Category Archives: job search tips

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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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.
share

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

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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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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Are You Too Scared To Look For A New Job?

grinningpumpkin

Listen, we get it. It can be hard to to put yourself out there. Let’s address some common job search fears and how you can move past them.

  1. The Fear of Change
    This is a big one. Even if you’re in a toxic work environment, leaving to start a new job is inherently stressful. All big moves are stressful – even good ones – like getting married, buying a house, going away to school, etc. Accept that leaving the comfort zone of your current position is going to cause emotional discomfort. This is part of the process. Not feeling at least a little apprehension would be more atypical.

“Overcoming what frightens you the most strengthens you the most.” -M.Dhliayo

  1. Procrastination Nation
    It’s so easy to keep postponing your job search.” Oh, I’ll wait until after the holidays, after the kids get a little older, after ‘INSERT YOUR EXCUSE HERE’. Don’t do it. Life moves quickly, and, before you know it, we’ll be in the midst of the new year. Combat this obstacle by charting out your job search plan now. It can be as simple as drafting and following a plan: October – work on resume and LinkedIn page for a half hour on Wednesday and Thursday nights, search for jobs for a half hour on Monday and Tuesday nights, November – attend one networking event, get references lined up. You get the idea…
  2. Not understanding the process 
    If you haven’t searched for a job for awhile (or even if you have), you’ll soon realize that the process itself has changed. Completing online applications is commonplace. These ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) have their own set of rules. It’s imperative that you format your resume with keywords to increase your chances of the system making a match. Along the same lines though, good old fashioned job search rules still apply. You need to emphasize your accomplishments on your resume, as well as in an interview. The competition has never been fiercer, but knowing how to position yourself appropriately is half the battle.
  3. Thinking The Grass ISN’T Greener
    If you’ve ever left one bad job for another one, you may resist making a change again. However, if you don’t take a chance, you’ll never know! Yes, there is always the chance the next job may not live up to its potential. But, this is where your research comes in. Make sure to thoroughly research the company as best you can before you accept the offer.
    Besides perusing all their social media, look to see if you have any mutual connections or friends who know people who work there. ASK probing questions – for instance – What would people say is the best and worst thing about working here? If you could improve something in the office, what would it be?  LOOK for clues when you’re at the interview. Do people seem engaged and energetic or appear apathetic? What you hear (or don’t hear), see (or don’t see), can all be very telling. Be a detective so you don’t get burned.

At the end of the day, it’s a personal decision whether you make the decision to stay or to go. As they say though, no risk, no rewards. Fight through your fears and go for that new job!

Looking for more job search advice?
Join our Talent Community today HERE! You’ll receive receive a monthly e-newsletter with job search advice written by our own staff of recruiters and experts.To see past issues, check out our Newsletter Archive.

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

Photo Credit: DepositPhotos

A version of 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 us!  TwitterInstagramLinkedInYouTube, and Facebook for jobs and career advice.

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5 Fall Job Search Tips Recruiters Want You To Know

Winding road

As school starts and summer winds down, it’s time to think about your career! Are you happy where you’re working now? Or, are you looking for a change? Fall can be a great time to embark on a job search. Our recruiters want to increase your odds of landing that next position.

  1. Think about your timing  – don’t fall into the “I’ll wait until the New Year” trap
    Remember how you had high hopes to get a new job back in January? It’s admirable, but life has a way of getting in the way and those promises fall by the wayside. Why not get started now – and avoid the added competition that will inevitably be starting their search in 2017?
  2. Pay close attention to the job description
    The details in a job description are there for a reason.

    “If you don’t have a majority of the specific qualifications, it’s better to bypass that particular job,” says Corporate Recruiter Claire Tuck. “Employers are seeking specific skill sets. Can you do at least 80% of the items outlined in the job ad? If not, skip applying – your odds of even making it to the phone screen are low – other better qualified candidates will be the ones chosen. Your time would be better spent looking for an opening that is more closely aligned with your background and experience.”

  3. Don’t apply to numerous jobs within the same company

    You don’t want to give the impression that you’re randomly applying for just anything. You never want to appear desperate. Be thoughtful and selective.  Search for and target only those jobs that you are truly a match for, says Corporate Recruiter Brendan Sheehan

  4. Craft a 30, 60 and 90 day plan
    Map out the job search activities for the remainder of the year. It takes time to get a job, but there are proactive steps you can schedule to get there. Set up target dates for revamping your resume, searching for/applying for positions and networking. Start the schedule now – and you’ll earn yourself a break around holiday time.

    Be open to making contacts and networking everywhere you go – and not just at formal networking events either, says John McCue, Staffing Manager. You never know who the people you encounter might know. Their connections could help you land your next job.

  5. Have your success stories ready
    Now is not the time to be humble! Be prepared to brand yourself and talk about your accomplishments.

    Recruiters want to know how you made a difference where you worked. The more you can quantify and amplify your accomplishments, the more edge you’ll have over other applicants, says Cailee Medina, Corporate Recruiter. You need to be able to articulate this in your resume, during that initial phone screen, at the interview and the follow up.”

With children being back in school and summer vacations just a distant memory, you’re more apt to be able to connect with recruiters and employers during the Fall. Prep accordingly, and you could be well on your way to landing a position before we ring in the New Year!

Looking for more job search advice?
Join our Talent Community today HERE! You’ll receive receive a monthly e-newsletter with job search advice written by our own staff of recruiters and experts.To see past issues, check out our Newsletter Archive.

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

Photo Credit: DepositPhotos

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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6 Olympic Inspired Tips For Your Job Search

Medal in hand with flag on background - United States of America

Go for job search gold!

As the world watches the Summer Olympics in Rio, it’s easy to be in awe of the strength, power and determination of the athletes. While most of us will never attain that level of sports success, we can learn from an athlete’s journey.

1) Accept that we all start the journey as a novice

Novice: a person new to or inexperienced in a field or situation. Every athlete didn’t start out as a star. Even if they were gifted in a sport, they still had to start at the beginning and learn the rules of the game.

The same thing holds true for your job search. There are rules to the process. From how to craft your resume with the best keywords to submit online to what steps you can take to ensure interview success, we all need to learn what’s acceptable and how to play the game.

2) Be Willing To Put In The Behind-The-Scenes Work
Watching  the athletes perform, it all looks so effortless. What we don’t see are the hours, days and months of preparation that athlete has gone through to get there – not to mention the sacrifice/support of family and friends.

As a job seeker, you also need to be prepared to put into substantial effort to get that new job. It may take awhile, and it’s not always easy. A job you enjoy however is worth it’s weight in gold.

The good news is that – according to the most recent Society for Human Resource Management’s Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement Report (April ’16) – “Employees may now be in a better position and feel more confident in exploring employment opportunities, as indicated by their motives to leave an organization and the declining importance of job security over the last couple of years.”

3) Practice Makes Perfect
There are many stories out there about the intensive training plans of Olympic athletes. Getting up at 4 am and numerous workouts per day, along with a strict nutrition plan, are commonplace. It takes a lot to become the best. Excuses and procrastination are not an option. Take 19 year old competitive swimmer Katie Ledecky for example. “Her normal weekly schedule included six days of swim practice and three days of dry land workouts. This schedule is based on a first practice at 5 a.m. and waking up at 4:05 a.m. “She has had to wake us up a couple times, but we’ve never had to wake her up,” her father Dave said.”

If just reading about her intensive routine tires you out, not to worry! Your schedule doesn’t have to be as strict, but establishing a routine is key. Creating a job search schedule for yourself and STICKING TO IT, is step one. Take the job search process seriously. This is not the time to leave things to chance. Even if you’re not working, dress as if you were! Plan your day with purpose. 7 am – wake up, 8-9, work out, 10 -12, research potential employers, submit resumes, post on LinkedIn, 12- lunch, 12:30-5 – attend networking event, update cover letter, etc…

4) Enjoy the Journey
The athletes are not all work and no play. You need to schedule in time to relax and rejuvenate. Part of this time should include exercise and eating a nutritious diet. The calmer and more healthier you feel, the more energy (mental and physical) and confidence you’ll have to focus on your search!

5) Relish the rewards
One can only imagine the pride and joy the athletes feel when they win a medal. Your medal is the interview you get, and, ulitmately, the job you land. It’s no small victory to find a postion these days. Revel in your success. You did it – you’re a star!

6) Plan for the post games
Athletes need to have a plan for when the games are over. Once you land the job, your next plan is to start your new job off right. You also want to continue to keep up with the networking contacts you made along the way. The job search journey never really ends. Keep your eye on the prize!

P.S. Best of luck to all the athletes, including wrestler Haley Augello, daughter of Larry Augello, district manager (Chicago) at Allied Building Products (one of our divisions)!

Looking for more job search advice?
Join our Talent Community today HERE! You’ll receive receive a monthly e-newsletter with job search advice written by our own staff of recruiters and experts.To see past issues, check out our Newsletter Archive.

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

Photo Credit: DepositPhotos

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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5 Career Advice Sites To Check Out

CareerSphere.jpg
Here in the recruiting office, we do our best to keep up with the latest career and job search trends/articles. Check out these sites for great advice!

YouTern Blog  – contemporary career advice 
While the main goal of this site is to help connect young people to internships and mentors, their blog is valuable for all ages. You’ll find new posts (including Infographics) daily, written by various career experts. Recent posts include: Successful Job Search Methods: Today’s Top 10 Dos and Don’ts and Best Resume Words: Are Your Choices Working for You?.

US News & World Report Careers – career advice by category
You’ll find new articles published almost daily in one of four categories: Applying, Interviewing, Salaries & Benefits and Work Culture. Recent posts include: Get Paid What You’re Worth Using These Tips and What To Do When You’re Turned Down For A Promotion.

Career Sherpajob search/career guru
This career expert always shares easy to implement advice. Articles are in one of five categories: Job Search, Online Visibility/Reputation, Reputation Management, Social Media and Solopreneurship. Recent posts include: 9 Things You Need To Know About The Recruiting Process and Learn How To Tell Your Career Story.

Business Insider Careers – strategic career advice
You’ll find numerous articles posted multiple times a day by many different authors. This site shares information beyond just straightforward career tips. Topics can also delve into personal development. Recent articles include 7 Strategies To Make Better Decisions Faster and 16 Ways To Make A Great Impression On Your New Boss.

The Museexpert advice to career questions
This site is a wealth of information and includes a variety of articles written by many authors, including Muse Editors. The site is divided into categories, including: Recently Published Articles, The Muse Editor’s Picks,Videos and Podcasts and Long Reads. Recent articles include: The 31 Best LinkedIn Profile Tips For Job Seekers and The Ultimate Job Search Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Land a Job You’ll love.

JoinToday!

P.S. We couldn’t end this post without giving a plug for our Talent Community. Join it today to receive a monthly e-newsletter with job search advice written by our own staff of recruiters and experts. Join the community today HERE! To see past issues, check out our Newsletter Archive.

P.S. If this post helped you, or you think it can help others, please share it.

Main 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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Use Social Media To Land Your Next Job – 5 Tips To Try

Social Media Sign Take advantage of your online presence to be found, to stand out and to land your next job. How? It’s easy!
Let’s get started:
1) Fill out ALL your profile bios
Most people have their LinkedIn profile filled out, but don’t spend a lot of time making sure that their other sites are complete. Do you have your employment information listed on Facebook?  What about Twitter and Instagram? Fill out every bio with a descriptive tagline that describes who you are, where you work and how you add value.

2) Google yourself
It’s really important to know what shows up in a simple search when you type in your name. Employers are looking, so make sure what they find is appropriate. If what appears is not flattering, there are steps you can take to change the order of the results. For instance, one workaround is to start self publishing on LinkedIn. Writing a blog post on that site will not only add to your credibility in your field, it will rank higher in search results (and replace things you don’t want to appear in the top of the list).
3) Take advantage of alerts
Really interested in a company? Set up an alert on them. An alert notifies you whenever that company is mentioned in the news or online. Sure, you can do research yourself, but this is an automatic way to keep up-to-date. Interviewers love to hear that you know what their business does. You can use this knowledge and refer to it, as appropriate, in an interview or a cover letter. There are numerous sites you can use to set up alerts. We like Talkwalker Alerts, Google Alerts and Mention.
4) Give Groups A Chance
We love LinkedIn groups because:
a) You can message another contact without being their direct connection
b) They’re an easy way to connect with other people in your industry and at multiple companies
5) Maximize your media
LinkedIn:  Consistently like, comment and share content on a biweekly basis (at least), as well as post relevant, helpful industry updates. And don’t forget to follow company pages. Hint: Turn your notifications broadcast to off if you’re currently employed when you decide to start your search. There’s a delicate balance between actively looking and nurturing your career, so start slow and work your way up to being more active.
Facebook: If you’re currently employed, tread with caution here, although you can still use the site to network. If you’re unemployed, you have nothing to lose by stating that you’re looking for work. You just never know who your friends might know. For example, you could write this as a status post:
“Anyone out there know of any openings in the Nashville area in IT?”
Spend some time “liking” career pages of companies you’re interested in (including ours of course). Many companies now have two sites – the main corporate site and the careers page.  The admin of the careers page could be a good resource. They may not be in human resources, but they can answer questions and direct you to the right person if you need additional help/clarification about the company, jobs or the status of your application.
Instagram: This is a great place to see what a company culture is like. We’ve received questions about internships on our page, as well as other inquiries. Look for companies where you can see yourself fitting in. Do they show group outings and events? Know what you’re looking for and target those organizations that appear to have a similar culture.
Twitter: This is another good channel for reaching out. Follow companies and people at target companies. Like, re-tweet and share industry news. Join a Twitter chat (there are industry and career related ones). Create and use lists (a feature where you can group people in a category you designate). Here’s our “Great Career Advice” Twitter list.
Bonus Tip:
A few other tools to try:
Canva: use to make professional looking images that showcase your work or to make an Infographic resume. This is a great tool for non-designers.
BuzzSumo: this is a tool used by marketers to analyze what content works best for a topic or competitor. It can also be used to find key influencers in your industry.

Try one or more of these tips to increase your odds of landing your next position. Best of luck to you!

Looking for more career advice?
Check out this post: How to find a company to love.

P.S. If this post helped you, or you think it can help others, please share it.

Photo credit: Bigstockphoto

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. 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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Mind Your Manners [Infographic]

At a glance – what to do when you interview

Looking to knock your next interview out of the park? Check out this infographic for wardrobe tips, preparation suggestions, and interview etiquette rules!

 

Mind Your Manners: What to Do When You Interview

Via AkkenCloud

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! We’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, WordPress (our blog) and LinkedIn.

Join our Talent Community to receive a monthly e-mail newsletter with expert advice on the job search process.

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Calorie Counting & Your Career

scale

8 Success Strategies

Have you ever been on a diet? It can be a real challenge. The same can be said for job searching. It’s rare that anyone wants to do either activity, but the end results (whether it be a smaller size or a better job) are well worth the effort.

1) Consistency and patience are key to the process.
The Dieter: I’ll just drastically slash my calories, cut out all carbs, work out excessively and get this over and done with as quickly as possible.
You may be somewhat successful in the short term, but most likely you’ll be hungry, irritable and unable to sustain the effort. You’ll also be more prone to gain the weight back. Better to cut your calories reasonably, do a moderate amount of exercise and be prepared for the pounds to come off gradually.

The Job Seeker: I’ll  apply to every job that looks decent with the same resume. It’s a numbers game. I don’t have time to use LinkedIn or waste time on there. 
We get the sentiment, but blasting out resumes is not a great strategy. Instead, try targeting jobs and employers that match your skill set. Be picky! Take the time to really research companies that would be a good fit and customize your resume for each one. Learn how to use LinkedIn to your advantage (more on that HERE).

2) You need a plan, goals and accountability.
The Dieter: I’ll just eat less and move more. 
It’s a good start, but a big goal without a solid plan is just a dream. Even if you don’t track calories, carbs, etc formally, it helps to have goals you want to reach with dates, milestones and mini goals along the way.  There are free apps to track your food, activity and weight. Consider a fitness tracker to help motivate you to get moving. A chart with goal dates and what you aim to lose each week can also help. It doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated. Putting it in writing makes it real and tangible.
The Job Seeker: I don’t need to keep track of my job search activities. And, I’ll just ‘wing it’ on interviews. It’s just a conversation right?
A better idea is to start a Word document or Excel spreadsheet with dates and names of companies you applied to and when. This helps you stay organized and, if you’re collecting unemployment, will come in handy if you have to show proof of your job search. As far as interviewing, the more prepared you are, the better. It pays to practice and go into an interview knowing what kinds of questions may be asked, as well as having appropriate answers.  While an interview is a conversation, there’s much more to it than that, and there are strategies to make yours successful.

3) It’s not glamorous.
The truth about dieting is that there really is not a magic pill. It’s a grind.  You have to be vigilant and committed, day in and day out – even when you don’t feel like it. And, if you have a lot to lose, you have to sustain this commitment for months – and that’s not even counting what you have to do to maintain the loss. After the initial excitement and bigger losses in the early weeks, weight loss slows and enthusiasm inevitably wanes.

The same thing is true about the job search. Getting that first call back for an interview has you soaring! However, what will you do if you don’t get that job? Rejection stings. Time passes. Now you’re crashing. Despite the disappointment, you have to pick yourself up and continue to apply. It may take months to get that job you want. Just like you didn’t gain the weight overnight, you’re not going to get your dream job overnight either.

4) You have to be prepared for setbacks.

Wait – what- I have to do this for months? But, there’s a picnic, vacation, and holiday coming up! I’ll start after that. 

Well, the reality is, if you REALLY want to lose weight, you need to sustain your new healthy eating plan and activity level no matter what the occasion. There will never be a better time to start. Yes, dieting can be even harder on days when you just don’t want to. You know – a bad day at work, awful weather, food temptations, being sleep deprived, etc. Prepare for how you are going to handle inevitable obstacles along the way.

The same mindset holds true for the job seeker. You can stay unhappily employed or gather the courage, energy and resources to embark upon a job search. If you REALLY want to get a new job, you’re not going to let anything stop you. Determination counts for a lot. Don’t put your job search off until after the summer or next year. The time to start is now! It won’t be quick or easy, but it will be worthwhile in the end. Keep your eye on the end game – a new, more fulfilling job.

5) Get, appreciate and reciprocate your support system.
Dieters and job seekers alike need a village to be there during the ups and downs of the journey. It may be friends, it may be family, or both. There are also outside support groups (in person and/or online) that can provide a great place for camaraderie. Having others in the same “boat” (dieting or seeking employment) takes away the feeling that you’re going for this big goal all by yourself. Your tribe can help you – not just when you’re struggling – but when you reach those goals along the way. At the same time, be mindful of being encouraging and supportive to them as well! Giving back will make you feel better too.

6) Don’t beat yourself up.
The Dieter: I’m going to weigh myself every day. And, if I cheat at one meal, I might as well keep overeating. I live for cheat days. Bring ’em on!
Weighing yourself every day is just punishing yourself, as your weight can fluctuate up to five pounds. If you can’t hold out for weekly weighs ins, try every other day. Don’t let your life or mood be dictated by the scale. You may have lost inches or gained muscle. Take your measurements and use that as another way to gauge your progress. How you feel and the way your clothes fit can be another indicator of progress.

The cheating at a meal situation is a tough one. Have you ever heard the flat tire analogy? If you got a flat tire, you wouldn’t automatically discard your car or flatten the other three. You would get the one tire fixed. Along the same lines, if you overeat at one meal, do better at the next one. Don’t throw in the towel. Or, at the very least, start the next day. Don’t let one bad day turn to two, then three. You can salvage your week.  And remember, treats are ok, but too many free-for-alls are not going to be kind to your waistline.

The Job Seeker: I’m never going to find a job. Why didn’t they call me in for an interview? I’ll be stuck in this job (or unemployed) forever.
It’s easy to adopt a defeatist attitude when things aren’t going your way. We get it. You only need one yes though.  It may take twenty “no’s” to get that one job offer. It’s not ideal, but that’s just how the job process works. It’s not a reflection on you!

If you throw in the towel after a short, unsuccessful search, you’re cheating yourself out of what could have been a great opportunity. Turn to that support system we mentioned in observation #5 to get your confidence and job search mojo back. It’s not easy, but things that are worthwhile in the long run usually aren’t.

7) Celebrate the small successes.
Congratulate yourself on milestones along the way. Every pound lost is one pound less than you used to be. Every call for an interview or email from a recruiter is one step closer to that new job. Don’t wait for the big moments to pat yourself on the back. Treat yourself to a movie, new book or some other reward to keep you motivated to continue.

8) Accept that the journey never ends.
Once you’ve hit your goal weight or landed that coveted job is when the real work really begins. Now you have to prove yourself in your new job and continue those healthy habits to keep the weight off. 

Whether you’re trying to lose weight or get a better job, the power is within you. Acknowledge that there will be challenges along the way, and have a plan in place to deal with each obstacle as it arises. Remember, you’re not alone. #YouCanDoThis

Thank you for reading!

Looking for more career advice?
Check out this post: Resume Tips From A Recruiter

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

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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