The Career Search: From A to Z

Tuesday, November 27th, 2018

Erika Osmundson

Interested in agriculture but wondering what career opportunities lie ahead of you? Check out this excerpt from "The Career Search: From A to Z" at AgCareers.com

I have a 5-year-old that recently started kindergarten, to say that the alphabet is on my brain daily would be an understatement.  Thought I’d bring a little of that alphabetical fun to our blog readers!  Here is AgCareers.com’s suggestions for the career search from A to Z.

A: You’re kidding? AgCareers.com, of course!

B: Behavior based interview questions – know how to answer all parts: situation, action and result.

C: Cover Letter – make sure to craft a cover letter for each application and customize it for that role.

D: Decline – you might need to decline an offer. Do so in a polite manner. Remember, the agriculture industry is small!

E: Employee Value Proposition (EVP) – newer term, but refers to what the employer will bring to you as an employee. You’ll spend a lot of time at your job. Make sure you’ll enjoy it!

F: First impressions – you can never make a second first impression; make the first one a good one!

G: Gestures and body language – pay attention in all your interactions – video interview, face-to-face interviews, interactions with all you meet on-site or at events. Body language is a big decision maker for many.

H: Handshake – yep, it still matters in the career search. A good firm handshake. Not too strong!

I: Interview – there are so many things that could be said about interviewing, but I’ll stick with practice!

J: Jobs that are the same or similar come with a variety of titles, when searching be sure to try different combinations of keywords or an advanced search.

K: Keywords – try to include some of the keywords from the job description within your resume and cover letter.

L: Location is the number one way that job seekers search for jobs. Use the map on AgCareers.com to see jobs in your state or province.

M: Mentor – find someone that you can bounce job search ideas off; that will practice interview questions with you and critique your resume. Someone that will tell you what you need to hear!

N:  Network – use those connections to introduce you to key people or interesting opportunities.

O:  Offers – evaluating offers can be tricky. Start by evaluating the basics – salary, benefits, etc. Then look at the role itself – will you be happy doing the job.  Finally, look at the company culture.  Then decide!

P: Phone interview – you’ll likely be screened by phone. Make sure you have a professional ringtone and voicemail.

Q: Qualifications – if you have 80% of the qualifications listed, including the main ones, go ahead and apply. In this market, it is hard for employers to find a perfect match.

R: Resume – make sure to tailor your resume for the role and for each application.

S: Save your resume with your name in the title – this makes for quick, easy reference by the recruiter.

T: Take your time, the average time to find a job varies by level but is typically in the 6-week range.

U: Uniqueness – you want to standout (in a good way); remind the company reps why you are the best candidate for the job.

V:  Video Interviews – be prepared, video interviewing is the big deal now. Check out our article on video interviews.

W: Wear appropriate clothing to the interview and on the job. Another great article on what to wear at work.

X: Example – yes, I know it doesn’t start with X. Use examples of what you’ve done in the past during the interview. Past behavior is a good predictor for the future.

Y: YOU are your own best sales person. Use social networks to connect with key players; practice your elevator pitch; etc. Focus on You!

Z: Zest – apparently Z is tough too, but zest is relevant. The attitude and enthusiasm you bring to your career search will help you the most through your job search journey. Good luck!