COIVID’s Impact on the Job Search Process
When COVID hit, it became much more common for the interview process to be done online, with this trending to become the new normal. Remote positions became more and more common too, or at least the option to work-from-home a few days a week quickly became the way of the future. Now that COVID restrictions have been lifted from what they were, in most of North America, there has been a mass flooding of applications with people looking for remote work, and/or flex work, and the agricultural industry is no exception.
The Outlook in the Ag & Food Job Market
The Agriculture & Food industry is an essential market and employs more the just people on the farm and in the fields!
For every one person that works on the farm, nine people work behind the scenes. In demand jobs behind the scenes include sales, logistics, supply chain management, engineering, precision ag, marketing and much more! The agricultural industry has many emerging careers too, including social media specialists, ag tech cloud & software developers, data analysis, sustainability, public relations, and scientists!
Customizing your Resume & Getting Your Application Through
Research shows on average for larger companies, 250 applications are submitted, 63 resumes are seen by a hiring manager, five interviews are given, and one job is offered. Therefore, you need to stand out!
Naming your resume uniquely is a good first step, including your name, as well as the month you last edited it, and the job title, too. This will not only help your resume stand out among the 250 that are submitted, but also help you organize your files and easily be able to locate your resume.
It is important to note that most large companies use a software to sort through resumes, looking for keywords from the job posting. Therefore, it is important to use words in the job posting in your resume to help it stand out. Because of the software limitations, having a simple layout for your resume can help the software pick out the critical information. A fancy resume made in Photoshop or Canva may look great, but it may not be as practical as a simple one made in Microsoft Word or Google Docs.
On average, hiring managers spend six seconds looking at your resume, where they look for four key things:
Set yourself up for success and make sure these four key items are easily located on your resume!
Top Tips for Online Interviews & Networking
Any interviewer is looking for four main things during an interview regardless of if it in-person or online.
While those four questions may not be directly asked, the questions that are asked will be trying to answer one of those four questions, so be prepared to showcase yourself to fit the part.
When doing an online interview, it is best to treat it like an in-person interview. Having your resume in front of you with a pen and a piece paper is a great first step. Prepare questions ahead of time to ask the interviewer, and don’t rely on coming up with them during the interview. In addition, dressing the part is key!
Practice with the interview platform, so you know where the important functions are, like knowing how to turn your camera on, mute if need, and how to join the call. Adjust the lighting and the camera so shadows are limited, as well as making sure the camera is inline with your eyes. Have a good background that is not distracting for the interviewer.
It is important to research the organization, as it shows interest in the company and their history. It may also help answer some questions, too. Highlight your strengths with the job description to show you are the right candidate for the job. It is important to NOT criticize your past employers, as it shows a negative attitude. Finally, having a backup plan for the interview in case there is a technical issue on your end, or the interviewers end. Ask ahead of time if a phone call is possible, and who is contacting who in case of a technical issue.
Following up with Employers in a Virtual Environment
Before the end of an interview, ask what the next steps are in the hiring process. This shows that you are seriously interested in this opportunity and can help you stand out from the rest of the crowd.
It is important to write down who was all in the interview and send them a personalized thank you email within 24 hours of the interview. This is also a great time to ask any questions you thought of after the interview. Finally, if no response is received within the given timeline, you can send the hiring manager another thank you email and request a follow-up.