Tag Archives: how to find a new job

Rough Job Search? Make your own luck

St Patricks Day dog

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: DepositPhotos

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

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Oldcastle is North America’s largest manufacturer of building products and materials. With more than 2,000 locations throughout North America, we are in constant pursuit of the next generation of successful decision makers, leaders and problem solvers. Learn more about joining the Oldcastle team HERE.

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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 Things you can start doing TODAY to get a job tomorrow

ToDoList

Try these tips to move your search forward faster.

1) Write down the job you want and your target start date

“I want to be in a new role as a sales representative by Labor Day.”

Why is this important? A goal without a plan is just a pipe dream. Having it in writing is the first step towards action, and shows your commitment. Now, you may not get a job by that exact date, but you would be surprised at the power of a self fulfilling prophecy. Creating a realistic deadline, combined with a plan, is a great way to start.

2) Create a simple list with target dates
Here’s an example:

  1. Update LinkedIn profile and resume by the end of the month
  2. Start researching target companies by next month
  3. Reach out and line up 3 potential references by January
  4. Start drafting a generic cover letter by end of the week
  5. Spend half hour each night looking for positions online

The theory here is the same. Looking for a job can be overwhelming. Break it down into manageable steps with corresponding dates.

3) Tell a trusted friend and your immediate family
A support system is crucial. If you’re currently employed, you do have to be careful about not making your search public. ONLY tell the people you know you can trust. You don’t want word to get out. Colleagues talk. You need to continue to give 100% at your current job, and only job search on your off time, away from the office. If you’re unemployed, you have more leeway, and should broadcast your job search to a wider net (on social media, to your circle of acquaintances, on LinkedIn, etc.)

4) Don’t underestimate the importance of the interview
How are your interview skills? Don’t be afraid to get another opinion – whether that be a friend, family member or someone who works in career development (at your state’s career office, your college career center, local library, etc.). Too many people think they can go in and wing it. Wrong. You need to be prepared. This means finding information on what the company is about, what is going on in your particular industry and being able to articulate what you bring to the table. Anticipate questions you may be asked, and be ready with a good response.

Erin Bardwell, a Staffing Manager for Oldcastle, stresses the importance of having accomplishments as part of your interviewing arsenal. “Discuss your success stories and how you made yourself invaluable to the companies you worked for prior.”

5) Reevaluate your plan monthly and adjust accordingly
If you’re not having any luck, it may be time to look at what your action steps are. If you aren’t getting calls for interviews, it could be your resume.

“Tailor your resume for the skills and technologies used at those companies, says Corey Listar, Staffing Operations Manager for the Oldcastle Recruiting Office in Rochester, NY. He also advises to “start researching companies you want to work for and try networking with people in those companies.” Use LinkedIn to see if you (or your connections) know anyone at places you are interested in. Then, reach out to those people.

Embarking on a job search requires a plan, concerted effort and support system. Let us know how it goes – we’ll be rooting for you!

P.S. Speaking of jobs, we have over 1200 openings nationwide. Check them out on our Careers Site.

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.

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