Category Archives: job search advice

Resolve to Keep Your Career On Track

Cheers to the New Year!

Let’s start with some good news. According to the December LinkedIn Workforce Report“U.S. hiring has, on average, been 10.4% higher in 2017 than in 2016.”

If this trends continues, prepared job seekers will find greater employment opportunities. The key term here is “prepared.” You need to make a plan, have your job search tools (resume, LinkedIn profile, references, etc.) ready to go at a moment’s notice. What else can you do to tip the job search scales in your favor?

Map out a year long goal list broken down by quarters, months and weeks. Have you heard the saying “A goal without a plan is just a dream”? Take the time NOW to map out where you want to go and how you want to get there. We know, it’s not rocket science. Yet, vague, unwritten goals aren’t going to get you anywhere. Having a tangible record of where you stand and how you are going to move forward gives you momentum. It can be on a calendar, in a word document or other medium. The main point is to draft out what the plan is. The more detailed, the better. Start with the big goal and then work your way backward. For example, say the goal is to get a new job by May:
January – Week 1 – Start resume, Week 2 – Update LinkedIn Profile, Week 3 – Start researching jobs and job listings, Week 4 – Attend new networking event
February – Week 1 – Set up informational interview, Week 2 – Start being more active on LinkedIn, Week 3 – Go to local job fair, Week 4 – Prepare references list
Your tasks may vary, but the important thing is to commit to action and then follow through.

Anticipate Setbacks Life happens. You may get sick, your babysitter may cancel, you may have to do overtime at work. So many things can happen that can set you off course. When disruptions occur, you can either falter or go to Plan B. For example, if you had planned on devoting an hour to redoing your resume at night, but an ill child made that impossible, you need to reschedule it to another night or the weekend. This may mean cancelling other plans. This part of the process is not fun. However, some sacrifice is needed on your journey. The perseverance will be worth it.

Start being skill focused. Aspirations are all well and good, but at the end of the day, it’s imperative that you keep your skill set up by continually growing and learning in your field. LinkedIn recently rolled out a new feature that lets you know how you stand skill-wise when it comes to people with similar job titles. Their new monthly notification suggests relevant skills among people with your same job title. Why is this important? Well, to start, recruiters search for employees by skill.

Consider this – “Those with five or more skills on their profile are discovered up to 27x more in searches by recruiters.” Source: LinkedIn Official Blog, 12/8/17

If that doesn’t give you motivation to add more skills to your LinkedIn profile, we don’t know what does.

Not feeling up to speed on a particular skill? No problem – LinkedIn learning offers a FREE MONTH of the “most in-demand business, tech and creative skills from industry experts.” It’s a good start, and easy to do from home. You can even search and filter courses by skill level, type and time to complete (as seen below).

Pick your battles wisely
Are you looking to get a new job, lose a lot of weight, save a ton of money and travel the country in 2018? Wow – those are admirable aspirations. Just be careful to not bite off more than you can chew. It can easy to become overwhelmed and discouraged. It might be better to plan out one big goal (the job search for example) and embark on the others as secondary goals. For instance, healthy eating and moderate exercise will make you healthier and more confident during your job search, but instead of aiming to lose twenty pounds, go for ten instead. Pressuring yourself with too much, too fast, and too unrealistic is just going to backfire.

Take these tips and go for your goals this year. We’re excited to hear about how well you do! Keep checking back throughout the year for follow up blog posts on how you can take your job search journey to the next level.

As always, thank you for reading! #Happy2018

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.

Photo Credit: DepositPhotos

 

 

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Got a case of the career blues?

Blues

Don’t be a grinch – we can help! Whether you’re employed or actively looking for work, there are ways to make the most of the season.

Go To Your Holiday Party!
According to a study conducted on behalf of LinkedIn, “28% of U.S. professionals have learned about a new opportunity and 26% have gotten face time with executives they wouldn’t otherwise get to speak with. You never know, you could meet a new friend, mentor or even future boss.” Make every effort to attend, and have a good time – just not TOO good of a time (and we know you know what we mean). Love them or hate them, holiday parties are an annual ritual. Showing up may not be mandatory, but it sends a clear message if you don’t go. Not working? There are still many holiday events and mixers you can attend. Professional associations and groups often hold parties for members and non members. This can be a great way to expand your network.

Get Set To Set Goals
The chance to start fresh is always appealing. What didn’t go so well this year? Do you need to make a bigger effort at work? Start or ramp up a job search? Be honest with yourself. No need to cast blame, but vow to be more proactive in 2018. Assess where you are today and where you want to be in a month, six months and a year from now.

Character is the ability to carry out a good resolution long after the excitement of the moment has passed. – Cavett Robert

Need a little more inspiration? Check out these quotes for the New Year.

Adopt an attitude of gratitude
While Thanksgiving is just a distant memory, there is always a benefit to showing you appreciate your colleagues and network. A simple thank you to someone who helps you at work could make their entire week.  Treat your boss or coworker to coffee. Bake or bring in some treats to the office. Another easy idea- endorse or write a recommendation for someone on LinkedIn. Don’t do this expecting a recommendation in return. Act without reciprocal expectations. Kindness counts.

Give back
Volunteering is another good way to give back and say thanks. Many organizations can use help this time of year. It doesn’t take a lot of time, and can also be a good way to meet new people and make connections.

Christmas Xmas Winter Holiday Concept
Celebrate the Spirit of the Season
Generally, people are in better moods as the holidays approach. Try to get into this spirit. We know that if you’re unemployed, underemployed or at a careers crossroad, it can be easy to fall victim to job search blues. Acknowledge these feelings as normal, and make the effort to engage in activities that make you happy. What else in your life are you grateful for? Discouragement and setbacks are a part of the process, but everyone deserves to enjoy the season. 2018 can be the next great chapter in your career journey!

From our team to yours, Happy Holidays!

P.S. Looking for some music to get you in a holiday mood? Check this playlist.

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.

Photo Credit: DepositPhotos

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Looking for Work? 3 Easy Things To Do This December

Happy Christmas mobile phone

As we barrel towards the holidays, things tend to get busier with parties, shopping, cooking and all the other activities associated with the season. Keep your job search momentum going now so you can start 2018 off without regret.

1) Do an audit of your LinkedIn page   
When was the last time you really looked at or even updated your LinkedIn page? Set aside some time for this important activity. To start, think back over this year – what have you accomplished? To make it easier, go back quarter by quarter. Are there projects and results you’re particularly proud of? Add those as bullets on your profile. Every job has quantifiable success stories.

Going forward, set aside a folder on your desktop or in an email folder called “Accomplishments.” In that folder, save email kudos, statistics/results for projects and anything else that you could draw on for your profile. This material is also helpful for your performance review, when you’re looking for a raise or even writing a cover letter. It’s easy to overlook or forget all the good things you did over the course of the year.  In 2018, vow to make this task a habit.

2) Party with a purpose
You’ve worked hard all year, and now it’s time to unwind and let loose. It’s fine to partake in some adult beverages and have a good time – within reason of course! We’ve all heard the horror stories of people who went a little TOO crazy at the annual holiday bash. Make sure to keep it under control. Mingle with your coworkers and celebrate, but don’t go overboard with anything you might regret. Additionally, make it a goal to talk to at least one colleague you don’t know as well, for at least a few minutes. It never hurts to keep up those connections!

3) Check out LinkedIn’s newest feature – Career Advice
According to their blog, “whether you need advice on your career path, switching to a new industry or best practices for a project you’re working on, Career Advice can help you find and connect with the right person who can help.”

This feature looks like it has some interesting possibilities, and is easy enough to start – simply pick the kind of advice you need, review the matches and then start chatting. Like they say “One conversation can change your career.”

Conversation

Final thoughts
While there are many other activities you can do to keep up your search, we are going to keep this post short. The important thing is to stay focused on your larger goal (finding a job, getting a new job or changing careers) while still making time for the festivities of the season.

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.

Photo Credit: DepositPhotos

 

 

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5 Ways To Brand Yourself [Infographic]

5WaysToBrandYourselfInfographic

Want to work for Oldcastle?
Visit us at Oldcastle Careers.

Follow us!
TwitterInstagramLinkedInYouTube, and Facebook for jobs and career advice.

Oldcastle is North America’s largest manufacturer of building 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.

 

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Have you heard of these new LinkedIn features?

Animated image of two people talking through cups as they appear on a computer screenLinkedIn is constantly evolving, so it can be easy to miss new enhancements. This post doesn’t cover every new LinkedIn feature, but hopefully there are enough here to pique your interest and get you more engaged on the site.

1) You can now add multiple photos to a status post. As of right now, this is only available on mobile iOS, but Android and desktop will be next. Photos dramatically increase engagement, so it’s worth adding visuals to your updates. If you have an iPhone, give it a try – you’ll be ahead of others who don’t know about this functionality yet!

2) Tap into your alumni network with the Alumni Tool. See “what companies your alumni work at, where they live now, what skills they have and what they studied to get to where they are.” This can be a great tool to use to find people at your target companies, make connections and be introduced to an even wider network that share your same educational background. You can filter results by years attended or graduated and date. You can even change the university. Take a look at this screen shot (below) to see the wealth of information now available.

Scrolling a little further, you also get a screen like the one below. From this screen, you can easily message fellow alumni and see what connections you share.

3) Up your engagement by adding images to your comments. Simply click the photo icon to add an image and add your comment like you normally would. This is another easy way to stand out.

4) Say hello to Search Appearances! Available since late June, this feature tells you how many people found you via LinkedIn search, where they work and their job titles. This is a good way to investigate companies you may not have known about previously. Also, take notice of the industries and types of companies. If you’re not attracting your target organizations, this is a good time to edit your LinkedIn profile in order to do so.

To get to this information, go to View Profile first, scroll down once you’re on that page and then click on Search Appearances.

Here’s an example of what you will see (below)

** Note – sometimes LinkedIn does not roll out changes to all users all at once. So, if you don’t have access to all of these features yet, don’t fret – they’re coming.

P.S. Want to keep up with the latest LinkedIn updates? Subscribe to their blog. Their “Tuesday Tips” posts are especially helpful/informative. Many of the tips in this post are a compilation of their advice. Find previous posts here: LinkedIn blog.

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

Photo Credit: DepositPhotos

Want to work 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.

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Everything You Wanted To Know About References But Were Afraid To Ask

references road sign illustration designOne of the most searched questions that brings people to our blog is – “Is it a good sign if they contact my references?” The answer is a resounding yes! If it gets to the point where a prospective employer requests references, you can feel confident that an offer MAY be headed your way.

However, a lot can happen between requesting your references and a potential job offer. Some of it you can control, some you can’t. Let’s start with the basics:

Why are good references so important?
You may think that reference checking is a formality – that either the employer won’t bother calling them or will only ask for verification of basic information such as dates worked. While this is true in some cases, it is very far from the truth in others. Go into your job search and interview expecting your references to be called if all goes well.

Who should you pick as a reference?
You want to pick a supervisor, boss or superior you’ve worked for over the years.  Your neighbor, pastor, best friend, colleague or parents are not good references!

Depositphotos_31386347_m-2015

How many should you have?
3 to 5 is a good basic number.

How do you prep your references?
By all means, let them know that they may be called! However, do NOT reach out every time you have a job interview. If you’ve had a few interviews and can tell the company is interested and asks for references, then you can give your references a heads up.

Sending your references a copy of your resume and even a link to the job description is helpful. Always make sure to thank them – even before they are called and definitely after! In addition, encourage your references to call the hiring manager as soon as they can (if they missed the call and were left a message).

Fair or not, you are being judged on everything – including how long it may take for a reference to call the hiring manager or recruiter back.

Think about it – which looks better – a reference so pumped about you as an employee that they call back right away or one who waits a half day or day to respond?

Poor employee ! Company performance audit checklist

What do recruiters and hiring managers want to hear?
They want to hear about your accomplishments – not canned or rehearsed answers. Enthusiastic, thoughtful commentary on why you were a good employee will go a long way.

How should younger job seekers handle references?
If you haven’t been in the workforce long enough to have former employers to use as references, you can always reach out to a former professor, sports coach or someone in authority who would be a good spokesperson on your behalf.

Do I need to put References Available Upon Request on my resume?
No. This is just a waste of space and is seen as a given. You should have a list ready to go when asked. Do not offer this list up. Wait until you are asked for it. Also, make sure all the contact information on there is current. It’s also helpful to add some context to the list – for example:
John Doe, my former Supervisor at Acme Corporation, 333-3333

What can job seekers do to make sure they have good references?
Don’t just reach out to your references when you need them! Keep in touch with them via LinkedIn, email or even a text. No one likes to be used! It’s up to you to cultivate and maintain good professional relationships so you will have a pool of people to draw from when the time comes.

What do I do after my references are called?
Reach out to them and thank them for being a reference. You can also find out how the call went.

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.

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

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Pave Your Way To A Better Job

Road making

Step 1 
Map out a two month plan. 
The job search takes time. Start by listing out activities and goals. You can’t control the employer end of the process, but you can take ownership of what you do. Here’s a sample:
Week 1: Update LinkedIN and resume, line up three references.
Week 2: Search online for jobs – using LinkedIn, Google, Indeed, etc. Write cover letters and apply.
Week 3: Start a list of target companies – look to see if you have any mutual connections at those companies (via LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter). Reach out to those connections.

Step 2
Budget out your time.
If you’re currently employed, your time challenges need to be addressed. Carve out time after work or on weekends. This should be scheduled in – not just a haphazard thought. Schedule it like you would any appointment. For instance, “I will job search for one hour every Tuesday and Thursday night between 7 and 8 pm.”
If you’re currently unemployed, you have more time to search, but you also have more time to procrastinate and get distracted. Schedule your time in shifts, allowing for breaks. For example:
9 am to 10 am – Do a LinkedIn status update, look at the job listings on Monster or Indeed, reach out to two contacts.
10:00 to 11:00 – Attend local networking job search group
11:30 to 12:30 – Meet former coworker for lunch
1:00 to 4:00 – Write cover letters and submit applications.

Step 3
Get a support system and get serious about networking.
The job search has its ups and downs, and you have to be prepared to handle the uncertainty. Discouragement and disappointment ARE part of the process. It’s how you react and forge forward that is going to make the difference between a short job search and a long one.

matthewweinrichLearn how to effectively network. Looking for a job is a full time job, so you should attend networking events and get to know people in a similar situation. If someone you met gets a job, they could potentially refer you to any openings they hear of, and vice versa.  

In addition, use LinkedIn and follow the companies you are interested in working for. Try to connect to some employees who work there. Also, join groups pertaining to your field or industry.
Matt Weinrich, Lead Operations Recruiter, Oldcastle

Step 4
Just get started and keep going
It’s really important to not get sidetracked. It’s easy to let the day-to-day, along with holidays, vacations, etc. – even the change of season (“It’s so nice out, no one is hiring in the Summer, I’ll just take a break!”) cloud your thoughts and get you off course. The longer you resist or postpone the search, the longer it will take – and you are letting your competition win. If you find this happening – do some real soul searching. Maybe you aren’t really ready to leave your current job. And, if you are out of work, maybe it’s the type of positions you’re looking for. Is a career change in order? Our thoughts and actions (or in this case, in-actions) give us clues. Listen, learn and act upon them.

Photo Credit: DepositPhotos

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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Stay Up-To-Date – 3 LinkedIn Changes You Should Know About

Depositphotos_6058464_m-2015

We all want to expand our network, and, when it comes to the online job search, LinkedIn is increasingly the go-to destination. It has over 450 million active users, and growing. LinkedIn recently revamped the look of the site, as well as many features. Here are a few to note.

  1. You can sort your news feed again. For some unknown reason, LinkedIn took away this functionality, but has since restored it. The default setting is “Top” stories, but if you want to see the most recent posts, just click on the down arrow and change it to “Recent.”
  2. LinkedIn now allows you to edit your status posts.
    This is great news! Now, if you made a typo or mistake, or just wanted to update your status, LinkedIn allows you to do so. Previously, this was not an option. You had to delete the post and start over. Simply click on the three dots to the right, and click on the pencil to edit. As you can see, you can also copy the link to post or delete it entirely. Thank you LinkedIn for recognizing that this bit of functionality was really needed.edit
  3. The LinkedIn Privacy Policy Will Be Updated Next Month It can be too easy to blindly accept privacy policies – after all, aren’t they standard? They certainly aren’t the most riveting reading, that’s for sure. However, it’s important to know the information sites gather and how they use that information. This is especially true when it comes to LinkedIn – which is basically a repository for a lot of personal information – from where you work, to dates of employment to your educational background. Be sure to be aware of what the updated policy is. The new policy goes into effect June 7th, 2017. Click to see the policies (changes are highlighted): Privacy Policy & User Agreement.

LinkedIn can be a powerful career enhancing and job search tool. They constantly make changes (some good, some not so good). Stay aware of what’s going on with the site, and we’ll do our best to keep you in the loop as well.

Happy Networking!

P.S. A version of this post, by our social media specialist, also appears on LinkedIn.

Photo Credit: DepositPhotos

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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Step it Up! 7 Ideas To Move Your Job Search Forward This Year

progress1One of our company divisions recently sponsored a Fitbit competition. Is there any correlation between challenging ourselves physically and the mental stamina it takes to find a new job? One of the challenge participants shares lessons learned and tips to help you on your own job search journey.

1) Don’t underestimate yourself
Our thoughts can often limit our behaviors. When I first started the challenge, I had my doubts on how I would do. While I am competitive (for some things), I’m also realistic. I have a sedentary desk job. How was I going to increase my activity enough to counteract that? How was I going to compete against other employees who had more active construction jobs at my company? The same self limiting thoughts may occur to you when you embark on a job search. How long is this going to take? How can I compete against others with more experience or a better background?

Here’s the thing – there will always be people with more experience, better odds and more advantages in the game – whether it’s for a contest or a job. You can’t sell yourself short before the challenge or job search journey begins. You just have to start.

StepIntoSpring

2) Silence your inner critic
Are you guilty of negative self talk? It’s hard to break the self destructive habit of thinking of everything that could go wrong. In a job search or interview situation, this can destroy your confidence. You can’t let the critic win! Even silly visuals like imagining a stop sign when that bad chatter comes into your head can help. A motto, mantra or inspirational quote can also be helpful. I constantly told myself to “just keep going.”

3) Stop comparing yourself to others
This one is hard. Fitbit has an online leaderboard where you can see how you rank on a daily and weekly basis. It’s fine to know where other people stand, but it can also make you crazy. In the job search, there are obviously other people interviewing. You can’t change that reality, but you can prepare yourself to do the best you can. Spend extra time researching the company, revising your resume and practicing your interview skills.

watch4) Get a strategy

My strategy was to increase my activity and duration weekly. I wasn’t going to increase it all at once that first week, because then my competition would see that and keep increasing theirs. Slow and steady – try to be the underdog, below the radar. In your job search, you want to be selective. Set up a schedule of job search activities with target dates. Use an excel spreadsheet if that helps. Target employers and jobs, customize your resume and cover letter and have goals. You can’t ultimately control what the employer decides, but you can control how you handle the process.

5) Just start doing it and KEEP GOING – no matter what
The toughest part of the Fitbit challenge was the daily grind. It was exhausting. Running in the cold, wind and rain – it was less than ideal. There were points where my feet and toes felt numb. Honestly, I was ready to bail by the end of day three. Fitting in time to workout 3x a day during the week and more on weekends was tiresome. It also left me no time to do much of anything else – for an entire month. The job search game is also draining – maybe not as much physically, but definitely mentally. Get a support system that can cheer you on. For me, it was others in the contest. Do you know other job seekers? Find your tribe so you can bounce ideas off them. Having others who can relate to what you are going through will get you through the bad times and makes celebrating the wins even better.

6) Consistency is key
This one holds true in almost every area of life. I had one “low” step day during the contest. I certainly didn’t throw in the towel. I just upped my game to counteract it. It averages out over the duration. It’s the day to day efforts that will pay off in the end. You can’t let anything veer you off course. There was another time (mid challenge) that I walked out to my car and discovered that I had a flat tire. Oh no! How was I going to get my steps in? I needed to get home and get on my treadmill. Sadly, this was my first thought. But, for any obstacle, there is a solution. I called AAA and, while I waited the two hours (!) for them to arrive, I did laps in the parking lot. It wasn’t ideal, but it worked.
If you don’t land one job, there will always be another one to apply to. You won’t get a job in a day. It’s the culmination of weeks and months of effort to win the coveted prize. Getting a job takes dedication, commitment and consistent, concerted effort over time.
7) Finish strong

By the end of week four, I was over it. My coworkers were over hearing me talk about it. I just wanted my life back. I did not want to walk, run, jump or do a thing. However, that mental and physical exhaustion wasn’t going to beat me. You can’t let the discouragement and ups and downs of the job search get to you either. If you keep at it, you will prevail. When you start something, you finish it. I dug deep and kept going, eventually upping my daily steps from 30k, to 40k, then 50k and finally 60k+ on that last day (over 24 miles). Yes, it took til the final hour of the final day (11:40 pm to be exact). But, at least I knew that I gave it my all. There is satisfaction in a job well done – whether that be a contest like this or your job search. You can do this – keep going.

Photo Credit: Allied Building Products

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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What LinkedIn And Facebook Just Did To Help You With Your Job Search

Hand Holding A Social Media 3D Sphere

Advances and competition among social media, job search platforms and technology mean that methods and strategies change quickly. Here are a few to be aware of – adjust and adapt accordingly!

LinkedIn’s Makeover

You may have noticed that your personal LinkedIn page looks vastly different. This new ‘face’ rolled out to some users in January, and eventually all users will see the new design.Visually, the change was meant to streamline the site, make it more appealing and encourage users to spend more time LinkedIn. The jury is still out on how users are embracing these changes, but it’s important to be aware of what they are and how you can use them to your advantage.

Menu Bar – This thinner menu bar is similar to the one on the LinkedIn mobile app. Notice how now you can easily view your Notifications. This is a great way to see how your content is doing. Simply click on the bell to see them (it previously was a flag icon).

menubar

Look to the left of the Menu Bar, and you’ll also see your Activity Feed – giving you an at-a-glance update on how many people viewed your profile and posts. It’s important to keep track of views – especially if your goal is to increase your reach, visibility and engagement. actvity

Summary section
Viewers will only see the first few lines (before they have to click to see more). Make the most of those first few sentences to really sell yourself. What you see ‘above the fold’ is what recruiters or anyone viewing your profile will see.

Background photo: Recommended size is now 1536 x 768 pixels. Test this out – some photos can look ‘off’ even at the recommended size.

Public Profile URL
To see/grab your LinkedIn URL, click on ‘Me’ from the Menu Bar and then ‘Edit Public Profile.’ This the where you will see your LinkedIn link address. We still recommend customizing this address to make it easier to share/remember.
profileedit

Status Updates/Sharing – This is where you can share articles, photos or write an article. Previously, this was where you started blog posts as part of LinkedIn’s self publishing feature. *Note – LinkedIn no longer notifies all followers/connections when you publish an article.
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Facebook

Employers can now post jobs to Facebook, and you can apply via the site. As this article in Forbes describes it, “Companies now will have a bookmark on their Facebook pages where they can post job openings that users can apply for directly on the site. Applications are automatically populated with information pulled from the user’s Facebook profile, and sent to the employer via Facebook Messenger.”

For now, job seekers will see more entry level to mid-level jobs posted. Know that companies who rely on an ATS – Applicant Tracking System (which many larger companies use) may not be able to post their jobs via this new method. To maximize this new source of postings:

  1. Make sure you fill out your Facebook profile completely – since this is what will be sent to a potential employer
  2. Start following pages of brands/companies you’re interested in working for – in case they decide to start using this feature
  3. To see the jobs, simply scroll down to the Jobs icon on the left side of your homepage. Once you click on that icon, it will bring you to the page (below, right) where you can search by location, keyword, industry or job type.

This post is meant to give you an overview of the new changes/enhancements that LinkedIn and Facebook recently made. There may be more not covered here, and more to come – as things change all the time. Let us know your experience with the new features. Best of luck to you on your job search journey, and, as always, thanks for reading!

Photo Credit: DepositPhotos

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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.

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