Category Archives: Resumes

Resume Tips From a Recruiter

We recently asked Joel Burris, a Corporate Recruiter for Allied Building Products for his advice on resumes. Joel looks at hundreds of resumes weekly. Check out these two short clips to hear what he has to say.

How long does a recruiter spend looking at a resume?

You want yours to be the first. Yes, there are times they go back to the pile – but who wants to be second place?

Resume tips recap:

  1. Make sure it’s streamlined and flows easily.
  2. Use bullets to keep it organized.
  3. It doesn’t have to be fancy – no need for photos, charts or graphs.
  4. Use a timeline format.
  5. Gaps in your work history? Provide a brief explanation as to why.
  6. Two page resumes are ok. One is fine too. Three is too much.

How can you stand apart from a pool of similar candidates?

How to stand out recap:
1) Show enthusiasm
Be excited about the opportunity and be willing to have an upbeat conversation.
2) Do a little bit of research
Learn about the company and job, including the competitors of the company.
3) Be able to articulate accomplishments at your last job
Tell stories and give examples – don’t just describe duties.

See Joel’s other posts:
4 Easy Action Steps for Veterans Transitioning To Civilian Jobs

Making it Easier for Veterans to Find Jobs

Learn more about Joel: Meet Joel B.

P.S. Looking for more career advice? Check out this post:
5 Tips to Make Your Job Search Less Taxing 

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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 forjobs 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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5 Job Search Resolutions You Can Keep

Empty road towards the big cloud and 2016

“And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been” ― R. M. Rilke

As we turn the calendar page to a fresh New Year, are you resolving to do better with your diet, exercise plan or finances? Don’t forget about your career! January is a great time to turn over a new leaf – especially if your job search has stalled. These resolutions can get you on the right track in 2016.

1.) Commit to spending more time on job search activities

If you’re unemployed, you should devote at least the equivalent of a regular 40 hour work week to networking, researching  job openings and applying to positions. If you’re employed but looking, commit to 2 hours a week for job searching (all done at home after regular work hours of course!).

2.) Schedule one networking event per month

This could range from going to a business presentation, attending a community business function or participating in a formal networking session. To find out about upcoming networking opportunities, check out business associations in your industry, the local newspaper (regular edition and business) – even your college career center (which can also be a great resource for alumni).

3.) Pick one job search tool to improve every other week

For example, January could be resumes and LinkedIn. Week one would involve an in-depth look at your resume – what’s working and what could use a little sprucing up. Get input from a friend and someone in your field. Week three could be making sure your LinkedIn profile accurately portrays your background. You could also vow to start adding more connections and liking, commenting and posting status updates on a regular basis.

4.)  Incorporate a healthy lifestyle into your job search plan

Eating right, working out, getting adequate sleep and taking time for family and friends should not be separate from your job search. A healthy, rested mind and body will do wonders for your energy and productivity in the job search process.

5) Vow to be more patient this year

It’s easy to want that call for an interview NOW. However, that is not how the job search process works. In particular, when businesses are getting back into the swing of things in the new year, you can’t expect their timetable to equal yours. Just take a deep breath and keep moving forward with steps one through four. Getting yourself worked up and stressed out won’t do you any good. If you find your stress level rising, some good de-stressing ideas include: texting/calling someone, taking a walk,  getting together with friends, going to a movie, watching a sitcom or reading a book/magazine.

Happy New Year & Good Luck – 2016 will be your best year yet!

Photo credit: DepositPhotos

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

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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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Ever feel like your resume goes into a black hole?

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If you were laid off tomorrow, would you be prepared to find a new job?

UnsplashSuccess depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure. 
-Confucius

Whether you’ve been at your job two years or twenty, there is always the possibility of being let go. So, what steps can you take to be prepared?

1) Have an updated resume on hand at all times
 A layoff is a traumatic life event. It takes time to process the shock and emotions and start your search. If you have your resume complete, that means you are at least initially prepared for the job search journey. Not only that, if you happen to be a part of a mass layoff, you’ll be one step ahead of your competition. Need some help on starting or updating your resume? Check out this article.

2) Make it a priority to check in on LinkedIn a few times a week.
It doesn’t take much time to post a status update and like or comment on what your connections are up to. Recruiters often see a flurry of activity on LinkedIn from people who have just been let go. It makes sense that you spend more time on LinkedIn when you have the day to job search. BUT, connections are better made before you need them. Networking is a give and take, and desperation never comes off as appealing. Bonus points if you get or give recommendations before you need them.  Note – don’t go overboard with this one. When you’re actually updating your page, keep the privacy settings on so people can’t see what updates you’re making. You don’t want to make your current employer suspicious.

3) Scan the online job postings at least once a week
Make it a habit to know what’s out there. You’ll start to see hiring trends. Are there certain companies who seem to be  on the upswing? The job listings will reflect that. You’ll also see some companies post the same job within the same year. Is this a clue they experience high turnover? If you hadn’t been monitoring the job search sites on a frequent basis, you would never know that position had just recently been filled.

4)  Stay current on local business news 
It doesn’t take much time to scan the business section of the local paper (online or hard copy) or catch the local news to stay informed on what businesses are growing in your community.

5) Commit to one networking event a quarter
Every field/industry has meetings and other events. The event doesn’t have to be networking focused. A training or speaking event can also provide opportunities to meet people. Don’t like to network? Read this article for some networking tips.

6) Start thinking about who you would use for references
While submitting references is usually the last part of the job search process, there are certain applications that require them upfront. Tread carefully on this step. You don’t want to ask anyone from your current job yet. You could approach a boss from a prior position to be one of your references. The point of this step is just to get you thinking about who you could use if needed. This article gives additional advice on making the most of your references.

7) Be smart about that safety cushion
The common sentiment is to have 6 months of readily available cash for emergencies. A layoff clearly counts as an emergency. You may or may not get a severance package, and unemployment only goes so far. Yes, the discipline and sacrifice to have this monetary reserve is not easy. Child rearing expenses, car/home repairs and life necessities come first. Start by setting aside twenty dollars  a week. Small amounts add up over time. Here’s an article on creating a financial safety net if you need a little nudge in the right direction.

Being job search ready at all times does not really take that much additional time or effort. While you may be fortunate enough to never experience a layoff,  this proactive approach will give you peace of mind and the tools you need to land on your feet.

Photo credit: Unsplash

This post, by our Social Media Specialist, originally appeared on LinkedIn.

P.S. Looking for more career advice? Check out this post: How To Write A Better Resume: The Top 10 Tips From Our Recruiters.

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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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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4 Surprising Things A Job Seeker Might Not Know

4 Surprising Things A Job Seeker Might Not Know

 

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Want to visit our careers page? Simply click anywhere on the image.

Looking for more career advice?
Check out this post on Ways To Rise Above Job Search Rejection.

Thank you for reading!

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

uofrpresentation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As always, thank you for reading!

Looking for more career advice? Check out this post: How To Network If You Don’t Like To Network.

This post, by our Social Media Specialist (Recruiting Office), originally appeared on LinkedIn. Please share it if you found it to be helpful!

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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, 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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Hey “Passive” Candidates – You Have The Power!

ShakingHandsThis post is for you “passive” people out there. Heads up – you are very desirable to employers! Now, don’t let this news go to your head. Just know that you do have an advantage.

Passive candidate: a currently employed individual who isn’t actively seeking another job, but would leave if the right opportunity arose.

Why do employers seek out these candidates?

According to Chris Garrie, Vice President of Recruitment for the Oldcastle Recruiting Office in Rochester, “passive candidates are happy and successful in their current position. Generally, they tend to be more loyal and have a higher potential of being successful in a new role. They tend to be more selective, only pursuing opportunities that are of great interest. In contrast, active job seekers who are out of work need to get a job quickly.”

4 Tips For Passive Candidates:
1) Be receptive to recruiters

Unfortunately, there is a stigma when it comes to recruiters. If recruiters contact you, call or e-mail them back! You have nothing to lose. Even if the opening is not something you want, you never know what that recruiter will come across in the future. A good recruiter knows who they are looking for and won’t waste your time if there is not a mutual fit. Keep those lines of communication open!

2) Don’t assume your current job is going to last forever 
Things can change in an instant, despite tenure or great work performance. Even the most stable and successful companies experience downturns. Better to be sought after while you’re employed, than to start a job search without a steady income or job to fall back on.

3) Make sure your resume and your LinkedIn profile are up-to-date
You can be a great passive candidate, but recruiters won’t reach out if they can’t find you! Your profile and resume should contain the right job title and keywords for your industry AND showcase quantifiable qualifications. Don’t just list job duties. Demonstrate how you helped increase sales, saved money or improved efficiency levels for your current employer. Numbers, stats and percentages really help you stand out.

4) Don’t be overconfident
Passive candidates DO have an added advantage in the job search process, but it’s no guarantee you will get the job. In the end, it still boils down to a combination of skills, personality and company/cultural fit. Make the most of your passive status, but remember – there are many other passive candidates out there besides you!

In general, passive job seekers have an edge because they can always turn down an opportunity, whereas the unemployed job seeker may not have the same luxury. While this may not be fair, it is a reality for job seekers. If you have any inkling that things are not going well at work for you or your company, put those feelers out. You are in a far better position to find a better job and negotiate for a better salary when you’re a passive candidate.

As always, thank you for reading!

Looking for more career advice? Check out this post: 5 Tips To Make Your Job Search Less Taxing.

This post, by our Social Media Specialist (Recruiting Office), originally appeared on LinkedIn. Please share it if you found it to be helpful!

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, 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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Career Help Is Just A Click Away!

jansamplenewsletterWe’re excited to announce our NEW Talent Community! If you join, we’ll email you a monthly newsletter full of tips and career related topics, ranging from how to write a better resume, to advice on answering tricky interview questions and much more. You’ll also find recruiter profiles, company spotlights, employee/site news and hot jobs.

It’s a great way to keep your career on track, whether you’re actively looking for a job or just thinking about switching employers.  We’ll also archive older issues online. Simply click below to subscribe. You can opt out at any time. Not looking for a job? Help out a friend who is and send them this link: http://oldcastlecommunity.monster.com/

videoClick HERE to watch a short clip about our newsletter.

P.S. Do you have any topics or questions you would like to see covered in the newsletter or on our blog? Suggestions and comments always welcomed!

 

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6 Resume Blunders To Banish In The New Year

Happy New Year!

1) Treating your resume like a one-size-fits-all document
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you can use the same resume for every position that you apply to. Yes, you can have a general resume as a base. But, before you hit that send button, make sure it has qualifications that match the opening you’re applying to.

2) Overlooking the details
What is the email address on your resume? “CrazyGuy21@hotmail.com” is not going to cut it. Keep it professional. Whether it’s justified or not, listing a Hotmail, AOL or other older email provider can make you look less web savvy. This could hurt you – even if you’re not going for a computer related opening. Also, make sure the font is easy to read and large enough. Remember, not everyone has 20/20 vision. Along the same lines – don’t cram too much onto one page. Editing is your friend. Less is more. Think quality over quantity. If you have to go onto two pages, that’s fine – IF you have the career progression, job tenure and accomplishments to warrant it.

3) Not having someone else look over your resume
You can work on your resume for hours, and it never fails – there’s a typo and you miss it. UGH! Make sure you get a second and even a third set of eyes to proofread your resume before you send it out. We are too close to our own work to be objective. In addition, be open to suggestions for improvements. You don’t have to act on every idea, but there could be a gem or two offered that you never thought of.

4) Ignoring the wealth of free information out there
There’s no excuse to not take advantage of all the resume advice on the web. College career planning offices post great articles. You can also check out the job search and resume advice sections on sites like Forbes, US News & World Report, Monster and CareerBuilder. Take advantage of their experts. I follow career experts on Twitter as well. Just seeing career related content can help motivate you during your search. Resume formats and trends (especially using keywords and making resumes appropriate for online application systems) have changed over the years, and successful job seekers stay on top of it.

5) Failing to customize
I work with recruiters who receive hundreds of resumes weekly. It’s surprising to learn that a large number of people do not take the time to tweak their resume bullet points to more closely match the job opening. While you can do this in a cover letter as well, we advise doing both. Note – this is not a license to exaggerate or lie. You have to have the experience and credentials!

6) Relying on responsibilities
Too many job seekers simply list what they did at a job on their resume. Big mistake! You want to highlight what you accomplished. Focus on results, not responsibilities. How much money did you save? How did you increase efficiency? You can easily transform most job duties into quantitative qualifications. Here’s an example:

The before:

  • In charge of writing press releases for the organization

The after:

  • Wrote over 30 press releases annually, resulting in numerous product placements (radio/print/TV/online) nationally – including major markets

Your bullet points will vary based on the industry, but anyone, at any level of job – from manager to entry level employee, can do this. Numbers and percentages really stand out to recruiters and hiring managers. It helps to save kudos, project results and accomplishments (emails, etc.) throughout the year so you have material to work with when trying to come up with these numbers. The goal is to translate your daily tasks into concrete stats that SHOW the positive difference you made at your company.

So, are you ready to look over your resume and make it the best it can be?Hopefully, these easy to implement resume to-do’s will make 2015 the year your resume rocks!

Looking for more job search advice? Check out this post on How To Network If You Don’t Like To Network.

P.S. Please share this post if you found it to be helpful!

Photo credit: DepositPhotos

This post, by our Social Media Specialist (Recruiting Office), originally appeared on LinkedIn.

For more job search advice, follow us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest, and LinkedIn! And, join our new Talent Community!

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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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