Blog Your Way To A Better Job

bookThe Benefits of LinkedIn Long Form Publishing
You’ve updated your LinkedIn profile, added all the connections you can, and you’re ready to find that new job. Now what? LinkedIn Long Form Publishing is a new way to stand out on LinkedIn, gain exposure and network.

What is it?
LinkedIn allows users to write and publish posts as part of their profile. Publishing on LinkedIn used to only be available for the select few. Now, anyone, in any industry, can self publish a blog post.

Why should I write a post?
1) It’s a great way to get your name out there.
Every time you publish a post, not only does it show up as a status, it shows up in the top hand right corner to ALL your connections – notifying them that you have added a post. It also appears as part of your profile.

2) If your post gets picked up by “Pulse,” the exposure can be huge. Pulse features business and career related news. Thousands of people follow Pulse categories. Instead of just your connections seeing the post, it will potentially be seen by followers of that category. MothersDayPostFor example, this post on Mother’s Day was picked up and featured in the “Best Advice” category on LinkedIn Pulse. As a result, this post received 1,523 views, 120 likes and 14 comments. Not bad for someone who has less than 300 connections.

In addition, if your post is picked up, you can also gain followers. LinkedIn followers are different than connections. Like connections, these are people who will receive a notification every time you publish a new post. However, the difference is – followers only see your posts. They cannot see the rest of your news feed or connections.

 4) Writing a post shows off commitment to your career and helping others.  By choosing to publish on LinkedIn, you’re showing initiative. Let’s face it – not everyone is going to spend the time and effort to do this.

5) It’s a relatively easy way to build a portfolio. For writers, it’s a great, FREE place to showcase your work online without starting a separate blog, learning a different platform or getting your own web page. For everyone else, it’s still a great way to have something to show potential employers – even if you’re not in the communications field.

6) Anyone, in any industry can showcase industry knowledge/expertise
Whether you’re a manager, mechanic or musician, everyone has something of value to contribute. By allowing users to publish on LinkedIn, it levels the playing field. You may not be a CEO or President of a company, but that does not mean you don’t add value. For aspiring entrepreneurs and the unemployed, the mere act of blogging can be a real confidence builder.

Convinced? If so, let’s get started!

HOW TO PUBLISH ON LINKEDIN
publish

1) Go to your LinkedIn Profile and click on “Publish a Post.”
A template will then appear where you can start typing.
NewPostDraft

2) Pick a topic. Give some thought to this. Write about what you know. The best posts are interesting, informative and give a unique spin on things. Write about what people can relate to. If you’re an expert on a niche topic, write about that. Tie your post in to a holiday or trend in your field. Have a strong opinion on the latest news? Think of an angle that’s different from the prevailing point of view. Think outside of the box! Controversy can be ok – within reason. You want to be seen as a smart, well informed professional.

3) Start writing! This is the fun part. Let your thoughts flow. Remember, when writing, keep it easy to read. Beak up your text with a numbered or bulleted list. The publishing platform is pretty intuitive once you get the hang of it. You can bold, add images, links, even embed videos. Think about what you would want to see in a post and pattern yours after that.

4) Find the right image. Images are important! They will draw the reader in. More readers means more views. Find a compelling image that goes along with your post. There are many free sources online for images or take one yourself. Make sure to always attribute who took the photo. There is a spot to add the source of your image that will appear in the upper left hand corner once you add your image. Pay attention to the recommended size of the image and try to duplicate it or at least come close.

tags5) Add tags, edit and publish!
The LinkedIn platform is similar to WordPress and other self publishing platforms. You can save your draft and publish when ready. Don’t forget to add tags. Tags are categories and terms that make it easier for people to find your post. Once you start typing a word or term (take the term “job search” for example), LinkedIn will suggest similar popular words/terms to use. Make a mistake or see a typo after you publish your post? No worries, you can always go back, edit and update.

How long should my post be? That depends. Many say shorter is better. Some topics deserve more text. Focus first on quality content formatted in an easy to read way.

Writing a post on LinkedIn is not just for writers or marketing/communication professionals. If you’re an active job seeker (or even if you’re not), writing a few posts can help you in your career.

So, there you have it! Give LinkedIn Long Form Publishing a try. Done correctly, it can only enhance and complement your job search and career plans.

P.S. Don’t forget to share your published post on social media. There are share buttons right by the title of your post. Oh, and if you liked this post, please share it!

Looking for more career advice? Check out our post on How To Write A Better Resume – the Top 10 Tips From Our Recruiters.

This post, by our Social Media Specialist, also appears on LinkedIn.

Photo credit: Luis Llerena, Unsplash

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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 Oldcastle Careers on Twitter, LinkedIn, 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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Filed under Careers, Job Search, job search advice, LinkedIn Advice

4 Easy Action Steps for Veterans Transitioning To Civilian Jobs

hardhatFirst off, thank  you for your service to this country! It takes a special person to serve. As a veteran, you bring many valuable qualities that employers desire in the workplace. However, sometimes these qualities and skills can be lost in translation. If employers can’t find you, they can’t hire you!

1) Make sure that you have a LinkedIn profile (and that it’s up-to-date)
LinkedIn is becoming increasingly important for everyone in their job search. Recruiters rely on it heavily, and it’s the first place an employer will go to do more research about you. Joel Burris, a former US Army Service Member who now works as a Corporate Recruiter for Allied Building Products, offers this advice:

2) Re-do your resume for a civilian audience
There are a lot of terms, jargon and codes that are familiar to you, but will not be familiar to the person reading your resume. A former veteran will know the terms, but the odds of that person reading your resume are slim. The goal of your resume is to highlight accomplishments. You have to translate what you did in the military to terms that a non military person will understand. There are Military Translators that can help. Here’s one: http://www.military.com/veteran-jobs/skills-translator/

Along the same lines, your LinkedIn profile should be civilian friendly. Joel offers additional advice on that in the short clip below.

3) Be “At ease” in the interview
It may come naturally to say “Yes, sir,” but you do not have to be that formal in the interview process. Interviews are professional, but the trend now is for a more conversational back and forth.

4) Understand that a civilian carer path is more fluid
In the private sector, the hierarchy is not as strict or as set in place as the military. While there can be set paths for rising up in an organization, things in the corporate sector operate differently and on a different timetable. In addition, once you land the job, know that navigating corporate culture is going to take some getting used to.  The chain of command, how people act, the environment and expectations will be different from what you’re familiar with.

One Last Thought
Never forget that you are valued! Veterans ARE sought after for civilian jobs due to their dedication, commitment, adaptability and many other strengths. There are many veteran-friendly companies that want to hire veterans. And yes, we are definitely one of those companies! Capitalize on your attributes from your military service, follow the advice in this post and you will be well on your way to finding your next job and career.

Know another veteran looking for a job? Please share this post with them.

Thank you for reading!

P.S. Looking for more career advice? Follow our Resources For Veterans Board on Pinterest.

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 Oldcastle Careers on Twitter, LinkedIn, 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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Filed under Careers, Interviewing, Job Search, job search advice, job search tips, Resumes, Veteran Job Search

Why Savvy Car Shoppers Make Good Job Seekers

Weinermobile
Do you like car shopping? Some people love it –  looking at the cars, walking around the lot, test driving cars, etc.
1) What can job seekers learn from the pros who thrive at the car buying process?
2) Why are they so good at it?

A) They’re decisive
What is important to you? Do you want a 2 door or 4 door vehicle? Truck, car or mini van? 4 cylinder or 6? Stick or automatic? The decisions can seem endless and overwhelming. The same thing hold true for the job search. Figure out what’s important to you in a new job before you send out a single resume. Making a list helps. Some things to include – preferred schedule, pay, working environment, dress code, commute, etc. A job can have the best pay in the world, but if you’re going to resent wearing a suit (or dress) every day, working 50+ hours a week or waiting five years to get 2 weeks vacation, then clearly that is not the job to pursue.

B) They know that preparation takes precedence

Like most endeavors, being prepared is going to pay off. If you walk on the lot not knowing the car’s real retail price of the make and model you want, then you’re in trouble. The same thing holds true for the job search. Just like the Kelley Blue Book for cars, there are websites where you can research jobs and pay before you embark on that first interview.

C) They’re prepared to get the best bang for their buck

Buy or lease? Take an internship, contract job or temp to perm? This is where it gets interesting. Just like there are pros and cons to the ways you can finance a vehicle, there are also benefits and drawbacks in the type of position you take. If you have a big family, a mini van might be the right choice for you. Along the same lines, if you’re an extrovert, working at a position that allows for a lot of team and group interaction might be the best choice for you.

D) They know who they’re dealing with

Car salesmen do this every day. They know all the tricks of the trade. In the job search process, you will encounter experienced interviewers, recruiters and hiring managers. Expect that they are good at what they do and up your own game. If you lack confidence in the interview process, you need to practice. The more interviews you go on, the better you will get at them. Look up typical interview questions and rehearse the answers. Ask a friend to help or practice in front of a mirror. Don’t go in cold or unrehearsed.

E) Negotiation is a welcome challenge for them
Negotiation is not for the weak. This can be the trickiest part of both the car buying and job search process. It’s critical to know your numbers. Typical negotiating rules apply here – let them throw out the first figure. When buying a car, don’t tell them what you’re willing to spend or what you want the payments to be. They will manipulate the numbers to fit that figure. For salary negotiations, give a range if you are pressed to reveal a number. Make sure you know what the going rate for the job is. Being able to negotiate well is a critical skill that goes beyond buying a car or getting a job. This article has even more tips if this is an area you want to improve upon.

F) They Think Long Term
When you’re buying a car, it’s important to take into account your driving habits, typical mileage and how long you want to keep the vehicle to get the best trade in value down the line. For job seekers, ask yourself – where do you want to be in five years? Is this job just a stepping stone and a way to gain experience or is it part of the exact career path you’ve mapped out for yourself? There are many different reasons for taking a job. Know why you are choosing the job – not just for today or next year, but how it fits in your future life plans.

This post, by our Social Media Specialist, originally appeared on LinkedIn.

P.S. Looking for more career advice? Check out this post: 7 Simple Salary Negotiation Tips.

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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 Oldcastle Careers on Twitter, LinkedIn, 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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Kyra Mancine, Social Media Specialist, Rochester Recruiting Office

kyramWhat do you do in your position?
I’m in charge of creating, sharing, promoting and analyzing content (organic and paid) on the Oldcastle Careers Social Media pages: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+YouTubeInstagram and the blog you’re reading now. I’m also in charge of growing our new Talent Community, which consists of a newsletter that I design, write and send to thousands of subscribers. I also help with other marketing projects related to careers, recruiting and the job search. The goal of my position is to brand Oldcastle Careers and showcase Oldcastle as a great place to work (which it is!). 

When did you join Oldcastle? March 2014

Where is your job located?
Rochester, NY.

What do you like about working here?
This job appealed to me because it combines writing, social media and career development. My background is in writing and public relations. I also spent years working at a career development and outplacement agency, so this was a perfect fit! I enjoy helping people find out more about Oldcastle, as well as helping people improve their job searching, resume writing and interviewing skills.

Peeps
What are the best parts of your job?
I love being able to be creative! Whether it’s writing a blog post, shooting a YouTube video or creating an Infographic, I’m able to do a variety of interesting things. My coworkers may give me funny looks when I’m making a diorama of Peeps in safety vests, yet they give me the freedom to do what I do. I’m also lucky to work with a great team of people. My boss and coworkers are the best! My role here is different than everyone’s in the office, yet it takes a team of employee ambassadors to help create, curate and share content. I’m fortunate in that I can always count on their contributions, suggestions and support. 

How would your co-workers describe you?
Unique, creative and a fearful flyer. 

Just for fun, we want to know – what was your first job ever?
Well, my first under the table jobs were babysitting and dog sitting. From there, I moved on to working in my dad’s dental office. My first “real paycheck” job was as a movie ticket seller at General Cinemas in Pittsford, NY in the late 1980s. It was a brand new theater, so we helped with the grand opening. It was a very fun job. I loved having the power of controlling the microphone in the ticket booth, the free movies, the free movie posters, etc. The only downsides were the polyester vest I had to wear and that they did not allow females to make the popcorn. 

flowersDo you have any funny or interesting work stories to share?
I’ve always had interesting jobs. I worked as a town traffic court clerk for many years. I loved being able to sit in on small claims cases. And yes, the cases were very similar to the crazy ones you see on The People’s Court. I also spent over 12 years working as a Catalog Copywriter for a national catalog company. I wrote about all sorts of strange products – from The Chillow Cooling Pillow to those As Seen On TV products you see advertised everywhere.  I was also their hand model. I was very proud when my hands were holding a product on one of their catalog covers (seen by millions!). 

If you would like, tell us about your family.
I have a great brother who lives close by. 

Do you have any hobbies outside of work?
I like to travel on the weekends and explore all that upstate New York has to offer. I love hiking to waterfalls and going to hot air balloon festivals. I seek out unique places to visit. This Spring, I went to see Eternal Flame Falls, a waterfall in Buffalo, NY that has a small grotto at the base that emits natural gas, causing a natural flame (see short video below). I’m thinking of starting a blog with fun places to visit, listed by month.

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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 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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4 Ways To Rise Above Job Search Rejection

2) Turn to (or create) your job search “village” for advice and support
Embarking on a job search solo is just asking for trouble. Other job seekers, friends and family can help you handle the ups and downs associated with the journey. Don’t be afraid to ask for their support, help and encouragement. You don’t have to go through this process alone! There are numerous job seeker support groups offered through your library, college alumni office or local department of labor. Here’s a list of Job Search Support & Networking Groups by state.

3) Regroup and update your plan of action
Yes, the old adage “try, try again” is true. Throwing in the towel is not an option. Is there anything you can differently? Go over your resume again. Get another set of eyes to take a look as well. What about your interview skills? Mock interviews can be very beneficial. Practice does make perfect. Go over every detail of your job search – from your original cover letter to your outfit. Tweak, update and improve if necessary.

4) Make time for non-job related fun
Re-energize and re-charge with a walk. Go to the park, watch a funny movie or just sit outside for bit. You don’t have to do anything expensive or extravagant. Relax and give yourself a break. Remember, you are not defined by your job! You work to live, not vice versa. Don’t let the process beat you down. Make time to savor the downtime you do have. Once you start working again, you won’t have the luxury of this flexible schedule and free time.

The job search process takes time. It can be easy to let it get the best of you. However, if you continue to be patient, persistent and proactive, you will find a job that is the best fit for you!

This post, by our Social Media Specialist, originally appeared on LinkedIn. Looking for more career advice? Check out this post: 7 Simple Salary Negotiation Tips.

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 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 Careers, cover letter, Interviewing, Job Search, job search advice, job search tips

Corey Listar, Staffing Operations Manager, Oldcastle Recruiting Office

CoreyListarWhat do you do in your position?
As Staffing Operations Manager, I work with a great team who handle everything from onboarding and office management to social media for recruitment to non-exempt job postings.  I also work closely with the Applicant Tracking System and do some recruiting reports once in a while.

When did you join Oldcastle? April, 2005

Where is your job located?
Rochester, NY.

What do you like about working here?
It’s a great atmosphere. I work with a terrific group of people!  I have an awesome team who work hard every day and really care about what they do. It’s a great feeling to know that you work in a great team environment where everyone is willing to help out and go that extra mile. 

What are the best parts of your job?
Knowing that your little piece of the puzzle can make a difference in a large company like Oldcastle.  Oh yeah – did I mention the team – that too!

How would your co-workers describe you?
I think they would say I am someone who comes in early every day.
His team’s take: “He is a great boss who is always putting his employees first. He’s always there for his team and we feel like we can go to him for anything.”

Just for fun, we want to know – what was your first job ever?
My first real job where I actually received a weekly paycheck was during high school in Albany, NY.  I worked for a paint store owned by my next door neighbor.  I mainly unloaded the trucks, stocked the shelves and tinted paint when he didn’t have any other options. They did it by eye most of the time, and I wasn’t that good!  When I was in junior high, and up until college, I painted houses on summer break, but that wasn’t a “regular” paycheck.  I loved that though, because, for a kid, I made a lot of money!!

Do you have any funny or interesting work stories to share?
When I was at Allied Building Products, I was working on a major payroll implementation.  We had been working on the project for about 9 months. I traveled from Rochester, NY to the Corporate office in New Jersey for the week it was to “go live”. The first day we were going live with the new payroll system was the same day a massive hurricane hit the area.  We all had to do whatever we could to make the switch and make sure people got paid.  We ended up going to the Payroll Manager’s basement, as no other options had electricity.  Needless to say, it was an interesting experience!

If you would like, tell us about your family.
I have an awesome 13 year old son who loves video games and really enjoys beating me every time we play.  He is a good tennis player as well, and is on the JV team.

For his birthday, Corey’s team treated him to a specially designed Bigfoot Pizza!

Have any hobbies outside of work?
I enjoy searching for Bigfoot in my spare time.  The problem with this hobby is that I really don’t enjoy camping, going in the woods, wading through swamps, climbing mountains, going into caves, climbing trees or anything else like that, so it makes my search more difficult.  That being said, I see that as a challenge, and I hope to find one someday and prove that the elusive Bigfoot does exist.

Read Corey’s blog post on Bigfoot and the job search HERE.
Connect with Corey 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 Oldcastle Careers on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, 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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Kallee Stein, Recruiting Support Coordinator

KalleeSteinWhat do you do in your position?
I handle the non-exempt (hourly) postings for Precast and most of the Architectural Products Group (APG).

What month/year did you start?
I started in January of 2014.

Where is your job located?
I am out of Rochester, New York.

What do you like about working here?
I really enjoy everyone I work with. We all get along well and really work as a team. It’s great knowing that we are helping Oldcastle find the best talent.

What are the best parts of your job?
I like working with managers from all over the country. My goal is to help and make things as easy as possible for managers when it comes to filling non-exempt positions.

Why do you think Oldcastle is a good place to work?
It is a great place to work! This is my first job out of college. I have been able to continue learning and growing my professional experience. Oldcastle really cares for their employees.

How would your co-workers describe you?
Hopefully, they would say helpful and hardworking.

Just for fun, we want to know – what was your first job ever?
For my first job, I was a Hostess at Bob Evans.

coinDo you have any funny or interesting work stories to share?
When I used to serve, there was always one customer who would leave us coins he collected as part of our tip. He would package them and label what they were. I still have a few.

KalleeWeddingPhotoIf you would like, tell us about your family.
I am getting married in July of this year, and have 2 dogs that I love!

What are your hobbies outside of work?
When I am not working, I like to spend time with my fiancé and dogs – they all seem to enjoy my company. I also like to go camping and on bike rides during the Summer months.

Want to connect with Kallee? LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kalleestein

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, YouTube and Facebook for jobsand 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, recruiters

6 Things Recent Grads Looking For Their First “Real” Job Should Know

1) Being green isn’t a bad thing
Employers understand that a recent graduate has less experience. In many ways, this can be a good thing for the employer. Recent graduates can be trained on processes and offer a different, fresh perspective than more seasoned employees.

A “green” employee is desirable to an employer because the employer has an opportunity to find someone motivated to use their new knowledge and apply it in the workplace for the first time.  You can train and guide the junior employee to navigate through the company and how to handle situations appropriately. 

If treated well, you could have a long term employee who will grow with the company.  They can provide a good mix with more senior employees who bring perspective from other companies or industries to the workplace.
-Corey Listar, Staffing Operations Manager

2) Everyone has a different timetable
Don’t beat yourself up if you haven’t landed the job of your dreams yet. Take a moment to enjoy the moment. While some of your friends may have landed jobs or gone onto graduate school, don’t compare your timeline to theirs. This advice will bode you well your entire career.

3) The college career office is your friend
If you haven’t made a visit to your college’s career planning office, make sure you do so before you leave campus. If you are already back home, connect with them online. Alumni can take advantage of services ranging from job listings, resume help and, often, an alumni email you can use for your job search correspondence.

4) You can never be too prepared for an interview
Kallee Stein, a Recruiting Support Coordinator for Oldcastle, landed a job before she graduated in December of 2013. Graduating a semester earlier gave her extra time for her search (and less competition).

Bring extra copies of your resume to the interview. I ended up meeting with more than one person when I interviewed. Also, bring questions with you to ask the employer. Last but not least, do your research on the company and make sure to bring up that knowledge during the interview.

A few more tips:
– Get business cards from everyone you meet.
– Jot a few notes during the interview. Refer back to these when you send your thank you note. Personalize your response to each individual.
– Ask what the next step in the process is, so you’ll know if you have enough time to mail the card or need to do it electronically.

5) Be enthusiastic but realistic
The post college work world does offer great opportunities. However, it takes time to move up in a company. Don’t get so hung up on a title or desired compensation that you overlook a position that could lead to something even better down the line. Better to take a little less pay up front if the company is known for rewarding and promoting their employees. Don’t forget to factor in benefits too. Health/life insurance, 401k/403b plans and vacation time are all worth money. Know what is important to you and let the smaller things go.

6) Network with everyone you know
This is another piece of advice you can take with you your entire career. Friends, family, Facebook and places you interned can all be a source of potential employment. Let everyone know that you are looking for a job and what you are looking for in a role. This is not the time to be shy! According to Corey, “it never hurts to have a referral rather than blindly applying to job postings.”

Bottom line time:
Channel that excitement and sense of accomplishment from graduating on to your next goal –  landing that first job. Your first professional position is within your reach!

This post, by our Social Media Specialist, originally appeared on LinkedIn. Looking for more career advice? Check out this post: 7 Simple Salary Negotiation Tips.

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,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 Interviewing, Job Search, job search tips, job search advice

7 Simple Salary Negotiation Tips

1) Know your worth
This is salary negotiation 101. You have to know what the going rate or range for your profession is. There are many web sites out there, including GlassdoorMonster’s Salary Calculator and JobStar that provide the information you need. You can also research other job descriptions where the salary is listed. Remember, these numbers are just a starting point, and can vary based on type of company. Typically, a large corporation in a big city is going to be able to offer more than a family business in a small town or a not for profit organization. A recent college graduate has less leverage than an experienced professional. That being said, there are exceptions. Bottom line – you have to have a baseline range in mind when you start the negotiation process.

2) Let the employer reveal the figure first
If the employer won’t share that figure, state that you are negotiable, and are looking for the fair market value for the position. If pressed for an actual number, always give a range. The lowest number in the range should be the bare minimum you’re willing to accept. This can be the trickiest part of any salary negotiation.

3) Calculate the value of each benefit
If you’re offered a figure that is below what you were expecting, don’t dismiss it right away. How much is the health/life/disability insurance package worth? What about vacation time? Is there a 401k/403b match? Do they offer bonuses? Run the numbers. For instance, if you have 20 vacation days at your current job, but the new job offers 15 days but 6 more paid holidays, then you are really coming out ahead. Don’t get hung up on the overall salary if the added benefits are worth it.

In addition, sometimes it’s not just about the money. If flex time or the option to telecommute or alter your work schedule are important to you, ask about them! This is the time to put all your chips on the table. You can always counteroffer.

4) Demonstrate how you add value
In your last/current position, have you taken on additional responsibilities? Contributed to a major project? Increased sales? Keep track of these wins throughout your working career. Having a list you can refer to will really come in handy when it comes time to negotiate for that new salary or increase in pay. Show them how you are worth that salary or bump up.

5) Lose the entitlement/”I deserve” mindset
It’s one thing to know what you’re worth and going for that figure. We all deserve to be paid a fair raise for being a productive employee. However, many people mistakenly believe that they deserve a bump in salary or higher compensation because they “can’t afford their bills” or have a “growing family.” The reality is – the employer is not concerned about your family size or personal financial situation. They have allocated a budget for salaries and raises. You need to prove to them that you’re worth XX amount. Keep the emotional and personal pleas out of it.

6) Be aware/careful of your tone
You don’t mean to or want to, but it’s easy to sound nervous, defensive or disappointed during the salary negotiation process. Practice beforehand with a friend. They will be honest with you about how you look and sound. Negotiation is not easy. You’re talking with experienced hiring managers who do this every day.

Make sure to actively listen and don’t be afraid to pause when the offer is first presented to you. Silence can be a negotiating tool. Don’t appear overeager. Employers typically have some “wiggle room” with pay (within reason). Your goal is to get to a mutually agreeable figure without squeezing the last penny out of the employer. Negotiate too hard and you will start off on a dissonant note.

7) Know your “walk away” figure
Deonna Campbell, a Corporate Recruiter for Oldcastle Precast, believes in being realistic and upfront when it comes to going after what you want.

Be honest about expectations/requirements. When people aren’t honest, they may feel cheated when they sign the offer. We want happy employees and happy managers.

Deonna brings up a good point. If you know that you’re going to be bitter or resentful down the line, this may not be the job or company for you. Again, this means divulging your range to the recruiter or employer when pressed.

Along the same lines, if you’re negotiating for a raise, and have consistently been denied, it may be time to look for a new job. Stellar performance should be rewarded. There are companies out there that will recognize and reward this.

Without a doubt, negotiating your salary or raise is a stressful, out of your comfort zone part of the job search process. Introverts and non-sales professionals find it the most challenging. Nevertheless, you can do this! Go into the negotiation having practiced, with a proof of worth (accomplishments list), a target compensation range and an open-minded attitude.

Bonus tip for raise negotiations:
If you can’t meet in the middle, ask for a re-evaluation in 6 months.
While the outcome may be disappointing, always leave the door open for future discussion. You should not have to wait a full year to be re-evaluated again.

Looking for more career advice? Check out this Mother’s Day inspired post: When It Comes To Your Career, Listen To Your Mother.

This post, by our Social Media Specialist, 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.

Follow Oldcastle Careers on Twitter, LinkedIn,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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Erin Bardwell, Staffing Manager

erinbardwellWhat do you do in your position?
I work as a Staffing Manager for the Architectural Products Group (APG) & Precast.

What month/year did you start?
I originally started in January of 2006 with Allied Building Products (Distribution Division) as a Corporate Recruiter.


Where is your job located?

The job is located in Rochester, NY.

What do you like about working here?
When I started here in 2006, I immediately enjoyed working and supporting the hiring managers within this organization.  Every time I picked up the phone and talked to them, I always asked about their history with Oldcastle. I’m always amazed by the tenure they’ve had and how they’ve “grown up” in the company.  In my line of work, it’s not often you see so much tenure with an employee’s work. It’s a rarity these days, but, in this organization, it’s tried and true!

What are the best parts of your job?
I enjoy ensuring we get the best talent placed in the roles we have open.  I also enjoy watching the candidates placed get promoted over time. I love to see their career progression that gives them tenure and stability!

Additionally, I enjoy being able to get out and visit the management teams around the U.S. Going on plant tours is a real treat. I see first hand how much hard work and dedication goes into what we do every day.

Why do you think Oldcastle is a good place to work?
This company is built with hard working, competitive individuals who want to produce the best product to go out to our customers. When I visit the plants, I can see that.  It makes me proud to work for Oldcastle!

How would your co-workers describe you?
I would think that my co-workers would say that I am very loyal to Oldcastle and that I love this company!  I have to love working here, as I sell the company to people over the phone every day!  I’m very committed to what we’re doing here at the Recruiting Center, and am passionate about bringing in talent that will grow and flourish.

erinb

Erin on the farm!

Just for fun, we want to know – what was your 1st job ever?
I know one of my co-workers will get a big kick out of this, as he used to hear me talk about it all the time when we were in the same office together. I grew up on a 350-acre farm with about 100 dairy cows.  Now, I will be honest and say that I wasn’t necessarily bailing hay and taking care of the cows, but, as a little girl, I had the very important job of riding the tractors with my grandfather and father to make sure we were on track for the day!

Do you have any funny or interesting work stories to share?
When I first started working here, I fell in love with every candidate I talked to. I believe that was because I was so incredibly excited to work for an organization like this, having grown up in a more blue collar family.  I want to share with others how great this organization really is, so I am constantly recruiting, no matter where I am.

One other story – on my first trip out to visit an Allied Building Products branch in Rhode Island, I accidentally went into our competitor’s branch, unbeknownst to me.  Sounds silly, I know, but when we acquire companies, we don’t always change the original name on the outside of the branch. Due to that, I walked in all excited and asked for the Branch Manager. When they looked at me very puzzled, I realized that I was in the wrong place!  I backed up quickly and got out of there as fast as I could, lol!

erin

Erin & her daughter at an Allied Building Products Fishing Tournament event in upstate NY.

If you want, tell us about your family.
I have an 8-year old daughter, Addison, who keeps me very busy when she is with me.  She’s in the 2nd grade, and we have plenty of homework to do each night. She also enjoys being outdoors.  She currently takes English style horse riding lessons, and I am so proud to see her tackle every lesson she has.  Addison also enjoys skiing. It’s something we do together as many weekends as we can in the winter months.

What are your hobbies?
I am very active outside of work because I enjoy the outdoors so much!  I ski, golf, play volleyball, ride my 4-wheeler, swim and bike ride.  I recently tackled Gore Mountain, and went down a double black diamond…slowly, but I did it!

Looking to impress a Hiring Manager with your LinkedIn profile?
Hear Erin’s advice in the short clip below.

Want to connect with Erin? LinkedIn:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/erinebardwell

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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 Oldcastle Careers on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube 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

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