4 Myths That Keep Your LinkedIn Profile From Blooming

Tulip

Just like Spring flowers need attention and nurturing, so does your LinkedIn profile. Here are some common myths about LinkedIn and simple suggestions to make your profile blossom this season and beyond.

1) Multiple endorsements are better than just a few recommendations
I’m not saying endorsements are bad.But, think for a minute how easy they are to get. All a person has to do is click. A recommendation takes thought and greater effort. Aim to get a few high quality recommendations on your profile and return the favor.

2) As long as I’ve completed my LinkedIn profile, I’m fine
It’s a great first step, but to maximize the power of LinkedIn, get involved. Post status updates, “like,” comment and share things that your connections post. These activities will get you in front of non-connections, expanding your reach.

3) I can only contact people who are connections
Not true! If you share a group membership, you can reach out to them.

4) Publishing a post is tricky,  time consuming and only for writers
Actually, writing on LinkedIn is quite easy. The blogging platform is intuitive to use. You don’t need to be a professional writer. All you need is a topic. Start with that and write in a conversational style. Use bullets and numbered lists (like you see in this post). Share something of value to others in your field. We all have areas of expertise. Your knowledge and insight help showcase your value to your connections (and potentially a new employer!).

Looking for more career advice? Check out this post:
6 Things Job-Seeking Graduates Should Know

P.S. If this post helped you or you think it can help others, please share.

Thank you for reading!

A version of this post, by our Social Media Specialist, also appears 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.

Follow us for jobs and career advice:
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LinkedIn
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Pinterest

Also, don’t forget to join our Talent Community to receive a monthly e-mail newsletter with expert advice on the job search process.

 

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Filed under Job Search, job search advice, job search tips, LinkedIn Advice

The Road To A Great Reference [Infographic]

TheRoadToAGreatReference

P.S. Looking for more career advice? Check out this post:
Short on time? 3 Quick LinkedIn Fixes

Infographic: www.easel.ly

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.

Follow Oldcastle Careers on TwitterLinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and Facebook for jobs and career advice. And, don’t forget to join our NEW Talent Community to receive a monthly e-mail newsletter with expert advice on the job search process.

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Jason Herrman, Engineering Manager

jhWhat division do you work for?
Oldcastle Precast

What do you do in your position?
I get to help our company succeed. I work on a variety of large-scale projects and projects that have national products in them, while my team handles the engineering and drafting.  I am also lucky to help out other locations when they are overwhelmed or need some help to get through a difficult time.

When did you join Oldcastle? January of 2012

Where is your job located?
I am lucky – my job is located in beautiful, sunny Colorado!  I have the privilege of working on projects located all over the country.

Can you describe your career progression here?
I started as an EIT (Engineer in Training) after getting my masters.  As an EIT, I helped out doing designs for some of our locations. I started getting involved in product development and worked on several products, which led to helping our sales team with engineering.  While working to support the sales team, my team expanded and our portfolio of work also expanded. We developed more products, and continue to support in any way we can. That is how I got to where I am now.

Christmas 055What do you like about working here?
Great people. Great location. Great company. Oldcastle is a solid company with lots of room for growth. There are endless possibilities within the company and our parent company, CRH. I enjoy the job I do and have a great work/life balance.

What are the best parts of your job?
I get to be involved in really unique and large scale projects. We are challenged to come up with new ideas and new ways of turning a cast-in-place concrete design to a precast concrete design. This often requires critical thinking and can be quite a challenge.

Have you worked on any unique, high profile or interesting projects?
Yes. You can see here (above) some photos of a few very complex and large vaults that we designed and produced. I also developed a ballistic wall product line.    

What advice would give for an Engineer who wants to work for us? Why should they choose Oldcastle?
Precast Concrete is not boring! It is fun work with lots of responsibility and lots of variety, and it’s founded in a company that treats you well and offers a lot of growth opportunities.

Is there anything else you want to share about yourself?
I lived in Sudan for a couple of years doing non-profit work building a school. It is what led me to study structural engineering and gave me lots of experience with concrete.

Want to find out more about Oldcastle Precast?
http://www.oldcastleprecast.com/

Search for jobs with us here: Oldcastle Careers

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.  

Follow Oldcastle Careers on TwitterLinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and Facebook for jobs and career advice. And, don’t forget to join our NEW Talent Community to receive a monthly e-mail newsletter with expert advice on the job search process.

 

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Resume Tips From a Recruiter

We recently asked Joel Burris, a Corporate Recruiter for Allied Building Products for his advice on resumes. Joel looks at hundreds of resumes weekly. Check out these two short clips to hear what he has to say.

How long does a recruiter spend looking at a resume?

You want yours to be the first. Yes, there are times they go back to the pile – but who wants to be second place?

Resume tips recap:

  1. Make sure it’s streamlined and flows easily.
  2. Use bullets to keep it organized.
  3. It doesn’t have to be fancy – no need for photos, charts or graphs.
  4. Use a timeline format.
  5. Gaps in your work history? Provide a brief explanation as to why.
  6. Two page resumes are ok. One is fine too. Three is too much.

How can you stand apart from a pool of similar candidates?

How to stand out recap:
1) Show enthusiasm
Be excited about the opportunity and be willing to have an upbeat conversation.
2) Do a little bit of research
Learn about the company and job, including the competitors of the company.
3) Be able to articulate accomplishments at your last job
Tell stories and give examples – don’t just describe duties.

See Joel’s other posts:
4 Easy Action Steps for Veterans Transitioning To Civilian Jobs

Making it Easier for Veterans to Find Jobs

Learn more about Joel: Meet Joel B.

P.S. Looking for more career advice? Check out this post:
5 Tips to Make Your Job Search Less Taxing 

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.

Follow Oldcastle Careers on Twitter, LinkedIn,Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and Facebook forjobs and career advice. And, don’t forget to join our NEW Talent Community to receive a monthly e-mail newsletter with expert advice on the job search process.

 

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Filed under Careers, Interviewing, Job Search, job search advice, job search tips, Resumes

Interview Checklist [Infographic]

These tips will help you get ready for your big interview.  Good luck – you got this!InterviewChecklist

Looking for more interview advice? Check out this post:
After the Interview – 3 Steps To Success

P.S. If this post helped you or you think it can help others, please share.

Thank you for reading!

 

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.

Follow us for jobs and career advice:
Twitter
LinkedIn
Instagram
YouTube
Facebook
Pinterest

Also, don’t forget to join our Talent Community to receive a monthly e-mail newsletter with expert advice on the job search process.

Leave a comment

Filed under Interviewing, Job Search, job search advice

Michael Dobreski, Corporate Recruiter

shirttieWhat do you do in your position?
I work with our Architectural Products Group, a division of Oldcastle that produces materials like paver blocks, decorative stones and mulches.  I help find talented folks for non-exempt roles within our production facilities like forklift drivers, machine operators, maintenance mechanics, administrative workers, and more.

When did you join Oldcastle?
I started in January of 2016

Where is your job located?
Our office is in Rochester, NY, but I work with locations spread throughout the country – mostly with our Midwest and Southwest divisions.

What do you like about working here?
Our team here is fantastic! Working alongside such a creative and dedicated group of people each day motivates me to be better.

What are the best parts of your job?
No two days are exactly the same. I enjoy that each day will present me with a new challenge. Plus, I get to talk with interesting people from all over the country.

What would co-workers say about you?
I hope they’d say I’m friendly and always willing to lend a helping hand. And probably say that I’m not very good at shooting darts.

What was your first job ever?
Rick’s Deli – pizza maker and delivery guy. I’ve come a long way since then!

Do you have any fun or interesting work stories to share?
When I was managing a flooring retail store, I was the only one willing (or dumb) enough to drive our over-sized home show display 90 miles in a packed 26’ Box truck to Buffalo for their show, which started the following week. If that ride wasn’t bad enough, when they flagged me to pull INSIDE the convention center to unload, the look on my face must have been hilarious. I was sweating bullets…it gave me new respect for anyone driving a big rig! But I did it all without putting a scratch on the truck.

Tell us about your family.
I grew up in Auburn, a small town just outside of Syracuse, NY. Most of my family still lives local to the area. I have two younger brothers, and two adorable nieces. I moved to the Rochester area about 8 years ago, where I live with my wife Heather and our fat lazy cat named Cheeto.

Connect with Michael: LinkedIn 

Want to learn more about working for Oldcastle?
Visit us at Oldcastle Careers.

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.

Follow us on:TwitterInstagramLinkedInYouTube, and Facebook for jobs and career advice. And, don’t forget to join our NEW Talent Community to receive a monthly e-mail newsletter with expert advice on the job search process.

 

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Filed under Meet The Recruiting Team

Are You An Unlucky Job Seeker?

Clovers.jpg

If you’ve been looking for a job for awhile, you may be feeling discouraged. When is it going to be MY turn? The goal of any successful job search is to stack the odds in your favor, so you are the ‘lucky one’ chosen. Ask yourself these questions and be honest about the answers. They can reveal areas to improve upon in your overall job search strategy.

  1. Are you doing your due diligence?
    You may have read stories that reveal how quite a few people spend more time planning for a vacation than they do for their retirement. No surprise there – it’s fun to plan a vacation. Retirement planning or job searching – not so much. Nevertheless, it’s important to remain focused and dedicate yourself to important, not so fun things – like your job search. This means customizing every cover letter and resume to the job, researching employers prior to an interview, getting/prepping the right references, calling recruiters back and going outside your comfort zone when it comes to proactively networking.
  2. Has your confidence, attitude and energy changed since you started searching?
    It’s completely understandable that your enthusiasm for the process has taken a hit, especially after more time goes by. However, this is not the time to show it. Even if you don’t feel energized and optimistic, you have to act like you are. Eating properly, getting exercise and creating a good support system (family/friends/fellow job seekers) can help boost your mood too.
  3. Do you let rejection (i.e. not hearing back from an application, after an interview, etc.) get you down?
    It’s ok and normal to feel disappointed. The job search can be impersonal, unfair and frustrating. However, wallowing is your enemy. Allow yourself time to be mad or sad and then move on! Think of the job search like speed dating. You’re going from interview to interview, just like you would be going from date to date. Not every date results in a relationship, and not every interview results in a job.

    Going through the interview process makes you better at interviewing. Don’t think of it as a waste of time – think of it as practice!

Progress and forward movement/momentum in the job search isn’t dependent on luck. It takes time and continual effort. Don’t give up. It may take longer than you had hoped for, but the right job is out there for you. And, always remember- the employer is the lucky one for making the decision to hire you.

Looking for more career advice? Check out this post:
Reference Reality – 7 Things You Should Know

P.S. If this post helped you or you think it can help others, please share.

Thank you for reading!

Photo credit: Quentin Ray: Unsplash

A version of this post, by our Social Media Specialist, also appears on 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.

Follow us for jobs and career advice:
Twitter
LinkedIn
Instagram
YouTube
Facebook
Pinterest

Also, don’t forget to join our Talent Community to receive a monthly e-mail newsletter with expert advice on the job search process.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Interviewing, Job Search, job search advice, resume

After The Interview – 3 Steps To Success

OfficeOnce you’ve had an interview, it’s common to breathe a sigh of relief. “Glad that’s done,” you may be saying to yourself. While a well deserved high five is in order, your work is not done. Post interview actions can make the difference between getting called in for interview number two or the employer taking a pass and moving on to another candidate. So, instead of stressing – take action!

1) Do a post interview ‘audit’
While the interview is still fresh in your mind, go over what went well and what could have gone better. Was there a question you wish you had answered differently?  Was there a question you wanted to ask but didn’t? Type or jot down some notes. This isn’t a time to beat yourself up – try to be as objective as you can. At the same time, don’t go overboard and think there isn’t any room for improvement.

2) Create your thank you note or email
Now that you have your notes, go over them to see how you can clarify any missteps that occurred during the interview. For instance, say the job is for an office manager in a large, hectic office and they questioned how you would do since you worked previously for a smaller office. If for some reason you fumbled over the answer, your thank you note can clarify and provide a better response.

“While I worked with a smaller team at XYZ Corp, I was the lead for numerous branch meetings that involved coordinating large groups from multiple locations. Part of the reason your position appeals to me is because it also gives me the opportunity to work with and coordinate similar large scale events.”

3) Keep searching
While this may be the job you really want, it’s better to not put all your eggs in one basket, even if the interview went well. Continue applying!  The job search is a numbers game. Even if the interview went flawlessly, there are many circumstances you can’t control – such as whether they have a strong internal candidate or whether someone else is a bitter fit. It’s better to keep pursuing other opportunities. The job search is an emotional journey. Don’t get too attached to one position and ignore other jobs that may be just as promising/fulfilling.

Looking for more career advice? Check out this post:
Short on time? 3 Quick LinkedIn Fixes

P.S. If this post helped you or you think it can help others, please share.

Thank you for reading!

A version of this post, by our Social Media Specialist, originally appeared on LinkedIn.

Photo Credit: Benjamin Child – Unsplash

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.

Follow us for jobs and career advice:
Twitter
LinkedIn
Instagram
YouTube
Facebook
Pinterest

Also, don’t forget to join our Talent Community to receive a monthly e-mail newsletter with expert advice on the job search process.

Leave a comment

Filed under Careers, Interviewing, Job Search, job search advice, job search tips

Jennifer Friday, Staffing Administrator

IMG_3132What do you do in your position?
I am a Staffing Administrator in the recruiting office. I assist the recruiters by sending out offer packets, reviewing background and drug screening results, and making sure that the candidate has completed all the paperwork that is necessary before they start in their new position at Oldcastle. I also help candidates with any questions they have about the new hire  process.

When did you join Oldcastle?
December 2015

Where is your job located?
The recruiting office in Rochester, NY

What do you like about working here?
I like working here because I like being able to help candidates. There is a time frame of about one to two weeks where I am able to communicate with the candidate and get to know them. It is always wonderful to have someone call and tell you that a recruiter you are working with is great, that our office is very responsive,  and how excited they are to start.  Being able to answer questions and talk to the candidates can help diminish the anxiety of starting a new job. There have even been a few times when candidates have emailed me after their first day just to tell me how well it went.

What are the best parts of your job?
The best part is the people that I work with every day. Everyone is so nice, helpful, and approachable.

What would co-workers say about you?
They would say that I am the lady that sits at the new front desk that had been empty for awhile, that I still startle them when they come in. But besides that, I think they would say that I am quiet, helpful and friendly.


Tell us about your family.
My wonderful husband, Rick, and I have been together since we were eighteen. We like to travel, go to sporting events, and go to concerts. We have two beautiful daughters, Fiona (11) and Naomi (5). This year, Fiona started sixth grade in the Middle School. She loves to play soccer, participates in Odyssey of the Mind (an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students), plays trombone, and was selected to sing with the All County Choir. She has accomplished so much, is on high honor roll, and we are very proud of her. Naomi started kindergarten this year, which was very tough on me, but she absolutely loves it. She also plays soccer and does really well in school. We are so proud of her, and love her nonstop sense of humor. Our family also consists of three cats, one dog, and two fish.

What was your first job ever?
The first job that I had was cleaning the Allied offices just down the road. I would work from 7 am to 11 am every Saturday sweeping, vacuuming and mopping. It was pretty easy, but waking up early on a Saturday as a teenager was not my favorite thing to do!

Want to learn more about working for Oldcastle?
Visit us at Oldcastle Careers.

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.

Follow us on:TwitterInstagramLinkedInYouTube, and Facebook for jobs and career advice. And, don’t forget to join our NEW Talent Community to receive a monthly e-mail newsletter with expert advice on the job search process.

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Filed under Meet The Recruiting Team

Reference Reality – 7 Things You Should Know

GirlonPhone“Is it a good sign if they call my references?” The answer is a resounding yes! If you get to the point of the interview process where the employer is putting time and effort into reaching out to your references, you are definitely a solid contender for the position. For that reason, it makes good sense to put some thought into WHO you choose for a reference and HOW to prep them for that call. Our recruiting team conducts reference calls on a weekly basis. Here are a few insights from their calls and interactions.

1) Your boss makes the best reference.
Your peers can certainly speak about your work ethic, character, etc., but try for a superior if at all possible. Some companies insist on it. If you can’t use your boss as a reference (since you are still employed at the company and it would raise suspicions), what about your boss from a previous position? Good reference checkers notice if you can’t provide solid references from previous employers. It can be a red flag that you didn’t have or maintain solid professional relationships at those organizations.

2) Some companies won’t be as thorough as others, but you want to be prepared either way.
Prepare as if the employer will be calling all your references and asking them probing questions about you.

3) Ask your references permission to be used as a reference.
This is just common courtesy. Some people may not feel comfortable being a reference and you need to respect that. You never want to blind side people. It doesn’t look good if a recruiter or hiring manager calls a reference who has no idea they were going to be one.

4) Prep your references.
Give your references your resume and tell them a little bit about the position(s) you are going for and the time frame they can expect the call. Mention the qualifications you would appreciate they would mention. For instance, say you’re interviewing for a sales position. You could ask your reference to talk about the success you had on a certain sales initiative. You don’t want your reference to sound rehearsed, but a few reminders of your skill sets and accomplishments gives them a base for the discussion.

5) The reference checker is listening to what the reference DOES say as well as what they DON’T.
A good reference check call is a conversation between the reference and recruiter. The recruiter is looking to see if the person is a cultural fit and can do the job. They can sense when a reference may be holding back. Lulls in the conversation or hesitations can be red flags to them.

6) Avoid the “perfectionist” line.
Saying someone is too organized or too dedicated isn’t fooling anyone. No one is perfect, and we all have areas to work on. Employers know this. Being too glowing in a reference discussion can backfire. It’s best for your reference to focus on your strengths, but they should never lie or exaggerate.

7)  Be willing to be a reference for others, if appropriate.
It’s good practice to return the favor (at a later date), if you can. If you’re not a boss or superior, you can always endorse the person who was your reference on LinkedIn or write a testimonial about them. This is another way to maintain good relationships and network. The truth is – you should always have your radar on as far as who you could potentially use as a reference, whether you’re currently employed and not looking or actively pursuing new opportunities.

A version of this post, by our Social Media Specialist, also appears on LinkedIn.

Photo credit: Victor Hanacek, PicJumbo

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.

Follow us for jobs and career advice:
Twitter
LinkedIn
Instagram
YouTube
Facebook
Pinterest

Also, don’t forget to join our Talent Community to receive a monthly e-mail newsletter with expert advice on the job search process.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Careers, Interviewing, Job Search, job search advice, job search tips

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