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Agrimarketing : Canadian Agribusiness Employer Guide 08
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 challenge for some people, but it can also be a valuable learning experience. CAMPUS RESOURCES Students can help improve the expe- rience by starting early, said Nathan Risling, Career Services Officer at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. “It’s good to start right away even if you are not planning on applying in the near future,” he said. “It’s a good idea to keep up with the market and be educated about what is available. When it comes time to apply, you will have a history of past opportunities to compare the current offerings to.” If individuals lack direction about what type of career they want to pursue, Risling recommends tak- ing an assessment to determine how one’s interests, personality, values and skills relate to specific career opportunities. He said the Student Employment & Career Centre (SECC) at Saskatoon facilitates such assessments and offers other resources as well. “We also provide tools for con- ducting occupational research, including an online and physical resource library,” Risling said. “And last year our online job posting system advertised nearly 4,000 posi- tions exclusively to University of Saskatchewan students and alumni.” In addition, the SECC publishes its own series of employability guides and recently launched OptimalResumeTM building tool. , an online resume OTHER RESOURCES Students should utilize the career resources on their campus, but using a variety of resources is the most 10 effective, said Becky Pedersen, Enrollment Specialist for the Depart- ment of Agriculture and Environ- mental Sciences at Lakeland College. Pedersen recommends using specific company Web sites like Viterra’s site or online job board boards like AgCareers.com. AgCareers.com is the leading sup- plier of human resource services to the agriculture, food, natural resources, and biotechnology industries. Stu- dents can use the site to post their resumes and search for jobs at no cost. tacts,” Risling said. “A well estab- lished professional network can often be the most valuable job search resource available.” Career fairs are another good place to meet industry contacts and begin building a professional network. “This is a great opportunity for students to see all the options avail- able to them, and in many cases speak with alumni about what they are doing,” Pedersen said. “This may open student’s minds to options they were not previously aware of.” “The job market has its ups and downs, but you will eventually find something that suits your needs. The most important thing is to keep at it.” — Nathan Risling, Career Services Officer, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon “Each month employers post more than 2,000 jobs on our Web site and more than 5,000 applications are sent directly to employers via AgCareers.com,” said Kathryn Doan, Business Development Man- ager for AgCareers.com. “We do our best to be an effective resource for students when they need assistance during their job search, through job postings, online tools, articles and Webinars.” There are also career guidance tools on the AgCarees.com site. Stu- dents can take different assessments and receive a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Career Report or a Strong Interest Inventory Profile Report at a low cost. Both Pedersen and Risling said professional organizations are another good way to get connected with the industry. “Getting involved with these organizations is a great way to stay abreast of industry trends and to make valuable professional con- Even if you establish connections with an association and attend career events, it is good to take the job search a step further by participating in job shadowing or work experi- ences. “I believe having a chance to work in an area really helps to see if that position is a true fit to the indi- vidual,” Pedersen said. “I recom- mend students job shadow or do work experience in areas they think they may be interested in. From there it’s a bit easier for them to pick what program would best compliment the job they have their eye on.” Many students agree with Pedersen saying that work experi- ence is the best way to determine which career area to pursue. “My summer work experiences have helped me discover where my interests are, and they have helped me determine what I want to do out of university,” said Tracy Meyer, fourth year student at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon.