WHO TO ASK FOR A REFERENCE WHEN YOU CAN'T ASK YOUR BOSSReferences are a common job search dilemma, especially for those that are already employed. You can’t ask your current boss to be a reference unless you’re moving, or facing a lay-off, downsizing, or a merger, or other obvious situations. So who to ask for a reference if you can’t ask your boss?


Who to Ask for a Reference: The Obvious


Prior Supervisors

This is one of the many reasons why it is important to stay connected with former bosses and supervisors; keep the line of communication open so they can serve as references in the future.

Published on March 22nd, 2017

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golden rules of resume writingEvaluations of resume writing can be very subjective, influenced by personal taste and feelings. Potential employers may have an opinion on your font style, design, or whether or not you should use a summary or personal statement, to name just a few. But even though your resume is subject to this type of evaluation, it is important to not dismiss objective, measurable facts from your resume.


There are some key resume writing tips that hiring managers can agree on:


The Golden Rules of Resume Writing


• Spell check, read and re-read. Have a friend check your resume. Misspellings and grammatical errors show a lack of attention to detail. This may seem obvious, but it happens frequently! These mistakes can often be fatal to your job search prospects and automatically send your resume to the “no” pile.

Published on February 28th, 2017

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average peopleAverage. Mediocre. Ordinary. Do you describe yourself with any of these terms, or has anyone else? Never have you heard someone utter “overachiever” in relation to you?


There is still a valuable place for you in the work world even if you weren’t class president, didn’t lead a committee to record fundraising, haven’t worked in management at a global corporation, or weren’t a star athlete or had the lead role in a play.

Published on January 17th, 2017

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Sneaky Tips to Boost Your Confidence Before an InterviewYou’ve applied for a job and were just called for an interview. You’re excited, but you can already feel the butterflies in your stomach. Do you believe in yourself and your abilities to succeed in this potential new job? Even if you are lacking in self-confidence, you can take action before an interview to give yourself a much-needed mental boost. Do a little research before you sit down for the interview. Prepping will help you go into the interview with increased confidence and poise.


1. Inform yourself about the potential employer. Google the organization to see if they’ve been in the news lately. Is the organization non-profit, privately owned or publicly traded? Check out their company website, examine their mission statement and goals. Look at their career section for information about benefits and company policies that might guide your answer to “Why do you want to work for our organization?” Make sure you understand what the business really does before you make your way to the interview.


2. Find out everything you can about the position, and this starts when you first apply. Keep track of positions you’ve applied for – you can do this simply thru AgCareers.com. Log into your free job seeker account and apply to positions; your applications will then be saved and viewable at any time under your “application history.”

Published on December 6th, 2016

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IMG_3624Kristine Penning is AgCareers.com’s Creative Marketing Specialist. She will have been with the company for three years in January of 2017 and works from the Ames, Iowa office.


What do you do on a day-to-day basis?


I have a unique job where I get to do a lot of different things daily. Primarily, I do graphic design for AgCareers.com, so this includes handouts and flyers, brochures, mailers, e-blasts, reports, infographics, social media graphics, basically anything the team needs that involves anything graphical. I also handle a share of social media tasks like creating content and posting the jobs that you see on our social media. And I get to do some video production and a variety of writing on the blogs, the newsletter, through the Career Guide, and creating surveys.


What do you enjoy about working here?


I love my job. I appreciate that my job is not just one sector of agriculture, but is all-encompassing of the industry. I feel so fortunate to come to work every day and get to do what I love for the industry that I love. I also love creating. And I feel genuine doing so. I grew up on a farm, and my husband and I farm, so coming from this industry and getting to support it through my daily work is and has always been my dream. All my passions fit into one job, which I think is pretty rare to find in a career.

Published on November 4th, 2016

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managing your online reputationDoes it really matter what you tweet, photos you are tagged in on Facebook, or comments you make online? Career-wise, yes! Employers are checking out your “digital footprint” or online presence, many before making a hiring decision.


Employers are judging you based on your digital footprint. Recruiters will look at your online presence and this can impact their hiring decisions. The recent Jobvite Recruiter Nation Report 2016 found that recruiters find LinkedIn the most effective when vetting candidates during the hiring process, followed by Facebook and Twitter.


Looking specifically at agriculture, employers report high usage of social media to support their recruitment efforts; 72% of U.S. agribusinesses said they currently use social networks in recruiting, with another 14% indicating they plan to begin using them (2016-2017 U.S. AgCareers.com Agribusiness HR Review).

Published on October 27th, 2016

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logoAfter graduating with a degree in Agricultural Science and minor in Horticulture from North Carolina State University, Carrie Barnhardt worked as an assistant greenhouse grower. Barnhardt provided care to six-plus acres of plants under roof in one of the largest greenhouse facilities in the Southeast where millions of high-quality annuals and perennials were grown.


“While I may have been over-qualified for this role, I learned a lot about the industry and enjoyed working with a large variety of plants in all stages of production,” said Barnhardt. Even if you don’t find your dream job right away, working and gaining experience after graduation is an essential component to building your resume and making yourself more marketable. “Companies would rather work with someone who is demonstrating initiative over someone who takes months or years off after graduation. Believe me, they will ask what you did during your time of unemployment,” added Barnhardt.

Published on September 14th, 2016

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business email etiquetteOMG…r u kidding me? THERE IS A PROPER WAY 4 COMMUNICATING VIA EMAIL?!


The above illustrates some very bad email habits. You may communicate with your friends and family this way, but it is not appropriate in the business environment. Keep in mind you’re emailing and not texting. I’ve caught myself using texting jargon in email messages, especially when responding on my mobile phone. LOL!


In addition, using all caps makes it sound like you’re yelling your message at the recipient, or you’re just plain lazy. Use appropriate capitalization and punctuation like you would in a letter.


Your email message format may vary depending on who you are sending it to– coworkers, management, or customers. Your close circle of immediate colleagues may not need as formal of communication as supervisors and customers. If you are in the job search process, emails to potential employers require your most formal style and attention to detail.

Published on August 16th, 2016

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interview prepIt’s your one chance to make a great first impression on a potential employer, so interview prep is crucial. Being prepared will help you feel more confident during the interview. Follow these five steps to put your best foot forward in an interview:


5 Golden Interview Prep Tips


1. Research the organization: Find out all you can about the company and the people that will be interviewing you. Visit the company’s website and social media pages; check out the interviewers’ LinkedIn profiles. Consider following the company on Twitter or ‘liking’ them on Facebook to stay up-to-date on news. Do you know anyone that works for or has interned at the company? Talk to them about the culture.


2. Know your answers: Many companies still use the same basic questions, such as “Tell me about yourself,” or “Where do you see yourself in five years?” Talk through your answers to these questions, but make sure your responses do not sound like a canned one you’ve read online. Thoroughly read the description or job posting for which you are interviewing. What are the job requirements and how can you demonstrate you will meet these requirements? Be prepared to share specific examples that address requirements and qualifications that are needed for the job. Be ready to discuss how you contributed and the outcomes.

Published on May 24th, 2016

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fixes for work wardrobe emergenciesYou’re running out the door for an interview, starting your first day at work, or getting ready for a big presentation on the job and notice a major wardrobe malfunction- ARGHHHH, what now?!? You aren’t a skilled seamstress and don’t have much time. NO FEAR! You can overcome many wardrobe emergencies with simple fixes, using things you have around home or the office.


Easy Solutions to Work Wardrobe Emergencies


Popped Button

Grab a twist tie from your bread bag to temporarily reattach a button. If the button is loose but still hanging on, dab on some clear nail polish.


Loose Hem

The stitching has come loose on your pant and your hem is hanging down- fix it with some double-stick tape…voila!


Stuck Zipper

Not the best timing for a stuck zipper! Rub some Vaseline, lip balm or even pencil on the zipper to work it loose.

Published on March 8th, 2016

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