Don’t hate me–I know, this blog post may not be super timely, as most of the college students I’m speaking to at this moment have just recently become graduates. But there’s still time to say you got a job right out of college if you haven’t already! Here are a few tips on how to land a job right out of college:
Not Too Picky, Now: I have always felt that you have a right to be picky with what you choose to pursue in terms of a career. It’s something you could be doing for a long time, so you should pick something that you want to do. But let’s get down to earth: if it’s your first job, it’s okay to go with something that isn’t your dream job right off the bat. Your dream job might not be available right now, so go for something that you can see improving you in the meantime.
Get Professional: Time to shape up social media profiles and get a professional email address. No more firstname.lastname@example.org or alcohol in your in profile picture.
Agriculture is one of the best pathways to choose for students because of the sheer amount of opportunity within the industry. Innovations in sustainable agriculture, precision technology, and plant/soil science are creating exciting new skilled trade roles each year.
Some of the roles that are in the most difficult to fill are within the skilled trade realm. There are simply not enough students entering these career pathways to fulfill the vacancy demand within agriculture. If you are in high school just considering your career path, or are mature, and open to retraining for a second career; consider training in a skilled trade. These roles can span every industry type within agriculture, and often include mechanics, welders, electricians, technicians, and specialists.
On April 27, I had the pleasure to virtually attend STEMConnector’s first #AGis Town Hall meeting live from Washington, D.C. STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) are critical career areas we at AgCareers.com frequently advocate for, and as supporters of STEMConnector, we eagerly share in VP/Chief Strategy Officer Ted Wells’ opening remarks: “Agriculture is critical in order to sustainably feed the world.” And what better way to do this than to pursue careers in STEM?
Kevin O’Sullivan, Vice President of Global Equipment and Engineering Technologies at PepsiCo, opened the seminar by sharing, “There’s a stigma attached to food and agriculture; instead of thinking about seed and farms and tractors, we should be thinking about robots and drones and science and technology.” There will certainly always be a place for the top-of-mind elements of agriculture, but as the industry continues to progress, it’s plain to see that agriculture is steeped in technology and scientific advancement.
If you are active in agricultural programs and education while attending high school or college, you likely have some very valuable experience and honors under your belt! But is it okay to put that on a resume to share with employers? In most cases, most certainly. Agricultural employers will want to know if you have relevant association experience. It also may serve as a source of connection if your potential employer was involved in these programs as well. Learn how and when to properly include association experience on your resume.
Association experience is helpful to include on your resume when you have been actively involved in an organization and have achieved multiple honors or gained highly valuable and exemplary experience relevant to the job you are applying for. If you have served as a State FFA Vice President, include that on your resume. If you earned the American FFA degree, include that on your resume. If you have taken part in an AFA Leader Institute, include that on your resume.
A day in the life of an ag HR professional may not vary at the surface from industry to industry. There will always be positions to fill, new hires to orient, performance management objectives on which to coach, training initiatives to meet, and another fire to put out. And of course, these things are to be expected in day-to-day HR and for most HR professionals, these challenges are what attracted them to the field. While to the outside world, the world of agriculture HR can look like any other industry, on the inside, things can look much different.
Preparing to communicate a resignation with your present employer can be an awkward situation, especially if you have spent the last several years of your life working there. The emotions can vary according to your experience while working with the employer. Regardless of the situation, it is always a courtesy to prepare a 1-page resignation letter to follow your verbal communication with your immediate supervisor.
Congratulations on getting an interview! Now it is time to prepare yourself to be sure you are on you are on your “A” game before the interview. Here is a checklist to help prepare yourself for the big day.
Research the company
It is important to know the company and know your audience before the interview. If you are serious about this interview, you need to show your interviewers that you have done the work ahead of time. What is their culture? What do they actually do? You will really impress your audience if you are able to pull information about the company in your prepared answers. Show them you are ready to be a part of their team!
Know your resume
This may be a no-brainer, but actually study your resume before the interview! Know your skills, abilities and experience. Reference your resume. This will allow you to make connections between who you are, what you have done and how it will assist you in this new role.
A few years ago, a young adult sought guidance on asking their employer for a raise. They were certain it was only the right thing to do as they had done well with the onboarding and initial training program. The young employee was feeling comfortable where they had been placed within the organization and had eagerly taken on responsibility. This person was advised that its very common for new employees to ask for a raise within the first 3 months of employment. If they were to move up in earrings they’d have to initiate it. Luckily, someone else advised it was a bad idea and if they wanted to move up they’d keep up the good work and not risk offending the employer. I completely agreed.
If someone has given you advice to ask for a raise before the time is right, please ignore them. While there is no absolute answer as to when is the right time to ask for a raise, start with this list to see if timing is in your favor.
“What is your dream job?” can be a tricky interview question if you are not prepared to answer it. Your dream job may have nothing to do with the position you are interviewing for, so it is a good idea not to mention it in that case. Instead, connecting your answer to aspects of the position that appeal to you enables the interviewer to determine if you are a good fit for the job.
In addition to accessing if you have the right skills to be successful in the job, the interviewer is also interested in finding out how motivated you are, and if you will be satisfied with the role. Your response should reflect your skills, interests, and values as an employee.
When applying for any jobs, the number one thing to keep in mind is selling to the employer’s need. This is also the case when applying for a job when overqualified. There are many reasons why a person may be applying for jobs when they are overqualified, including:
– Changing careers
– After a lay-off
– After completing a contract position
In these situations, jobseekers may be fearful that they are taking a step down in their career path, earning less money, and could be bored with reduced responsibilities. While these are genuine concerns, there are some positive aspects to applying for positions when overqualified: