By Annie Storey, Agriculture Future of America
Econ 101 – Check! Principles of Management – Check! Introduction to English Literature – Check!
No matter your degree program, chances are there are key classes the majority of us had to take to receive our diploma. They allow us to build an academic foundation for a successful career. While you may not remember which author wrote which book, that course may have been out of your comfort zone and taught you how to think differently than you were used to.
Your degree signifies academic success, goal setting, achievement and knowledge of a certain discipline. What your degree doesn’t necessarily showcase is the other skills you need to be successful post-graduation.
There is consistency among research that the following five skills are needed in the workplace – and that most college graduates aren’t work-ready in these areas.
Military veterans and professionals: if you are utilizing AgCareers.com and have not registered as an Ag Warrior, you are missing out! Ag Warriors is a program within AgCareers.com for military veterans and professionals to let employers know that they have served in the armed forces. Employers can then seek out Ag Warriors through the AgCareers.com Resume Database or simply know that they are a veteran when they apply. Want to know about all the companies that actively support and recruit Ag Warriors?
ADM: Archer Daniels Midland Company converts oilseeds, corn, wheat and cocoa into products for food, animal feed, industrial and energy uses.
Bunge: Bunge supplies agricultural food ingredients to a wide range of customers in the livestock, poultry, food processor, food services and bakery industries.
• Ultra-Passive Talent – Very content where you are in your career and not even contemplating a career move in the foreseeable future.
• Passive Talent – Reasonably content with your current position, but there are times throughout the year that you contemplate a career move.
• Displaced Talent – Soon to be displaced or already displaced due to a company decision, merger, acquisition, etc.
Whichever the category you identified with, chances are you have a LinkedIn profile established. LinkedIn has become a wonderful resource for professionals to network and become connected. It has become a source for prospective employers, recruiters, and professionals to find each other. AgCareers.com made the decision a couple of years ago that there was a need to develop a community within our site specifically for upper-level and highly specialized talent to discretely navigate a career move. This community is called Elite Talent.
You’ve likely heard the saying that finding a job is a job in itself, right? Well if you utilize AgCareers.com, we cut out some of that legwork for you. Here are the best AgCareers.com tools for busy job seekers.
Advanced Search: Tired of job search engines that don’t offer criteria specific enough to the exact type of job you’re looking for? AgCareers.com’s Advanced Search option allows you to choose from criteria including industry sector, industry type, career type, years’ experience required, country, region, state or province, and more. Visit AgCareers.com and utilize the advanced search option next time you visit.
Working in a temporary position can lead to great things! While Ryan the Temp from The Office is obviously not a real person, he rose through the ranks to eventually become second in command at Dunder Mifflin…although he was later fired for fraud…but even after that he still remained with the company for eight years!
Okay, bad example. But there really are a lot of positives for taking a temporary position. Most temporary positions today last for several months whether it is a seasonal position working in the field or filling in for a parent on maternity leave (especially in Canada). They serve as a great transition period for a professional dipping their toes into the working world or just looking for something to do while they search for a more permanent position. And who’s to say that this temporary position couldn’t become a permanent position?
To make the most out of taking a temporary position, follow these suggested tips, and then search for hundreds of temporary positions on AgCareers.com.
I am a firm believer in the employability and stronger earning potential of technical degrees compared to many bachelor degree programs. And I’m not alone, you’ll find recent articles from TIME, The Huffington Post and others with stories and research regarding the successful paths of graduates with two-year degrees. However, often job seekers in this community lack some of the more traditional opportunities to connect with potential employers which place even more emphasis on the importance of networking for the career of your dreams.
Associate/Technical/or Two-Year degree holders should absolutely be networking online. Following and interacting with companies of interest on social media sites, building an online portfolio or resume and utilizing online resume databases are all important avenues to be active within. Technical degrees mean just that, that you have a very specific set of skills and having a professional online presence will allow you to broadcast those skills for employers to identify. Many of my personal connections who have some of these very specific set of skills utilize them in their personal hobbies as well as in the workplace. When that is apparent on your social media profiles, you may open the door to new connections to help you find a career. However, don’t rely solely on the internet. Many careers for two-year graduates can still be found in newspaper or magazine ads or even through a recruiting or placement firm.
The process of looking for a new career can be exhausting. Searching, networking, searching more, sending your resume and waiting. The searching part can be challenging depending on what you’re looking for and how much time you have to look. Maybe you’re passively looking. Not wanting to search every day but if the right role came across your computer screen you’d certainly welcome a call from a company recruiter. For job seekers, there is a tool that can help make this process a little easier, a way of getting your resume out to the employer and letting them come to you! However, many job seekers overlook this avenue to connecting with their next career.
One of the first points I share with job seekers when educating them about the AgCareers.com resume database is that employers have to pay to have access. Employers are only granted access to the database as part of a job posting package they’ve purchased or by purchasing monthly access. The fact that the employer makes this investment, creates a level of legitimacy for the database. AgCareers.com isn’t just allowing any employer or person access to your personal information.
Another point I often share with job seekers is that there are some employers who opt to search databases before ever posting an opening. This could be for a variety of reasons; they may be a little more selective in their process and only want to invest time in candidates they truly feel match the role. They may also be planning to replace a current employee and do not want to run the risk of that employee discovering their job advertised online. Therefore, having your resume in a database may be your only chance for connecting with the perfect job.
Listen up, military veterans: agricultural employers WANT YOU! In a preliminary snapshot of the “Veterans and Military Professionals in the Agricultural Workplace” survey by AgCareers.com, 85% of agricultural employers agreed that military professionals and veterans have experiences and transferable skills that make them a good fit for the agricultural industry. If you are unfamiliar with the agricultural industry or simply aren’t sure which career your military skills would best align with, here are 7 high-demand ag jobs for veterans of the military.
1. Logistics: Military veterans and professionals are calculating, quick on their toes, and organized. This is the perfect combination for a career in logistics and supply chain management. Logistics professionals hold the responsibility of oversight of factory or customer deliveries, freight quotations, onsite pickup, and overflow and direct-to-port. They also implement the supply chain goals of a company. Learn the educational requirements and employers of logistics professionals.
According to the most recent Job Report from AgCareers.com about 32% of our applicants aren’t coming from an agriculture-related job or educational program. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a place for these non-ag candidates on AgCareers.com-quite the opposite actually.
Looking at the top ten careers types posted on AgCareers.com, many of them aren’t ag-specific. Types like sales, labor, manufacturing, accounting, maintenance, and technicians aren’t necessarily ag-specific roles. Many of these job postings may require knowledge of the agriculture industry, without having been immersed in it with previous work place employment.
Being realistic about your prior education and experience, your job is to relay to the company that your skills and experience are transferrable to what they are looking for. Traditionally resumes have focused on job duties and tasks performed, however now employers find skills and achievements more important. If you did sales for a non-ag product, don’t focus on the product and your sales process. Instead, highlight what you accomplished, did you increase sales by a certain percentage over time, did you bring on a certain number or percentage of fresh clients, did you do your own business development and lead sourcing. Show that you were creative in territory expansion and revenue increases. To the employer revenues are the top priority – you can teach someone a new product, but you can’t easily teach sales skills.
Where the ag jobs are, one waits for you. AgCareers.com recently released its 2015 Job Reports for the United States and Canada. Check out the following findings regarding the states and provinces with the most ag jobs posted in 2015 by employers.
1. Iowa – Reigning again as the top state for agricultural jobs, Iowa is known for its pork and corn production.
2. California – Very close behind Iowa is the state of California. As a very agriculturally diverse state, you can find produce, livestock, crop and agribusiness jobs in California.