Looking for a job – especially in these challenging times with COVID-19 – can be daunting for someone looking for a career in agriculture.
The mission of AgCareers.com is to provide global talent solutions in agriculture and food. The website strives to “Feed the World with Talent” in the agriculture industry.
AgCareers.com provides some important tips for the graduating senior or someone looking to change careers and find a position in agriculture.
The site is featured by agribusinesses such as: Syngenta, Corteva Agriscience, ADM, Five Rivers Cattle Feeding, and Bayer, among others.
“We at AgCareers.com are here to offer support. To assist our employers and job seekers, we have compiled a list of resources regarding COVID-19 and the agriculture industry,” said Dana Vinson Mull, talent solutions manager at AgCareers. Those resources can be found on the website at AgCareers.com. “You will also find employment resources to help navigate through these difficult times.”
Danica Leys at AgCareers explains that the first step to applying for a position is to compile, write and print out a resume.
“A resume is a basic item for those applying for an agricultural position, whether it is a farm or ranch position, or a position with an agribusiness company, such as an ag sales position,” Leys said.
While a resume template might suggest you list all the jobs you have held, some jobs are not necessary to include.
“It’s all about highlighting the most relevant experiences within those previous roles for the purposes of your resume today. For example, the fact that you have worked at a fast food outlet when you were 15 is probably of no interest to someone that is looking to hire you in your first professional role at age 21,” she said.
Make sure you include an appropriate email address, one that does not use acronyms or titles that don’t appear professional. Leys provides the example of firstname.lastname@example.org as an email you would not want to include in your resume.
An email that includes the first letter of your first name followed by your last name would be a good email to include in a resume, and it indicates that you are serious about your job search.
Leys also suggests you use proper grammar and spelling. Spell check often misses words when they have two meanings, so let someone else check your resume for errors after you use spell check.
Keeping your resume brief and to the point is also important. It is helpful to understand what a company does (i.e. what they sell or do), so your resume can include points that would show you understand and are capable of fulfilling the position you are applying for.
Leys also discusses cover letters and what needs to be included there.
Another suggestion the site makes is to make sure your social media does not include anything inappropriate – just in case. You should eliminate inappropriate photos or messages in advance before applying for any job.
It is best not to communicate with your possible future employer through texts. Use letters or email, without using abbreviations, when necessary to communicate with a future employer.
If you have landed a job interview, Leys suggests you bring your resume with a cover letter in a long envelope unless you have sent it in previously.
It is important to dress for the job. Wearing a suit to an interview for a farm internship or position would be inappropriate – a good pair of jeans and a shirt makes better sense.
“Be confident in your interview, but not desperate,” Leys said.
After the interview, send a follow-up thank you.
“You are entering an industry – agriculture – that is progressive, dynamic and that has a huge diversity of opportunities,” she concluded, adding a job seeker should not be afraid to ask those in current ag professions how best to prepare for that all-important interview.
“You don’t want to miss that opportunity to work in your chosen ag profession,” she added.