GPA on resumeIt may be the most controversial addition to a resume if you are a recent graduate: should you include your GPA, or your grade point average? Do employers really want to know? Will it increase your chances of getting a job or will it hurt them? After years working with AgCareers.com, I’ve heard a lot from both sides of the argument. Let’s weigh the pros and cons.

 

Reasons TO Include your GPA

 

Including grade point average on your resume is often more widely accepted if you have little or no experience aside from your education. This is often the case for current college students who have not yet completed an internship or have had little work experience outside the classroom.

 

And if you have great grades, why not? Cristine Buggeln of JBS USA told us in our 2014 Ag & Food Career Guide to only add your GPA to your resume if it is above 3.0. We at AgCareers.com would go so far to even say that it is more impressive to only include if it is 3.5 or above. If your major or field of study is intensive and widely considered “difficult,” such as a scientific field or in the pursuit of an advanced degree (Master’s or Doctorate), and you have maintained a strong GPA, it will show that you are a dedicated student committed to success.


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Published on April 18th, 2019

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With all elements of a resume, there seems to be a lot of debate about how to introduce your resume, and if it’s even necessary. At AgCareers.com, we hear lots of opinions from employers we work with about how they’d like to see applicants open their resume. It can be difficult to successfully implement, especially considering you want to essentially summarize everything below in a very quick, non-fully kind of way. Here are four different ways we recommend to start a resume and how to do so successfully.

 

Objective Statement

 

This is the most commonly referenced method to start a resume. Typically, objective statements present a picture of what you have to offer, and it is best utilized by applicants with less experience. An objective statement outlines your career goals and your reason for submitting a resume. However, you’ll note in the above video that we recommend steering clear from the outdated “objective statement.” Employers have repeatedly told us this is also a more unnecessary element on resumes. Just the same, if you think this is what would best introduce your resume, here is an example opening:

 

“Obtain a position as a sales agronomist with an industry leader to exercise my relevant skill and knowledge in plant science and customer relations.”


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Published on March 21st, 2019

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job referencesJob references can be tricky. Not everyone is an overachiever who became fast, easy confidants with everyone they’ve met professionally. However, you still likely need them for any job you apply for today; be certain that your employer will ask for them. If you find yourself at a loss for who to ask, I invite you to consider the following suggestions if your professional relationships with these individuals are still viable and you can trust that they would vouch for you. Remember, however, before you list them to actually ask them formally to be a job reference for you! You would not believe how many references are shocked to receive phone calls from employers asking them about an applicant they once worked with. Trust me, this will not reflect well for you.

 

Now that this is clear, here are five people you should definitely choose for job references and five to steer clear from.


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Published on February 26th, 2019

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phone interviewThe phone interview has become a basic and expected precursor to the in-person or virtual interview. It is the interview in which employers get the chance to know you a little bit better before determining if they’d like to spend even more time and resources getting to know you, thereby determining whether or not they’d like you on their team. In other words, it’s pretty critical! I remember prior to my first phone interview for a real job, talking to my current mentor about it and saying that I didn’t feel like it would be that big of a deal. That I was headed back to my dorm at that moment to sit in my desk chair and make time for it before starting in on my homework for the night. The way he looked at me with concern and the way I felt after the interview cemented the reality that, yeah, it actually is a pretty big deal.

 

So why don’t we adequately prepare for it like we should? Why don’t we treat it like the important step in the interview process that it is; the step that if you make or break it, determines whether you get a seat at their table or whether your application is swiftly withdrawn from the running? Here are some crucial forgotten rules of the phone interview to take seriously in order to help yourself take the phone interview seriously. And win an in-person interview.

 

1. Find a place of privacy and quiet. It’s not always convenient when you are a student or current employee trying to find the least distracting place during the 8 to 5 day that you can to focus on and successfully complete a phone interview. Your dorm room or apartment can even be a struggle if you have roommate(s) or a cluttered space. If you can, ask your roommates to leave for a little while so you can prepare for and do the phone interview in complete quiet. Turn off any noise, put away the pets, and get to a room or part of the room that is as secluded, silent, and focused as possible. If you are on campus, check with your career services to see if they have a secluded room that you could reserve to complete your phone interview.


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Published on January 24th, 2019

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resume checklistIf you have a resume, you know that everyone has an opinion about it. There are lots of different rules to follow, but the basics should all be there. That’s why we’ve created the ultimate resume checklist for you! You’re probably thinking that this is also subjective. And you’re right, it is. But we’ve talked to hundreds of agricultural employers over the years and can say with certainty that this list is fairly agreed upon. You’re welcome.

 

The Ultimate Resume Checklist (according to AgCareers.com)

 

  • Name at the Top: Loud & proud.
  • Contact Information: List this below your name at the top where it can easily be found including:
    • Your most permanent address (where mail will reach you no matter what)
    • Your email (keep it professional; try to avoid using school emails as those will eventually expire)
    • The best phone number to reach you at
    • Any professional links (online portfolio, professional blog, LinkedIn profile, and social media – if and only if they are professional)
  •  

  • Experience
    • Only list relevant experience to the new position you are applying to.
    • List chronologically by your most recent experience.
    • Include your job title.
    • List the dates (years) that you spent at each position.
    • Include the company/organization you were employed by.
    • Include the location of this employment.
    • Share your achievements in bulleted or short-sentence format below each position.
  •  


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Published on January 3rd, 2019

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jessica bartowJessica Bartow joined the AgCareers.com team earlier this year as our Western US Talent Solutions Specialist. Jessica is based in a home office in California.

 

What do you do on a day-to-day basis in your role with AgCareers.com?

 

I help my clients with whatever they need – posting jobs, compensation data, registering for events, etc.

 

What do you enjoy about working with AgCareers.com?

 

I love the ag industry and am so thankful for the opportunity to help our industry leaders find and retain talent.


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Published on November 5th, 2018

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Kate AgCareers.com Summer InternKate Boeckenstedt joins the AgCareers.com office in Ames, Iowa this summer as our Marketing Intern. Kate just completed her junior year at Iowa State University as an Agricultural Education major with the Communications option. Last summer, Kate worked as a Crop Scout for AgVantage FS in Alburnett, Iowa.

 

What will you be doing this summer with AgCareers.com?

 

I’ll be in charge of the student success kit we’re working on as well as the Internship Benchmark Survey. Organizing some pages on our website as well as a few special marketing projects will be some other things I’m working on this summer.

 

What do you enjoy about working with AgCareers.com?

 

I like the flexibility and getting to know the indoor work environment. I like the opportunity to grow and share my ideas. The research side and blogging has been new to me. I never thought I’d be a blogger.

 

What advice would you give to job seekers using AgCareers.com for the first time?

 

Don’t limit yourself to what your major is. There are so many opportunities available on AgCareers.com. Also don’t utilize it just for the job search. There is so much available to enhance your career skills too.


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Published on May 29th, 2018

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Rita Cook Ag Loan OfficerRita Cook always knew she wanted to work with farmers. She recently returned to her home county to work as an Ag Loan Officer in Iowa Falls, Iowa with Green Belt Bank & Trust where she has been for one year. Rita talks about what she has learned in her first year of work as an ag loan officer and her advice for those interested in the career path.

 

What made you want to become an ag loan officer?

 

I grew up on a diversified grain and livestock farm in Iowa, and knew I wanted to work hands-on with farmers to help them be successful. The bank had an opening for an ag lender. It was a perfect fit to combine my passion of helping farmers with lending.

 

What is a day in the life like for you?

 

A lot of days are spent meeting with customers or visiting with them on the phone. I work with customers to update their balance sheets, put together projected cash flows for the coming year, and then analyze those numbers. Once the analysis is done, I present the customer’s request to our internal loan review committee for approval. There’s a lot of leg work that goes on behind the scenes, especially if a farmer is purchasing farm ground or a putting up a livestock barn.


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Published on May 3rd, 2018

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millennial career ladder As a millennial myself, I certainly understand the frustration when it comes to the longing for the fast track to career advancement. However, as it’s often liked to say about us, that “entitled” mentality only leaves us disappointed and agitated in our roles. That’s a term I really hate: entitled. Let’s say “energetic” instead. I can definitely say I feel energetic about my career and the possibility of where it could lead. But like all things in life, it’s important to simply enjoy the journey. So join me as I reflect on and give suggestions toward climbing the millennial career ladder.


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Published on April 17th, 2018

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Kacey ToewsAgCareers.com is privileged and pleased to welcome our newest member to our team Kacey Toews! Kacey joins us from a home office in rural Powhattan, Kansas as Talent Solutions Specialist.

 

What do you do on a day-to-day basis in your role with AgCareers.com?

 

I handle all of the new accounts as well as my established accounts and assist them in utilizing our products.

 

What do you enjoy about working with AgCareers.com?
 
I love that every day is something different and being able to build relationships with the different Agriculture companies every day and see what I can do to assist them in their hiring needs. I also love working with our team, everyone is very helpful and encouraging.

 

What advice would you give to job seekers using AgCareers.com for the first time?
 
Make sure to post your resume on our database but also go through our “Career Cultivation” blog. There are tons of helpful hints and interesting posts in the blog that might assist you in your job search.


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Published on February 15th, 2018

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