphasize enough just how important a good resume really is. I believe you will get out of a resume what you put into a resume. This is a piece of paper that proves that you are worth investing any additional time in. This is always the first step to a great opportunity!

deonnaGuest blogger Deonna Campbell is a Corporate Recruiter for the Oldcastle Precast division. She reviews hundreds of resumes weekly. She also writes for her own blog: Resumes That Win!

Want more career advice? Look here: FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

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Oldcastle is North America’s largest manufacturer of building products and materials. With more than 2,000 locations throughout North America, we are in constant pursuit of the next generation of successful decision makers, leaders and problem solvers. Learn more about joining the Oldcastle team HERE.

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6 Easy Ways To Bust Through That Online Application System

hulk

Don’t get mad, get hired!

Many c0mpanies use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) or Talent Management System to gather resumes and track candidates during the hiring process. These automated online systems can can seem very impersonal. We’ve heard candidates say that there are too many fields to fill out, the information required seems redundant, and there is no way to make direct contact with a hiring manager.

We hear your frustration! This post is not meant to debate whether an ATS should be in use, but HOW you can use it to your advantage.

So, why do companies even use these systems?
Applying for jobs has changed over the past decade. These systems make it easy and efficient to post jobs, collect resumes and screen/evaluate potential candidates during the recruitment process.

Gina Williams, a Human Resources Systems Analyst who works with these systems daily, explains that the ATS is typically used by companies with many openings “to save time and effort, to keep compliant with government regulations, and to build up a good database of candidates.”

“I know job seekers may feel frustrated about not having easy access to a human contact during the application process,” says Gina. “However, the up side is that if you spend the time to load your resume and carefully update the fields in the system, the next application will be much easier. Recruiters will then be able to search the system and locate you for future openings.”

To make it past that initial cut:
1) Make sure you fill in ALL of the fields – even non required ones. The more information you can share that shows your qualifications match the opening, the better.

2) Be careful about applying to multiple jobs. Don’t just apply to anything. Only apply for jobs where your qualifications match the opening.  Some systems allow the administrator or hiring manager to see ALL of the jobs a candidate has applied to.

3) Embrace key words. The system will scan to pick up on key phrases for the job and industry. You want the phrases you use to be detected so that a match can be made.

4) Use the job ad to guide your resume and cover letter. Go through the job description. Your resume should have many of the same skills and terms listed. If not, and you have those skills, add them. Or, think twice about applying for that job. It may not be a fit.

5) Be careful of formatting and spelling. While spelling errors are a sure way to go to the “no” pile even outside an ATS, they are even worse in the system. Even if you’re the perfect match for a job, your resume can be filtered out due to typos, spelling errors and inconsistent, busy or unusual formatting.

6) Creativity can kill your resume. In an effort to stand out, many people title their experience and jobs using more creative terms. Don’t! Keep it simple and straightforward.

Love them or hate them, Applicant Tracking Systems aren’t going away. You don’t have to embrace the ATS, but take heed of these tips to enhance your chances of being selected as a candidate.

** Bonus tip: A majority of ATS systems send an automated response that confirms your application has been received. You do not have to follow up at this point. If a hiring manager is interested, they will contact you directly.

What about you? Have you had any experience using an ATS? We would love to hear about it!

P.S. Please share this post if you found it to be helpful.

This post, by our Social Media Specialist (Recruiting Office), originally appeared on LinkedIn.

 

For more job search advice, follow us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest, and LinkedIn!

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Oldcastle is North America’s largest manufacturer of building products and materials. With more than 2,000 locations throughout North America, we are in constant pursuit of the next generation of successful decision makers, leaders and problem solvers. Learn more about joining the Oldcastle team HERE.

 

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Oldcastle Stormwater Solutions

OldcastleStormwaterSolutionsLogoOldcastle Stormwater Solutions is a subsidiary of Oldcastle Precast, Inc. We provide innovative products and solutions for stormwater management, including:

- Inlet and Media filtration
– Bioretention/Biofiltration
– Hydrodynamic Separation
– Detention/Infiltration
– Permeable Solutions
– Harvesting/Reuse
– Erosion Control
stormwatermanagement

History
1993  Originally known as KriStar Enterprises, we were founded in Santa Rosa, California. Since the introduction of the Fossil Filter, we have continually advanced new and creative solutions for the treatment and management of pollutants from stormwater runoff for construction and post-construction applications.
2014  Oldcastle Precast acquires KriStar assets – which include 3 manufacturing locations and a maintenance division, Drainage Protection Systems (DPS), and is renamed Oldcastle Stormwater Solutions.

stormwater5
stormwater6
stormwater4Want to work for us?  Search for jobs HERE.
Connect with us on Linked In
Contact us: 1-800-579-8819
contactstormwater@oldcastle.com
360 Sutton Place   Santa Rosa, California  95407
Oldcastle Stormwater Solutions
www.stormcapture.com

About Oldcastle Precast
Oldcastle Precast is the leading manufacturer of precast concrete, polymer concrete and plastic products in the United States.

About Oldcastle (our parent company)
Oldcastle is North America’s largest manufacturer of building products and materials. With more than 2,000 locations throughout North America, we are in constant pursuit of the next generation of successful decision makers, leaders and problem solvers. Learn more about joining the Oldcastle team HERE.

 

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4 Reasons Why Fall Can Be A Good Time For Your Job Search

fall

Start your search before the leaves start falling!

Think hiring gets put on hold because the end of the year is near? Not true! Companies still hire, and some amp up their search. Here’s why:

1) Fewer people go on vacation in the Fall
According to Oldcastle Staffing Manager Erin Bardwell, “It’s much easier to coordinate first and second interviews among corporate recruiters, human resources and the other team members involved in the hiring process.” More people in the office means a better chance of you being seen sooner.

2) The school year is more like the New Year
School children aren’t the only ones who start fresh when the calendar turns to September. The change of seasons can be a big motivator. Most people associate January with resolutions, but Fall is also known as a time of renewal. The transition to shorter days, cooler weather and a more regimented schedule (for parents with kids) can be a catalyst to make a career change and go after that new position.

3) The Summer lull is over
According to this Monster.com article about Seasonal Hiring Trends, “Hiring slows down in July before picking up at the end of August.” Take advantage of this window of opportunity.

4) It’s easier to find time now before the holiday season

We’ve all been there. The time between Halloween and New Year’s seems to fly by in the blink of an eye. There are presents to buy, food to cook, parties to attend and family functions to enjoy. Before the frenzy begins, start mapping out your job search strategy now. Take action so you don’t regret it in the New Year.

Bottom line time:
The truth of the matter is – hiring does occur all year. Some times are better than others, and it can also depend on the industry and types of positions available. If you slacked off a bit this Summer, don’t beat yourself up. Simply start again! And, if you haven’t started to search, but thought you would have to wait until the New Year to search, don’t do it! There are organizations that continue to fill open positions from now until 2015.

Thank you for reading! Please share this post if you found it to be helpful.

P.S. We are one of those organizations that hire all year. Check out our current openings.

This post, by our Social Media Specialist (Recruiting Office), originally appeared on LinkedIn.

For more job search advice, follow us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest, and LinkedIn!

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Oldcastle is North America’s largest manufacturer of building products and materials. With more than 2,000 locations throughout North America, we are in constant pursuit of the next generation of successful decision makers, leaders and problem solvers. Learn more about joining the Oldcastle team HERE.

 

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Oldcastle Coastal

coastalFor almost 50 years, Florida-based Oldcastle Coastal has been a leading manufacturer and distributor of masonry and hardscape products, ranging from brick and stone to pavers and retaining walls. Coastal has been helping homeowners and professionals with all aspects of their projects since 1965. Their product line includes: Masonry, Pavers and Retaining Walls, including Belgard hardscapes.

 

bench     castle

For homeowners, they offer a variety of paver color choices and textures for outdoor living areas – patio to pool. A wide variety of styles, colors and designs help create and complement landscaping, walkways, gardens and outdoor living ares. Customers can visit their showrooms located throughout Florida.

coastal

Locations: Gainesville, Pompano Beach, Longwood, Tampa, Ft. Myers and Sarasota

Interested in working for us?
Search for jobs HERE.

Our website: http://www.oldcastlecoastal.com/

About Oldcastle (our parent company)

Oldcastle is North America’s largest manufacturer of building products and materials. With more than 2,000 locations throughout North America, we are in constant pursuit of the next generation of successful decision makers, leaders and problem solvers. Learn more about joining the Oldcastle team HERE.

Follow Oldcastle Careers on FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest, and LinkedIn!

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How To Network If You Don’t Like To Network – 6 Tips For The Timid

superhero

Be a networking super hero!

Are you a networking zero, hero or somewhere in between? There are some people – extroverts usually – who are naturally outgoing and love to mix and mingle. Then, there are the rest of us.  Are you more introverted? If the thought of going to a networking event gives you a feeling of dread, this post is for you.

1) Rephrase the term
The term itself can be off putting. Let’s define it for what it really is. All you’re really doing is meeting people, making connections and sharing information/resources. Don’t let the word have any power over you.

2) Start small
Successful public speakers didn’t start off by speaking to large audiences for their first speech, so why are you expecting to connect with mass numbers? Attending an event with the goal of meeting twenty new people and giving them your business card is too overwhelming. Instead, why not make a more realistic goal? An achievable goal would be to meet 2 new people and hand out a couple of  business cards.

3) Expect To Be Nervous
A little bit of apprehension is normal. You will feel uncomfortable, and that’s ok.

4) Pick a smaller event to start with
Attending a presentation might be an easier way to ease into networking. There is less pressure to be “on.” You’re there to listen to the speaker and, ideally, start a conversation with 1 or 2 other people at the event. That’s it. It could be the person seated next to you. Or, it could be the person in line as you’re waiting to go in.

We recommend going to this first event or presentation solo. Why? Bringing a friend or colleague may seem like a smart idea. But, that person can become a crutch. Instead of meeting new people, you end up just talking to the person you came with. Eventually, you can bring someone along to introduce you to other people, but for now – it’s all you!

5) Have some conversation starters and questions ready
Have you heard this speaker before?
How did you find out about this event?
What company are you with?

6) Accept that not everyone will be friendly
In a perfect world, everyone would be receptive to meeting and talking with you. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. If someone gives you the cold shoulder, just know that it’s not you! They may be having a bad day. It can be discouraging, but just move onto to the next person. It really does get easier the more you practice and put yourself out there. Don’t pressure yourself, beat yourself up or set unrealistic expectations. With the right mindset and a plan, you’ll be networking like a pro!

Next steps:
Once you’ve attended your first event, plan for the next one. The more events you go to (and yes, you may have to force yourself in the beginning), the more comfortable you will become. As your confidence builds, go to bigger events. Still feel your nerves are getting the best of you? There are groups like Toastmasters that can help you overcome the fear of public speaking. Just remember, you CAN do this!

This post, by our Social Media Specialist (Recruiting Office), originally appeared on LinkedIn.

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Oldcastle is North America’s largest manufacturer of building products and materials. With more than 2,000 locations throughout North America, we are in constant pursuit of the next generation of successful decision makers, leaders and problem solvers. Learn more about joining the Oldcastle team HERE.

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4 Job Search Tactics Your Competition May Not Know About

unemployedimage1) Don’t Just Say, Show
Go through your bullet points on your resume one-by-one. Can you show proof that you know how to do the skills stated on paper?  Actions speak louder than words, so if you can prove it with portfolio pieces or other samples, by all means do so. We’ve seen candidates create short presentations, blog posts for their new company and other samples for a job they’re interested in. You can also add links to work you’ve done on your LinkedIn profile. You can also self-publish your own long form posts right from the site. What better way to showcase your expertise?

2) Make Your Thank You Count
Why limit yourself to a cookie cutter, boring thank you? There are ways to be creative without being too over the top, yet still standing out. You could create a “Top 10 reasons you should hire me” list with bullet points. What about sending a postcard you created (see #3 below), incorporating your new company’s logo? Or, make your own infographic.  **Note: Try to find out when the hiring decision will be made. This will determine whether to email a thank you or mail it in. You don’t want to make the mistake of mailing the thank you if it’s going to arrive too late in the process.

3) Take advantage of free tools
Even if you’re not a designer/creative type, there are quite a few intuitive, user friendly, free tools that allow you to make professional images and other visuals in very little time. Give these two a try: Canva.com & Haikudeck

4) Incorporate Testimonials Into Your Reference Sheet
Want to take it up a notch? Add testimonials from LinkedIn, positive comments from performance reviews, saved emails and any other kudos you’ve received along the way. You should always  gather and save accolades like this to use as part of your job search arsenal.

In today’s competitive job search market, putting together a compelling resume and cover letter is often not enough. Back up the claims you made with solid evidence showing you have what it takes to thrive at your potential new job.

P.S. Have you used any unusual or unique tactics that helped you get a job? Let us know!

Image: DepositPhotos

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Oldcastle is North America’s largest manufacturer of building products and materials. With more than 2,000 locations throughout North America, we are in constant pursuit of the next generation of successful decision makers, leaders and problem solvers. Learn more about joining the Oldcastle team HERE.

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