Go to work on Monday. Take your lunch break. Go home. Repeat until Friday. Ah yes, the classic 9-5, 40 hours/week job. Is this you? Have you thought about exploring other options? What about those things called contract jobs … what are they and how do they work?
Contract jobs are just what they sound like, jobs that are contracted. The position could be contracted for a certain project, a specific length of time, a temporary position…there are a handful of reasons an employer would want to hire a contract employee. Contract positions can look completely different from one to the next, so it is important to understand exactly what is involved with the contract position you are considering.
So, what should we know about these types of positions? I reached out to our HR Team here at AgCareers.com to hear their thoughts on these roles from a Human Resources perspective. They shared that it is important to understand the parameters of the role.
They are the most important part of any job hunt. The first look employers get into who you are and what skills you bring to the table, and one of the only ways you will land an interview with your dream job. We’re talking about resumes and what can make or break you when your name is sitting in bold letters on an employers’ desk. Crafting a professional, concise resume that will get you an interview is no easy task. It may be difficult to narrow down your achievements onto a one-page, tell-all sheet, but what you leave off your resume is just as important as what is put on. Take this resume advice: here are some things to leave off and what to put on instead.
This piece of resume advice is for all the college students or recent grads out there. The general rule is to not have anything below a grade point average of a 3.0 visible on your resume, but there’s no need to get discouraged if you don’t meet this criterion. Kristine Penning, AgCareers.com Creative Marketing Specialist, advises, “skills are definitely more important [than GPA].” Employers want to ensure they are hiring someone with the right skill set, so try spending more time promoting yourself in other ways.
Millennial–a label given to those born between 1981 and 1996. There sure is a lot of talk about this generation in the workplace. Not great talk, at that. Millennials seem to come with stereotypes and a bad reputation before they may even start their first day working at a company.
Are you a Millennial? If so, let’s get one thing established. You don’t need to live up to the stereotype others may have placed on you. Be yourself and show your colleagues the great qualities that tend to thread through your generation. Some examples may be your push for inclusion, civic-minded goals, and sustainable practices.
Here are three ways to overcome stereotypes that may have been placed on you:
1. Make a point to understand their perspective
Their perspective. That may be hard. Perhaps your boss gets frustrated when you do not want to work on the weekend, and it seems like no matter the outcome one of you is unhappy with your quantity of work hours. Take a moment to stop and think about why your boss is getting frustrated. Is it because they value hard work, which to them translates to putting in extra hours? What is the root of the frustration?
Picture this… you have revised and proofed your resume and cover letter 20 different times and finally submitted the application to your dream job. You feel a sense of relief because the hard part is over, right? Wrong! Next thing you know, you get an email to schedule an interview and the relief and excitement you felt after submitting your application materials slowly goes away and you have a new sense of worry in your head. Prepping for an interview can be nerve-wracking and the interview itself can sometimes be challenging. There are several different things you can do to prepare but what do you do about the dreaded awkward silence that can creep up in an interview?
There is no doubt that awkward silence is killer in any situation but during a job interview, the silence can feel like torture and really make us sweat. During the silence, a million thoughts might come across your mind such as, should I say something else or sit here quietly? Here are a couple of things you can do to dodge awkward silence in interviews.
Don’t break the silence
Silence may be uncomfortable, but it isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes we panic and think that breaking the silence during an awkward gap is the right thing to do, but that can make things even more awkward for both parties. Silence can be a natural part of the conversation and is bound to happen. Show them that you are still engaged in the conversation by keeping eye contact and smiling.
You’ve heard the advice before, keep your resume to one page if possible. However, I’m removing “if possible” and saying seriously, “Your resume should only be one-page!”
But, but, but… you may say, I really need to sell myself, I have a lot of experience, education, etc. Most people are, or feel, overworked and rushed. Humans and computers (applicant tracking systems) scanning your resume want to pick out key points and assess your qualifications efficiently and quickly.
To honor this effort, I’m making this blog short, concise, and direct!
Cut out the clutter – what to remove from your resume to keep it to one page:
Tiffany Tomlin, a junior at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, joins the marketing staff, also based in Ames, for the summer as our marketing intern. Tiffany is an agricultural education major and participates as a member of the ISU Livestock Judging Team.
What do you do on a day-to-day basis in your role with AgCareers.com?
Every day I get the opportunity to work on a variety of tasks with the AgCareers.com team. Some highlight items that I am currently working on include internship surveys, Career Profile extensions, promoting the 2019 HR Roundtable, and writing content for blogs, newsletters, and the Ag and Food Career Guide.
What do you enjoy about working with AgCareers.com?
I enjoy having the freedom to take the lead on a wide variety of tasks. Through this, I am getting valuable experiences outside of what I would get in the typical classroom while having the help of the friendly AgCarees.com team when needed.
What advice would you give to job seekers using AgCareers.com for the first time?
Take advantage of the advanced search options but don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. There are countless job postings on the site and one you never would have thought of might be the perfect fit. Remember to add your resume and cover letter for even more positive exposure!
Full disclosure here, I kind of laughed when my colleague asked me to write this blog. I’m not awful when it comes to being on time, but definitely not known for being early either! While I’d love to use my two sweet children or my husband as my excuse, the truth is I’m accountable for me.
I think that is the key – you are accountable for you. And being on time for work says something to your employer about how accountable you are to the business. Now, I recognize that many organizations have flexibility when it comes to this topic, so take that into consideration and follow (or exceed) the norm.
While I think a lot of getting to work on time is just doing it, here are a few things that I’ve found helpful to motivate and keep me running on time.
There is no magic formula of how to perform within your job and not get fired. Every company is different, with different managers, employees, situations, and laws that apply to each based on their location. Can you be fired without warning? The short answer is it depends.
Generally, once an employee has committed an act of gross misconduct, the employee can be fired without warning. For example, stealing from your employer, hitting another employee or vandalizing office equipment may land you with a pink slip in a hurry. Gross misconduct rules should be equally applied to everyone from the top to the bottom of the organization. In addition, being a top performer doesn’t exclude one from the consequences of gross misconduct. If an employee is the top salesperson but uses illegal drugs at work, that employee may not have a secure job. Aside from steering away from gross misconduct, there are a couple of additional actions you can take that will help decrease the likelihood you’ll be fired without warning.
Are you stuck in a job or profession that you don’t enjoy and are looking to make a career move? Maybe you are about to graduate from college and don’t want to get stuck in a rut early in your career. With the help of my AgCareers.com teammates, we have compiled a list of career advice, so you don’t have a long list of regrets and have a successful career.
No matter your circumstances, go after what you want! If you are stuck, you can always turn things around and pursue something you are passionate about. With that being said, sometimes challenging or not so fun roles are what prepares us for our next step. Tough experiences can end up teaching us valuable lessons that we may need 10 years down the road.
Just because you have a degree or certification does not mean you are done learning. Take advantage of any learning opportunity that comes your way such as attending conferences, webinars, or unique trainings. Better yet, make sure you put what you have learned into practice! Continued education can even come from your manager or a mentor, don’t ever limit yourself and remember to keep learning because it will make you a more valuable employee at the end of the day.
Starting a new position is both terrifying and exciting. There is an old movie quote that paraphrased goes something like, “Beginnings are usually scary, endings are usually sad and it is what is in the middle that counts.” When it comes to starting a new job, there is a similar beginning, middle, and end. During the first 90 or so days on the job, you will go through an onboarding period that will help you get up and running in your new role. When it’s done well, the onboarding process will make you feel like you are being welcomed into a new community.
Think a moment about the different perspectives. Your new employer needs to convey both culture and structure to ensure you get on board quickly and know how to be successful. You as a new employee need to know who to turn to, how to get your questions answered and of course, how to be successful. Good onboarding can meet both of your needs.