Tag Archives: interview tips

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.

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Interviewing, Job Search, job search advice

Interview Checklist [Infographic]

These tips will help you get ready for your big interview.  Good luck – you got this!InterviewChecklist

Looking for more interview advice? Check out this post:
After the Interview – 3 Steps To Success

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

Thank you for reading!

 

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 for jobs and career advice:
Twitter
LinkedIn
Instagram
YouTube
Facebook
Pinterest

Also, don’t forget to join our Talent Community to receive a monthly e-mail newsletter with expert advice on the job search process.

Leave a comment

Filed under Interviewing, Job Search, job search advice

Too fearful to start a job search?

sailboat

“I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning how to sail my ship.” –Louisa May Alcott

Any sort of big change, career or otherwise, comes with a certain amount of discomfort. Who wouldn’t be apprehensive about starting something new and leaving familiar faces and tasks behind?

It’s not about loss
“A lot of people think about what they are giving up by switching jobs – vacation, seniority, comfort and familiarity – and that is scary! Instead, think about what you could be gaining by letting go of that fear.  This is an opportunity to grow within a new company, bring your experiences to a new team and make new friends and new experiences.” – Corey Listar, Staffing Operations Manager

Redefine what an interview is
Yes, they are testing you, but you are also testing them. Go into the interview with this mindset. You’re like a detective – gathering facts. This simple switch in mindset can help alleviate your apprehension about the interview process.

 “People should look at an interview as gaining additional knowledge or as an informational interview in the beginning.  They should interview the person they’re speaking with to get information about the company and about the role and expectations to ensure it’s going to be a good fit for them.”  – Erin Bardwell, Staffing Manager

Take a risk for the greater reward
Sure, you can stay at your current job. BUT, if you’re miserable there, where does that get you? Many people stay in jobs that are no longer a fit for them for far too long. By doing so, they are missing out on the chance for personal and professional growth.

“The only way you can change your life is to take a chance.” – Deonna Campbell, Corporate Recruiter

The more you put yourself out there, the easier it gets.
Do you get engaged after your first date? Highly doubtful. Along the same lines, few people land the first job they apply to, so don’t get discouraged nor give up if your initial efforts aren’t a success. It’s a competitive job market out there. Your biggest arsenal against the competition is to know your market value (there are many websites that can help you with this), the kind of job you’re looking for and how to show your future employer that you have the skills they need.

Don’t let the fear of the job search process hold you back. Believe in yourself, look forward to the possibilities ahead and take the leap!

Looking for more career advice? Check out this post: 4 Quick Tips To Improve Your Resume

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 for jobs and career advice:
Twitter
LinkedIn
Instagram
YouTube
Facebook
Pinterest

Also, don’t forget to join our Talent Community to receive a monthly e-mail newsletter with expert advice on the job search process.

Leave a comment

Filed under Job Search

The Road To A Good Interview – Ten Simple Steps To Success – Infographic

  1. Do a trial run to the interview location
  2. Show up early
  3. Put your cell phone away
  4. Be on your best behavior
  5. Greet your interviewer with a firm handshake
  6. Have a list of questions to ask, but don't do all the talking
  7. Don't focus on the money
  8. Get a business card (name/contact info) from everyone you interview with
  9. Send a thank you note after the interview
  10. Celebrate your new job!

Looking for more career advice?
Check out this post:
How to write a better resume – the top 10 tips from our recruiters

Thank you for reading!

P.S. If you like our infographic, please share it.

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.

Leave a comment

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

4 Ways To Rise Above Job Search Rejection

2) Turn to (or create) your job search “village” for advice and support
Embarking on a job search solo is just asking for trouble. Other job seekers, friends and family can help you handle the ups and downs associated with the journey. Don’t be afraid to ask for their support, help and encouragement. You don’t have to go through this process alone! There are numerous job seeker support groups offered through your library, college alumni office or local department of labor. Here’s a list of Job Search Support & Networking Groups by state.

3) Regroup and update your plan of action
Yes, the old adage “try, try again” is true. Throwing in the towel is not an option. Is there anything you can differently? Go over your resume again. Get another set of eyes to take a look as well. What about your interview skills? Mock interviews can be very beneficial. Practice does make perfect. Go over every detail of your job search – from your original cover letter to your outfit. Tweak, update and improve if necessary.

4) Make time for non-job related fun
Re-energize and re-charge with a walk. Go to the park, watch a funny movie or just sit outside for bit. You don’t have to do anything expensive or extravagant. Relax and give yourself a break. Remember, you are not defined by your job! You work to live, not vice versa. Don’t let the process beat you down. Make time to savor the downtime you do have. Once you start working again, you won’t have the luxury of this flexible schedule and free time.

The job search process takes time. It can be easy to let it get the best of you. However, if you continue to be patient, persistent and proactive, you will find a job that is the best fit for you!

This post, by our Social Media Specialist, originally appeared on LinkedIn. Looking for more career advice? Check out this post: 7 Simple Salary Negotiation Tips.

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Careers, cover letter, Interviewing, Job Search, job search advice, job search tips

%d bloggers like this: