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Agrimarketing : Career Supplement USA
18 AGRIBUSINESS EMPLOYER GUIDE TTYL, Call U morrow, and TIA all forms of 1st century communication that aren't appropriate for the workplace! For those that might be reading this and can't decipher the IM and texting lingo here you go: TTYL --- talk to you later; Call U morrow --- call you tomorrow, and TIA --- thanks in advance. If you ask any professional they will likely tell you that effective communication skills are one of the best assets you have to be successful in your career. Right or wrong, today's technology and avenues for communication are playing a large role in how communication happens in the workplace. We not only have phone, fax and e-mail. Organizations are using text messaging, IM, Skype and social media networks as ways to communicate both internally and externally. With some of the communication shortcuts discovered and used by those who converse via text or IM, there has been a shift in formality and style of communication in many organizations. However, many companies still take the stand that traditional and formal commu- nication is needed both internally and externally. Whether you are in an internship or your first full-time job, your communications skills and style can be a part of what sets the first impression of you in the workplace. INITIAL MEETING Let's take a step back and talk about the first interaction you have with an organization's representative and what you can do to make an impact on that person. Typically for students this interaction takes place at a career fair or campus event. Good communication includes the nonverbal cues as well. Having a professional appearance and confident attitude is the first step. Shaking hands with the individual (a good one!) and looking them in the eyes to clearly introduce yourself is next. From there let the conversation flow naturally --- likely the recruiter will ask you several questions. Be sure to answer them in a clear and concise manner yet provide meaningful content that gets to their point. If you begin to talk too long or get off subject, it is okay to say, "I'm sorry, I got a bit off track there, did I get your question answered?" Then stop and let them pick up the conversation or question asking. If the recruiter does not offer up much for conversation, provide a quick review of yourself and accom- plishments and why you'd enjoy working with the organization or even better yet, ask the recruiter some questions about the company and their role, such as, "What is it that you like most about (your com- pany)?," or "How long have you been with the organization and why did you decide you'd like to work for them?" Another aspect that can be impressive not only in this first meeting but throughout the recruit- ment process is a knowledge of the company, what they do, and any- thing interesting that might be hap- pening at their organization. You can locate this type of information on the company's web page, local news media and by simply googling the organization's name. Be sure to wrap up your conversation with an understanding of next steps and appropriate action. Will you be calling them or will they be calling you? Have you left a clear impression that you'd like to inter- view and possibly work for them? Those are two key things to cover in your close. DURING THE OFFER Hopefully all has gone well through the interview, which is a whole other topic on communication, and you are at the point of a job offer. Sometimes communicating through job offers can be a little tricky, especially if you are weighing multiple opportunities, need to negotiate terms or aren't quite sure if the job is the right fit. If you are happy with the offer and the compensation package and you are ready to accept the position, MASTERING THE COMPLEXITIES OF WORKPLACE COMMUNICATION by Erika Brandt, AgCareers.com Marketing and Communications Manager Effective workplace communication can be during the interview process, in a team meeting, talking on the phone or e-mailing a colleague. In all of these situations and others that you may encounter, put your best foot forward and make a positive impression.