6 Lessons From Black Friday For Job Seekers

Mall

Photo credit: Depositphotos

Love it or hate it, Black Friday is a big day. This annual quest for gifts at bargain basement prices can teach us a thing or two about embarking on a successful job search.

1) Be Prepared
To get the best deals on Black Friday, you need a plan. You go through the store’s ads, figure out what you want to get and which stores to go to. The same thing holds true for your job search. To be successful, it helps to organize your contacts, which job openings you want to target and your plan of  attack.

2) Enlist The Help Of Others
Many Black Friday shoppers divide and conquer. Your mom goes to Target, while you wait in line at Kohl’s.  As a job seeker, you can do the same thing. Don’t be afraid to ask others for help. If you’re unemployed, post on your social media accounts the fact that you’re looking for a job. If you have an interview at a company, ask your friends if they know of anyone who works there. You don’t have to go through the process alone!

tree

Photo credit: Depositphotos

3) Exhibit Patience
What if you were in line waiting for a TV on sale and knew only 200 were available? You get to the front and they’re all gone. Yes, it’s extremely disappointing and you’re mad! But, you also know you have other items on your list. Do you give up and go home? No, of course not! You go to the next store to get the next thing on your list. Adopt the same mentality for your job search. Yes, it is devastating to not a get a job you want, especially if you’ve interviewed for it and thought things went well. Remember, the job search is not an exact science. Things are often out of your control. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and continue on with your search.

Black Friday shoppers expect to wait and are prepared with coffee, blankets and whatever else they need to be comfortable. To get the good stuff, they understand that a certain amount of discomfort is part of the process. The same holds true for the job seeker. You have to get into a mindset that the right job is out there, but it may take some time to get it.

4) Evaluate Your Progress
Many Black Friday shoppers will tell you that they made mistakes their first time out. There is no shame to improving your game plan. If you’re not having any luck, it’s time to go over your resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile and interviewing skills to see if you can tweak them or do things differently. And, don’t forget your college career center! Even if you’ve graduated, you can always go back. Your local library also has a wealth of resources for job seekers.

5) Celebrate Your Successes
Many Black Friday shoppers cap a successful shopping excursion by going out to breakfast. It’s important to reward your hard work and effort. Even treating yourself to a cup of coffee or cocoa after a good interview or when you’ve written a solid cover letter can give you that extra pick me up you need.

6) Show Gratitude
There’s no doubt about it – the job search can be a grind. When you’re feeling discouraged, think about the things you have in life that make you happy – friends, family, your health, etc. Even the most exhausted Black Friday shopper knows that gifts are great, but it’s the people getting them that is the real reason for their shopping adventure in first place.

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! And, join our new Talent Community!

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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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Anchor, an Oldcastle Company

Anchorbuildingsolutions

Anchor is a leading supplier of architectural masonry, block, brick and other building products. For the past 40 years, they have been helping residential and commercial customers with projects in the Northeast.fireplace

Anchor has an experienced, knowledgeable sales staff, continuing education for industry professionals and E-Tek online (design and construction guidance) for help with the use of concrete masonry.

Products include:
Architectural Masonry
Standard Masonry
Stone Veneer
Hand Crafted (Signature Series)

Locations:
New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Massachusetts

brick
Contact us:
1913 Atlantic Avenue
Manasquan, NJ 08736
Phone: 800-682-5625
http://oldcastlemasonry.com/index.htm

firepitWant to work for us?
Search for jobs HERE.


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! And, join our new Talent Community!

 

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How To Work A Job Fair So It’s Not A Waste Of Your Time

SAM_3013Job Fairs have a bad rap. Will you walk away from a fair with a job offer? Probably not. But, there are benefits to attending a job fair. Don’t just go in there and wing it. Have a plan on how you’re going to approach the fair and what you want to get out of it.

Susan Langenfeld, a Human Resources Manager at The Dolomite Group, has recruited at job fairs for years. She is a strong believer in being prepared prior to the fair.  “Research ahead of time the companies that are going to be attending the job fair and share your knowledge of the company when you present yourself to the employers.  You’ll show the employer that you’re seriously interested in working for them. They will be more likely to remember you when the time comes to review candidates for open positions.”
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Corey Listar, a Staffing Operations Manager for Oldcastle, offers additional tips:

- Treat the job fair like a 2 minute interview – have that elevator speech ready!
– Come prepared with resumes. Some companies may not take them and ask you to apply on line. This is becoming a very commonplace practice. Don’t let that discourage you, and don’t show frustration over being asked to apply online.
– Target the companies you want to meet with at the fair before you go. Look at the positions they have open and be prepared to talk about how you could be a good fit.
– Be patient, as you may have a line of people in front of  you waiting to meet with the recruiters.
– Follow up with those you met. Connect with them on LinkedIn as well as on their careers/company Facebook and Twitter pages.

2 Bonus Tips:
1) Bring business cards. Don’t have any? You can make cards very inexpensively – try VistaPrint.
2) Know of a few companies you’re really interested in? Customize your resume for those companies.

Please share this post if you found it to be helpful!

For more job search advice, follow us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest, and LinkedIn! And, join our new Talent Community!

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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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!

taglineOldcastle

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.

P.S. If you found this post to be helpful, please share it.

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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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