Ag Industry Careers: Resume Do’s and Don’ts

Resume Building 101

The agricultural industry is becoming increasingly diverse for careers and it’s leading to abundant career opportunities in some sectors. 

Spring is upon us and that means that many college graduates are seeking potential employment. Secondary education classes, experiences and internships are great prep for your future career. Is your resume ready to stand out and secure your dream job?  

Shannon Douglas, of CalAgJobs, presented Career 101 to attendees at the 2018 Young Farmer and Rancher Leadership Conference. In her first breakout session of this workshop series, attendees took an in-depth look at resume components. 
It’s understandable that job seekers can be directly out of college, but some are looking to transition careers after experiencing ‘the real world’ for a few years after college.  
Check out the tips below to make sure your resume is in tip top shape for your career search!
ONE PAGE: If you are under 25 years old, include your most relevant information and utilize narrow margins to keep your resume to one page.
What order should my experiences appear on my resume?
College Graduate: Order your resume in reverse chronological order, that is, the most recent experiences first.
Career Age:  Include your Experience ahead of education, after all you’ve been working in the industry—your experience is valuable.
  • Only use one font color, preferably black
  • Save and send  your resume as a PDF file to ensure that it is readable
  • Pay attention to detail*
  • Put your best information at the top, early in the document (they will read it first)
  • If you are in college, list both your temporary and home address, especially if you plan to relocate to your hometown for your career.
  • List Highlights
  • List Leadership/ Volunteerism—biggest first and not in chronological order.
  • Use spellcheck or have a trusted source edit before you submit final copies.
 Pay Attention to Detail
Don’t use a template provided by a program (such as Microsoft Word) It’s a great guide and if you wish to utilize it, print a hard copy and follow the formatting in a brand new blank document. This helps to avoid accidentally overlooking filler information from the template.
  • Waste space with the words “phone” or “email” in your contact section.
  • Include an objective—instead write a summary statement especially for career age candidates.
  • Use the phrase “currently attending” if you are still in college, instead write your expected graduation year.
  • You don’t have to list your GPA, it is a personal preference
  • Only list if you prefer and if your GPA is over 3.0
  • Write references available by request—try to always include references (and give those references a heads up that you listed them)
  • Get too creative with design, or trendy resume looks. Remember, that for the most part, those hiring in the agriculture industry are traditional.

Searching for a career in early adulthood is an exciting time, with these tips and tricks we hope that your resume will be the least of your worries as you submit job applications.  

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