We have all experienced a stretch of time in which we’re applying to job after job and even securing interviews but have zero luck in getting a job offer. Feeling stuck in this cycle can be stressful and even downright infuriating, but it is important to remember these situations are common and happen to everyone. It can take time for the right position to stumble at your feet, and maybe it will require you to make some changes to your job searching and interviewing approach.
Don’t Let it Ruin Your Self-esteem
This is by far the most important piece of advice we can offer. It is completely understandable that job searching, applying, and interviewing can take an emotional toll, especially if there are no wins in sight. This has happened to your friends, professional mentors, and even the CEOs of large agribusinesses. A lack of job offers does not determine your self-worth. Most of the time, when a company chooses not to pursue you, it’s not because you’re a terrible candidate. Perhaps they simply decided to hire from within or hire someone with lower salary expectations. If you need time away from job searching, take however long you need to focus on your mental health before restarting your search.
Create Custom Resumes & Cover Letters
Using generic resumes and cover letters to apply to jobs can be a huge detriment to your search. Applying to jobs can be exhausting and tailoring your information to each position can take time but attempt to maintain the “quality over quantity” mentality while applying. Don’t focus your attention on applying to as many positions as possible, instead dedicate more effort to each application. Here are a few tips on how you can fix up your resume & cover letter:
- Utilize keywords from the job posting in your resume and cover letter.
- If the job posting specifies that you need certain skills, and you possess said skills, be sure to include them in your resume.
- Quantify your accomplishments – Support your accomplishments with data/numbers.
- Make sure any relevant job experience or accomplishments are at the top of your resume.
- While customizing your cover letter, keep the focus on how your skills and achievements can fulfill the company’s goals.
Reconsider the Locations in Which You Are Applying
The job market can be highly competitive and yes, while it may be great to work in San Francisco, Chicago, or Houston, those cities have a higher bar than say, an agribusiness in a small Midwest city. Also, keep in mind, if you are applying from out of state, many employers may not want to offer relocation assistance, so instead, they may hire a local. If you’re having trouble securing offers, you may want to reconsider the regions in which you’re applying, you may experience better luck in less competitive markets.
Reconsider the Companies to Which You Are Applying
Similar to highly competitive markets, some farms and agribusinesses are difficult to break into. It’s great to aim high in your job search, but if you’re only applying to large, seemingly exclusive agribusinesses, it may be a reason why you aren’t seeing any movement. Many of these companies either hire from within or rely on references. Instead, try applying to smaller agribusinesses, you’ll find many times local and mid-sized agribusiness have a healthier work environment that will make your professional life that much more enjoyable. Don’t focus so much on the notoriety of an organization when applying, it can lead you to miss great opportunities elsewhere!
Apply for Internships
This piece of advice is great for entry-level applicants who may not have as much experience in the field. A lack of professional experience can hinder your opportunity at getting hired, even into an entry-level position. This is when internships come in, many farms and agribusinesses offer full-time, paid internships that will certainly help you gain experience and not to mention, may even help you get hired full time at the company you interned! For example, AgHires is offering an amazing remote internship program you may want to take a peek at!
Ask for Feedback
If a company calls or emails you to let you know they’ve decided to go with another candidate, use the opportunity to ask the interviewer for feedback on your meeting(s). If their willing to provide feed, the information they provide can be insightful and useful for a future interview. Also, it’s important to ask mentors or friends to review your resume, cover letter, and samples. They will be able to point out any mistakes and offer suggestions to improve your information.
Conduct a Mock Interview
If you struggle with interviews and you feel as though they are a reason why you are not hearing from agribusinesses, conduct mock interviews to gain confidence. Mock interviews can be a great way to ease your anxiety surrounding interviews. Practicing is the best way to feel comfortable enough for the real thing. Have at least one mock interview before your actual one, it may help you secure an offer! We would recommend practicing with either a professional friend or mentor or participating in a mock interview event hosted by a local organization (attending one will also give you the opportunity to network). The way to have a successful mock interview is by providing your interviewer with commonly asked questions (Don’t forget to provide challenging questions as well!) and imagining it’s a real interview by getting dressed up, having your questions prepared & behaving as professional as possible. Don’t forget to ask for feedback after the meeting. Here are a few feedback questions to ask:
- In what areas can I improve and in what areas did I do well?
- If this were an actual interview, would you move forward with me? Why or why not?
- Were my responses clear and relevant to the questions asked?
- How were my demeanor and body language? Did I come across as nervous?
Maintain Your Enthusiasm
After applying and interviewing for what feels like hundreds of jobs it can leave our energy levels depleted. Sometimes, while in an interview, our lack of enthusiasm can show through. Interviewers can tell if you’re not interested in a position. If you are showing a lack of passion either out of exhaustion or because you truly aren’t passionate about the position, an interviewer may be hesitant to move forward, even if you are qualified. If you are feeling depleted, take some time to pause your job search. If you’re simply not interested in a position for which you are applying, remind yourself that there is a lot to learn, and this farm or agribusiness may teach you more than you could imagine. Essentially, keep an open mind!
Job searching is like a rollercoaster, you have your highs and lows, just remind yourself that with each application or interview, you are closer to finding your dream job. Use each opportunity to learn and make improvements and eventually, you’ll find yourself exactly where you belong!
AgHires can help you find your next job. Search for jobs in agriculture, food production, horticulture, and other related industries at AgHires.com.
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