Tag Archives: resume advice

5 Quick Fixes To Make Your Resume Better

computer2

  1. Save the document with your first and last name. Can you imagine how many resumes recruiters receive named ‘resume’? Make it easy for them and guarantee that your resume gets in the hands of the right people, without getting lost. In addition, if you have a 2-page resume, add a header with your name on the second page. They may be printing it out, and there’s always a chance that pages could become separated.
  2. When possible, save your resume as a PDF*. Appearances are everything, and you want to make the right first impression. Saving it as a PDF will preserve the formatting, since you don’t know how it will appear to your recipient. Issues can arise based on what email provider someone uses. Better to be sure, than to have your resume appear choppy or not as originally intended. *If you’re applying online to a position, you may need to submit your resume saved in Rich Text (RTF) Format.
  3. Ditch the objective and add a Summary of Qualifications section. This can be 3-5 bullet points or a short paragraph that consolidates your top strengths and skill sets. You can easily tweak this to match the job description.
  4. Use the job description as your guide and test. Take your basic resume as a starting point. Go through the job ad, bullet by bullet, to see if what you have written on your resume matches the employer’s desired qualifications and duties. Switch out words to mimic the ad, or use synonyms whenever possible. If there is too big of a mismatch, this may be a clue that the job is not a good fit for you and that you don’t have the right background to apply.
  5. Remove your address and add your LinkedIn URL. The exception to this rule is if you’re relocating. In that case, add a line mentioning your move and the target date for when you will be at your new location.

** Bonus tip – To keep yourself even more organized, add the name of the company after your name. For example, JoeSmithAcmeCorpResume.pdf. This is especially helpful if you’re applying to multiple companies.

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

We are North America’s largest manufacturer of building products and materials. In North America we adopted our parent company name to become CRH Americas, Inc. But, the strength, quality and legacy of our Oldcastle brand remains in our product groups, Oldcastle Precast, Oldcastle Infrastructure and Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope®, as well as our Oldcastle Building Solutions team.

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Rise Above the Fog – 3 Tips To Be A Job Search Star

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  1.  The Better Way to Use “Easy Apply” on LinkedIn
    apply websiteApplying to a job via LinkedIn? Many times, you will see a button that  sends you right to the company website to apply. If that is the case, simply proceed and fill out and submit your information online.

easyapplyHowever, if you see the Easy Apply button, you only have the option of attaching and sending one file to the employer. Instead of just submitting your resume, write your cover letter on page one and then add your resume on the second page of your word document. Save this cover letter and resume document as ONE file. Most people won’t think to do this. It’s a great way to get attention among dozens, if not hundreds of other applications you’re competing against.

2) Write your cover letter like a real person
Imagine you’re a recruiter or hiring manager reviewing job applications all day. They see the same boring, formal, cookie cutter introductions and content like this:
“I became aware of this opportunity through your web page.”
or “I’m a detail oriented professional with expertise in…”
On the surface, there is nothing wrong with these sentences. But, they are repetitive, redundant and state the obvious.

You don’t need to be a professional writer to craft your cover letter in a more interesting and appealing way.

For example, here’s sample copy for a mechanic opening. It reads more like a conversation. Don’t be afraid to inject a bit of your personality in your cover letter. Read it back to yourself and have someone else read it as well. In this blurb, you get a better sense of the applicant as a person and as a candidate. They even injected industry jargon in a lighthearted way. While some industries are more formal than others, it doesn’t mean you have to be dull and lackluster in your writing. Show some enthusiasm!

I drive by your dealership daily, admiring many of the cars on the lot. When I saw your opening for a mechanic on Craig’s list, I knew it was a great opportunity for a car buff and experienced mechanic like myself. I’m looking to join a bigger organization where I can work on a wider variety of vehicles.
       As the resident ‘grease monkey’ at the small shop where I work now, I’ve risen in the ranks to head Automotive Technician. I’ve always been fascinated with taking things apart and putting them back together again. I modified my first mini bike when I was 16 years old, and have been obsessed with mechanics and car/motorcycle repair ever since then.

3) Little things count
File names matter. Make it easy for the employer. Save your documents using your first and last name and what they are. For example:

JohnJobseekerResume
JohnJobseekerCoverLetter

In addition, never overlook an opportunity to promote yourself. If you’re emailing documents, use the subject line to your advantage.
receptionist

Be bold and confident in your job search. These tips/tactics may be small things, but they can help set you apart. Will an employer hire you just because you used a catchy subject line or saved a file in a certain way? Probably not. BUT, using a combination of these ideas, being proactive and actively setting yourself apart can make a difference. If what you’re doing isn’t working, give these tips a try. We would love to know any job search hacks/ideas that worked for you, so feel free to leave those in the comments.

Thanks for reading!

P.S. Looking for more job search advice? Check out our previous post:
5 Ways To Brand Yourself

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.

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

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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

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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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 

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

4 Easy Ways To Help The Jobseeker In Your Life

1) Show interest
When a job seeker is feeling discouraged or “less than,” a simple question about how they are doing with their search can make a big difference.  Don’t dismiss or minimize their progress. Get across that you know that they are more than their occupation/employment status.

2) Offer assistance, not advice (unless asked)
It’s a fine line between being helpful and being aggressive. You may have great job search suggestions to offer, but if they are presented in a way that is perceived as being pushy, they won’t be taken into consideration. Pressuring someone never works. For spouses – this isn’t to say you can’t say something if they are obviously slacking, but find out first WHY they are not focusing on their search and make a plan together going forward. For friends – besides being there to listen, communicate to them that you care, have had success with a certain resume format in the past (for example) and are there to lend a hand.

3) Play a part in their search
This can take many forms:
– help with a mock interview or phone screen – you ask the questions
– proofread their resume/cover letter
– see if you have any social media connections at their target company

4) Provide a break 
Make this time a “no job search talk” zone. Seek out low cost activities:
– take a walk
– rent a funny movie
– play a board game
– try a new recipe
– go to the library

While these may seem like common sense tips, it can be easy to overlook the obvious – especially during such a stressful time. Looking for a job is an emotional journey for everyone – not just the job seeker. It impacts the spouse/partner, children, siblings, friends, and so on down the line.

What about you? Have you ever helped a loved one during their job search? What worked? What didn’t?

Looking for more job search advice? Check out this post: 4 Ways To Rise Above Job Search Rejection.

A version of this post originally appeared on LinkedIn.

Photo credit: mrpruen at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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.

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New School Year? It’s The Perfect Time To Get Your Career In Gear

image1Remember what it was like to go back to school? It was a combination of excitement (to see your friends) and sadness (knowing that the freedom of Summer was over) sprinkled with a bit of apprehension. What I remember most about those days (besides the awesome lunchbox I got to pick out at the store) was the chance to start fresh. Let’s take a cue from those school students we see in our Facebook feed and start fresh this fall. Instead of learning the “3 R’s” (Reading, Writing & Arithmetic), I came up with four new, action-oriented R’s:

1) Reevaluate
Are you REALLY ready to commit to the job search? If you’re employed but unhappy at your job, ask yourself first if there are any things in your control that you can do or change at work (or even at home) to make things better. In addition, if you have a lot going on in your personal life (a move, going through a divorce, dealing with an illness or other extenuating circumstance), it might be wise to put your search on hold. Not forever, but for now. Save your energy for where it will best be put to use.

If you’re unemployed and need to work, you don’t have the option to curtail your search. But, it may be time to change direction. If you can’t find jobs in one area (say marketing for example), you should be open to the possibility of another area like sales.

2) Revisit
What is or is not working with your job search? If you’re not getting any interviews, it’s time to take a really critical look at your resume. Do you have a friend who is good at writing? See if they will help. Your college career center can help as well. Reach out to see what services they offer to alumni. Local libraries often offer resume writing workshops. If interviewing is a weak spot, you can get help for that as well. Practice mock interview questions with a friend. Make an effort to start networking (and not just online!). Last but not least, make sure you are maximizing the potential of LinkedIn. Click the links in this post for helpful resources in all four areas.

3) Reinvent
The beauty of going from junior high to high school or high school to college was that you could at least try to transform into the person you wanted to be. Granted, this was not always the easiest thing to do, but it was the goal of many. A similar goal can be applied to the job search. What can you do better this time around in your career? Focus on improving your weak areas. It’s not easy to admit, for example, that you’re too defensive, a “micro manager,” strong willed, etc… fill in the blank here with whatever the case may be – but it’s a good starting point/exercise. By taking a hard look at yourself, you can map out the steps to change.

4) Revise
As with any plan, there are going to be stumbles and falls. Things won’t go exactly as planned, and that’s ok. If they did, we would all be in our ideal jobs and no one would be out of work or looking for work. Aim for progress not perfection. Be proactive on your new plan to find that new job and be prepared to change the plan along the way.

Everyone deserves the opportunity for a clean slate. If you’re stagnating in your job search or career, the new school year is a great time to Reevaluate, Revisit, Reinvent and Revise things in your professional life. Oh, and if you or your parents have any of those old metal lunchboxes, you should really look into selling them – they may be worth something! 🙂

Looking for more job search advice? Check out this post: 5 Must-Ask Interview Questions.

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.

Follow Oldcastle Careers on: TwitterLinkedIn, Instagram, YouTubePinterest 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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Ever feel like your resume goes into a black hole?

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Filed under Careers, Interviewing, Job Search, job search advice, job search tips, resume, Resumes, Work

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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Filed under Careers, Interviewing, Job Search, job search advice, job search tips, LinkedIn Advice, resume, Resumes

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

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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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Filed under Job Search, job search advice, job search tips, resume, Resumes

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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Filed under Careers, Job Search, job search advice, job search tips, resume, Resumes

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