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Agrimarketing : Agribusiness Employer Guide 2008
AGRIBUSINESS EMPLOYER GUIDE Successful Searching UNIVERSITY PROFESSIONALS AND FOR EFFECTIVE by Cynthia Hoffman, AgCareers.com I t can be stressful. It can be time consuming. But if you want to be employed, it can not be avoided. The job search may be a chal- lenge for some people, but it can also be a valuable learning experience. WHEN TO START Students can help improve the expe- rience by starting early. Timely preparation can help reduce the stress of frantic last-minute job searching, said Amy Gazaway, Career Development Coordinator at Oklahoma State University (OSU). Gazaway said the job search starts a student’s first day of college. “I truly believe that on day one students should start the career exploration process,” she said. “They need to start early by seeking out their interests, getting involved in campus organizations that help develop those interests, and apply- ing for internships early on.” Gazaway said if students start the process early, they will be pre- pared when it’s time to conduct the actual job search. At OSU, Gazaway advises her students to follow three basic steps: 1. Career exploration 2. Career planning, and 3. Career preparation. First students complete career exploration by taking different assess- ments to figure out their interests, strengths and values. Then students formulate a plan of action that will help them take the necessary steps to be prepared and qualified for their desired job. Finally students begin the preparation stage by preparing resumes, developing interview skills, and searching and applying for jobs. This may sound like an extensive process, but Deborah Solie, Coordi- nator of Student Services at Auburn University, agrees that the job search takes time and effort. She said start- 16 ing early allows a student to explore different career opportunities and change their mind with greater ease. “If students start their freshmen year, they have time to take a variety of classes, get involved in different student organizations, and have more than one internship opportu- nity,” Solie said. “These experiences may direct them down a new or dif- ferent career path, but they will have a better idea of what they want to do when their senior year arrives.” because you are paying for that ser- vice already and those professionals will help direct you to more resources,” Gazaway said. In reality, not all students have access to resources like the ones offered at the established OSU pro- gram. Gazaway takes pride in the services that are offered at her insti- tution, but said it’s good for students to seek out alternative resources. “Secondly you should look for other resources like online job “We are seeing more and more students come back from the summer break already having job offers or receiving job offers in September or October. Students need to understand that employers are recruiting earlier because they want the better candidates. This means students have to start looking earlier.” — Amy Gazaway, OSU Career Development Coordinator Gazaway said not starting early enough is the biggest mistake a job seeker can make. She said it takes the average job seeker six to nine months to find a job, and students need to take that fact into consideration. “We are seeing more and more students come back from the sum- mer break already having job offers or receiving job offers in September or October,” Gazaway said. “Stu- dents need to understand that employers are recruiting earlier because they want the better candi- dates. This means students have to start looking earlier.” WHERE TO FIND RESOURCES So students should begin the job search early, but where do they begin? Gazaway recommends that students use their campus career services first, but seek out other avenues as well. “The first place to start is campus career and employment services boards specific to the industry. www.AgCareers.com is a good site that provides outstanding tools for the students who don’t have developed career services on their campuses.” Gazaway said she is not against using general sites like Monster.com, but students will be better served if they look into indus- try-specific resources. AgCareers.com is the leading supplier of human resource services to the agriculture, food, natural resources, and biotechnology indus- tries. Students can use the site to post their resumes and search for jobs at no cost. “Each month employers post more than 2,000 jobs on our site and more than 5,000 applications are sent to jobs through AgCareers.com,” said Eric Spell, President of AgCa- reers.com. “We strive to be the best online job board for students and hope they will use our site to assist them in their job search.”
May 2008 Supplement
Canadian Agribusiness Employer Guide 08