Monthly Archives: April 2015

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.


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 & 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:

Want to learn more about working for CRH Americas?

Visit us at CRH Americas Careers.

We are North America’s largest manufacturer of building products and materials.  In North America we adopted our parent company name to become CRH Americas, Inc. But, the strength, quality and legacy of our Oldcastle brand remains in our product groups, Oldcastle Infrastructure, Oldcastle APG and Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope®, as well as our Oldcastle Building Solutions team.

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Northfield Block, an Oldcastle Company


Northfield Block is a family run, leading manufacturer of commercial and residential masonry products in the Midwest. They operate under Oldcastle Architectural, yet each location “works to service their local markets, while leveraging the group’s best practices and resources.”


1949 – Became a part of the masonry industry
– Purchased by Oldcastle Architectural Products Group (APG)
2009 – Merged with Bend Industries of Wisconsin
2010-present  Continues to operate under Oldcastle (parent company of APG)

Facility Locations
Mundelein, Illinois
Indianapolis, Indiana
Sheffield Village, Ohio

Products include:
– Cordova Stone
– Franklin Stone
– Harvard Brik & Quik Brik (structural veneers)
– Waterford Stone
– Belgard Pavers
– Segmental Retaining Walls

Hardscapes Photo Gallery

Architectural & Residence Masonry Photo Gallery

Sustainable Solutions

Want to work for us?
Learn more about joining the Northfield/Oldcastle family HERE.
Check out a behind-the-scenes tour: 
Mundelein, Illinois Plant

Official website:

About Oldcastle Architectural – the leading North American manufacturer of concrete masonry, lawn, garden and paving products and a regional leader in clay brick. Other products include packaged cement mixes, lightweight aggregates, bagged decorative stone and lime.
Locations: 206 in 38 states and 6 Canadian provinces
Employees: 7000+

About our parent company:
Oldcastle – 
North America’s largest manufacturer of building products and materials. We have more than 2,000 locations throughout North America.

Connect with us:
Follow Oldcastle Careers on FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn! And, join our new Talent Community for a monthly e-newsletter with job search advice, hot jobs and employee photos.

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Spring Job Searching – 4 Factors In Your Favor

tulips1) The weather is better for networking
It was a frigid, record-breaking Winter in many parts of the country. Getting motivated to go out in the dark and drive in poor conditions was a challenge. In contrast, there’s no excuse to not attend a networking event now. Check to see if the professional association in your industry is holding a meeting. And, don’t forget – networking is not just limited to official events. You can network wherever you go. It’s a mindset, not necessarily a meeting.

2) Interviewing is easier
Interviewing is stressful enough without the added worry about traveling in bad conditions, wearing a bulky coat and boots or having to fix hat hair!

“It may seem like these are small things, but it’s the little details that can make a big difference in your confidence level,” says Corey Listar, Staffing Operations Manager for the Recruiting Office for Oldcastle. “Not having to deal with  outerwear is just one less thing you have to think about. It gives you more time and energy to focus on the interview at hand. And, generally speaking, when it’s warmer and sunny out, you’re in good mood and hopefully your interviewer is too.”

3) Less Competition (for some)
In this case, experienced job seekers have an edge. Take advantage of it.  Soon-to-be high school or college grad? You should be starting your search now – especially for Summer opportunities. The Spring job fair season is in full swing. As Summer hits, the beach may beckon, but do your best to ignore the temptation. Passive job seekers (currently employed people open to the right opportunity) are always sought after, no matter the season.

4) More conducive hiring cycles
For many government agencies and not for profits, the fiscal year starts July 1st. Spring and early Summer is the ideal time to look for a job. For those organizations, the budgets are in place and they are actively seeking candidates. Don’t ignore companies that have a different budget cycle either.  No matter what the hiring cycle is, you want to get your resume out there. Do your best to be among the first batch of people to be considered when hiring starts back up again. In addition, it’s important to keep in mind that people retire, switch jobs or are let go for poor performance in every season. You want to be ready to take advantage of these opportunities as well.

Enjoy this Spring and embrace the sunny days, but don’t let your job search languish. The most successful job seekers are committed to their job search no matter what the calendar says.

Looking for more career advice? Check out this post: Stressed? 4 Hints To Handle Workplace Woes.


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

How To Write A Better Resume – The Top 10 Tips From Our Recruiters


One page resume vs two? Watch this 1-minute clip to hear what our VP of Recruiting recommends.

There are a lot of questions out there about writing resumes. One page or two? Functional or chronological? Our recruiters look at dozens of resumes a day, so they’ve seen it all. Members of this team spoke to college students recently about resume writing.

Here’s What You Need To Know
1) Font – Make sure the font you use is something simple and easy to read. Don’t get too creative or crazy. Folks in advertising and marketing fields have some leeway here. Whatever font you do use, don’t make it too small! If you have to drastically decrease the font size, it’s time to go to another page.

2) Objective/Summary
There are differing views on this one. Don’t make your summary too broad. Also, red flags go up if your objective says one thing, but all your supporting bullets and experience don’t lead to that role. If they don’t match, that is an indicator that the position may not be one you are qualified for or should pursue.

“If you have been in accounting for 15 years, I am going to assume you want an accounting role.  If you have been in accounting for 15 years and you want to change careers, I would want that in an objective.  I do think an objective is valuable for those just starting a career. Other than that, I don’t give them much value.”
– Recruiting Office Staffing Operations Manager

3) Entry Level positions – less is more
Employers know that graduating seniors don’t have a lot of experience. Don’t add fluff just to fill space. Internship, co-op or volunteer work always looks great on a resume. Many students tend to add coursework taken. Listing a few courses is fine, especially if they are directly related to the job you want. Don’t over-do it though. We don’t need your entire transcript.

4) Keywords – a must, especially for technical fields
Recruiters search LinkedIn and resume databases by keyword. If you don’t have keywords within your bullet points, you may not come up in search.

5) Flow – put the most recent/relevant experience at the top
Always start with the most recent experience and work backward. Show your resume to a relative or friend. How does it read? It should flow nicely. They should be able to tell what kind of job you’re going for.

6) Contact information – always include your LinkedIN profile
Not on LinkedIn? You need to be! LinkedIn is becoming increasingly more important for job seekers and employers. Make sure your profile is robust AND matches the tone of your resume. If you customize your resume too much and don’t do the same to your LinkedIn profile, it can appear that you’re not sure exactly what kind of job you want – or, even worse, that you’re not qualified for it.

7) Grammar/Spelling – Triple check for errors. Get a second or third set of eyes to review your resume. Spell check won’t catch every error.

8) Cover letters are important – especially for entry level job seekers
There are various opinions on this one. Even if that particular recruiter or hiring manager doesn’t place a big emphasis on them, do you really want to take that chance? Always present yourself in the best light, and that includes a well written cover letter. This is your chance to really show why you should be called in for the interview. Review the job description and use that as a basis to explain why you match what the employer is looking for. Not a good writer? There are many resources out there with samples and advice to help you write a good cover letter.

9) Focus on achievements/accomplishments – avoid a laundry list of tasks
Recruiters read A LOT of resumes. After awhile, they can all start to blend together. Imagine seeing resume after resume with what basically amounts to a job description with a list of responsibilities. We don’t want to know your day-to-day tasks! We want to know how you performed. You can show this by translating those duties into accomplishments. We can’t emphasize this enough! To really stand out, you need to use facts like percentages and statistics to show how you made a difference at your employer. Did you increase sales by 25% in six months? Use that as one of your bullet points!

10) Don’t be afraid to go to two pages
Do you have to drastically reduce the size of your font to get everything on one page? This is a sign that you need to go to the second page. It is perfectly acceptable to have a two-page resume. Your experience and work history will dictate what you need to do. People  switch jobs more often during the course of their career than they ever did before. If you need more room to show this career progression, take it!

The competition for jobs has never been more fierce. Make sure you are rising to the challenge by using these tips to make your resume the best that it can be!





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Filed under Job Search, job search advice, job search tips, resume, Resumes

April Fool’s-Proof Advice To Ace That Interview

april fools dayNo fooling here! We want to help you be prepared for your interview.  Whether it’s been one or one thousand days since you’ve been on an interview, these tips can help.

1) Practice, practice, practice. Brushing up on the basics will only add to your confidence level. Do a mock interview with a friend or family member. They will be honest in terms of how you come across. No one around? Sit in front of a mirror and see how you look answering questions. Here’s a List of Sample Questions to use. Pay particular attention to vocal habits that could be distracting (saying um, like, etc.)

2) Be prepared in case standard interview questions are rephrased. Interviewers may not ask typical questions (i.e. “What is your weakness?”) directly, but in a more roundabout way. Don’t get flustered.  Whatever question is asked, your answer should portray you as confident and capable.

3) Don’t rattle off what you did at a job, but HOW you saved your employer time, effort and money. According to Staffing Manager Corey Listar, “Recruiters and hiring managers are always impressed with people who know how to sell themselves and use numbers, percentages or examples to back that up.  The more you can verbalize how you made a positive difference as an employee, the more interested the employer will be in you as a potential hire.”

4) Embrace your nerves. Being a little apprehensive is normal. Let that nervous energy work for you. Remember, you already made it this far. Take a deep breath, use a mantra or phrase if you need to (“I can do this, I got this”) and calmly, yet confidently, showcase your strengths.

5) Don’t just talk, but listen. It’s easy to fall into the trap of being so overeager to share your enthusiasm that you end up talking too fast and too much. Slow down a bit. Listen to what the interviewer is really saying. Their response can often give you a clue as to what kind of answer they are looking for.

Interviewing is no joke, on April Fool’s day or on any other day of the year. Use these tips to come across as the confident, dedicated, desirable employee you are!


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 FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest, and LinkedIn!


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Filed under Careers, Interviewing

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