Monthly Archives: June 2015

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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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.

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.

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.

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, 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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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.

Leave a comment

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

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