Monthly Archives: February 2017

Rough Job Search? Make your own luck

St Patricks Day dog

Green with envy upon hearing a friend just landed a new job? Don’t despair!
1) Reevaluate your plan
How many hours a week are you REALLY devoting to your job search? Be honest. You may have to carve out more time OR maximize the time you are currently devoting to it. Mass blasting out resumes isn’t the best option. You should spend more time researching potential employers/contacts than you do actually applying to positions.
2) Always try to get a back door into a company
Applying to “Acme” company and don’t know anyone? Broaden your search. Are any of your LinkedIn connections connected with people at the company? Reach out to your connection to ask if they might be able to make an introduction.
3) Power up your social media
Use Facebook to research company pages and to see if any of your followers have mutual connections. Fill out your profile completely to show where you work. Recruiters and hiring managers could potentially look at it. Also, make sure all your profile and cover photos are employer friendly. Even if you have all your privacy settings locked down, anyone can see those photos.
4) Take advantage of LinkedIn’s Open Candidates feature
This relatively new feature lets recruiters know you’re open to new opportunities. Don’t worry -it does not inform people at your current company. To activate, go to the preferences tab on the home page, turn sharing on and fill out the info about role types you are interested in.
5) Customize that cover letter
The jury is still out on the importance of the cover letter. Some swear by them; others question their importance. Either way, you have to make yours the best it can be – just in case!

“Take the time to customize the cover letter so it fits the particular position you are applying for. You want to make sure it reflects the particular role, and it’s not just a stock template you use for every job you apply to.”
Damon Arnold, Corporate Recruiter, Oldcastle Materials Group

Damon also mentioned that, often times, he will see a cover letter come through with a different company’s name on it. It’s imperative to be sure this doesn’t happen. He can spot a canned cover letter immediately, and this can hurt your chances. “You need to take the time to personalize it. Attention to detail like this is important and also reflects your level of interest and commitment in the position and the company.”

The cover letter also showcases your writing/communications skills. Take the time to get it right. That means no typos or grammatical errors. Read it aloud to a friend, and make sure you proofread. It should flow easily. Don’t throw in unnecessary jargon or fancy language. Industry terminology is fine, but don’t go overboard. The resume is ultimately more important than the cover letter, but that doesn’t mean you should overlook the time you spend on it. You never know which employer might weigh it more heavily.

Make tweaks like this so you’ll be the next ‘lucky’ one to land a new job!

** Bonus tip **
You can send a LinkedIn message to group members you share in common. This is a great way to reach out and communicate with people who may not be a connection.

Photo Credit: DepositPhotos

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

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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!  TwitterInstagramLinkedInYouTube, and Facebook for jobs and career advice.

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5 Ways to Love Your Job Search Again

heart
No one really “loves” the job search, but in the spirit of Valentine’s Day this month, we’re hoping to show you how you can at least enjoy the journey more.

1) Expect Ups and Downs As a Part of the Process

Not only does the job search take time, rejection is inevitable at times. Just like you don’t go on one date and find true love immediately, you have to endure multiple interviews and ‘no’s’ before you get to that all important yes.

2) Don’t minimize how life changing and stressful the search can be

Have you ever heard of the Holmes-Rahe Life Stress Inventory? This is a questionnaire developed in the late 1960’s that identifies major stressful life events. Many of them are job related, including: changing to a different line of work, promotions, demotions, being fired, a change in work responsibilities and retirement. Work is a big part of our life and can easily consume our thoughts and behaviors negatively if we let it. Be aware of what a big deal it is to be be actively looking for work. However, don’t let this paralyze your search. Always keep moving forward. Your job search journey is not just the practical/mechanical part of applying and interviewing. It is interwoven with a roller coaster of emotions as well as your comfort level with change, trying new things, meeting new people and adjusting to a new environment and schedule.

3) Organization and persistence go hand in hand

Successful job seekers track their job seeking activities – which companies they’re interested in, what jobs they’ve applied to and how much time they devote to their search. They keep at it, knowing that the time spent will pay off in the end. Using our love scenario as comparison, think of that stressed out bride. She knows that planning her wedding and getting in shape for the big day is not going to happen overnight (or successfully) unless she’s focused, mindful of her schedule and determined. The beauty of all this tenacity is that worry melts away once you land your job (and, for the bride-to-be, when she’s walking down that aisle).

4) Remember the end game

Visualization can be a great motivator. Instead of focusing on all that you “need” to do, focus on what you will gain.

Change the need to a want. You don’t “need” to find a job, you “want” a new, exciting opportunity.

Take it one step further and imagine how awesome and proud you will feel on that first day of your new job (and on the day you get that first paycheck!).

5) Show your support system some love

A job seeker does not exist in a vacuum. It takes a group effort. Your job search tribe consists of family, friends, current/former coworkers and references. You need these people – for everything from mock interviews, to advice to emotional support. Don’t underestimate their importance. Make sure gratitude and appreciation come into play. There will be a time when you can be there for them as well.

Embracing a better, more loving attitude as you embark on your job search will make the entire process easier and more enjoyable.

Photo credit: DepositPhotos

A version of this post, by our Social Media Specialist, also appears on 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!  TwitterInstagramLinkedInYouTube, and Facebook for jobs and career advice.

 

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