2023/2024 AgCareers.com Agriculture and Food Career Guide – Canadian Edition


1.800.929.8975 WWW.AGCAREERS.COM AGCAREERS@AGCAREERS.COM AgCareers.com is not responsible for any mistakes, misprints, or typographical errors. AgCareers.com is diligent in checking all advertising copy for any errors, but no guarantee is given or implied by the publisher. ©2023 Published by Farms.com Canada Inc. AGCAREERS.COMAGRICULTURE & FOOD CAREER GUIDE WELCOME KATHRYN DOAN CVO, DIRECTOR, AGCAREERS.COM 2 Whether you are a student, a new graduate, or an experienced professional, AgCareers.com is here to support your career journey! The agricultural industry fills a basic need for each person across the globe, and there is a place for everyone in agriculture and food careers. The variety of professions in the industry provides many opportunities for people from diverse backgrounds, experiences, and educational pathways to find their place to make a difference. The Agriculture and Food Career Guide is a publication that has grown for over fifteen years with annual enhancements to address the changing job market, trends, and environment. This career guide remains a focused resource for people considering a fulltime career, education, skilled trade, co-op or internship. The guide is jam-packed with engaging content relevant to the present employment marketplace and provides job seeker advice and the connection to careers and jobs available in Agriculture and Food. The Agriculture & Food Career Guide covers topics, including advice that all early talent should know, such as adapting a resume, answering interview questions, and setting realistic salary expectations. AgCareers.com is also pleased to highlight elite agricultural and food businesses throughout the magazine; these organizations are actively recruiting talent for internships and entry-level positions. Save this publication throughout the year and beyond as a resource for your career search. Also, bookmark our digital edition at www.AgCareers.com, which includes online enhancements and links to employers that are hiring. In addition, sign up for the Career Success Kit, which delivers career content directly to your email, over the next few months. View the back cover for your invitation to the kit’s exclusive videos, graphics, and interactive content to help you thrive in the job market. The advice in this publication will boost your professional development, job search, and career success. Be proactive in your search and apply to opportunities on www.AgCareers.com. Employers post thousands of job openings each month! Use the content to put the finishing touches on your resume and then add it to the AgCareers.com Resume Database so employers can find you. No matter what point you are in your career journey, this guide and AgCareers.com’s resources will help you along the way. On behalf of AgCareers.com and our industry partners, thank you for exploring this guide and starting your career in agriculture and food! We look forward to helping you through your career and encourage you to Feed Your Future and explore a career in agriculture and food. HOT TIP: Some employers do not post their positions but search the resume database instead. Be sure to add your resume to the AgCareers.com database to connect you to the employers available.


5 AGCAREERS.COMAGRICULTURE & FOOD CAREER GUIDE Most people turn to the internet when beginning their job search. Even if a friend or family member initially tells you about a job opening, you are likely to complete one or more steps of the process online. You may think personal interactions, phone or video calls, and in-person conversations fill the job search and application process, however, it often begins with a simple online keyword search and submitting your application and resume through a digital platform like AgCareers.com. KEYWORDS We are all familiar with beginning any online search by inputting relevant keywords into the search bar. Just as you use keywords to find job openings, they are also essential to getting your application noticed by employers too. We asked the AgCareers.com network of 100,000+ social media followers, “Do you know how to use keywords when applying for jobs?” A significant trend in online job searching and hiring is using keywords. As many companies and sites use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), it is essential to understand how keywords work. This ATS technology electronically manages applications and screens candidates. It is a necessity to incorporate keywords into your resume and cover letter. Applicant Tracking Systems & employers look for words in your resume and cover letter that match the job description. Customize your resume for each position by including job posting keywords matching your qualifications. You will notice keywords and phrases that are emphasized or repeated in the position description; build these words into your resume. However, do not go too farbe wary of stuffing keywords into your document, avoid copying straight from the job description, or overusing these words inappropriately. You should make sure that the terms used are not just listed but that they also make sense in a sentence. Your overstuffed resume may make it through the ATS, but hiring managers will likely throw it aside. If you randomly inserted keywords throughout your document to make it past the ATS, the people behind the system will notice in the next step of the process. ONLINE PROFILES If you are searching for jobs and researching employers on the web, they are likely also looking online for more information about you. Review your social media content and google yourself—what comes up? What will employers find? Will it help your job search or derail it? It is important to update your digital profiles, including your volunteering and activities related to your chosen job field. Many employers search our profiles, work history, education, and online shared content. You want to be sure that you are highlighting yourself in the best way possible and not sabotaging yourself. People often need to remember to investigate and question their association with others. Who are you following? What comments have you made on others’ profiles? It may be time to unfollow some accounts that do not align with your values. SEARCHING ON AGCAREERS.COM The AgCareers.com site has an entire menu devoted to search tools. Beyond the simple keyword search or city/province front and center on the homepage, you can also use the advanced tools to search through jobs by various criteria. • Internships • Temporary Jobs • Recently added jobs • Job Title • Industry • Location Beyond that, the advanced search button provides a simple, effective method to narrow your results. Search by region, job type, years of experience, remote/work-from-home opportunities, an exact phrase, or even exclude words from your search. > > > By Bonnie Johnson, Marketing & Communications Manager and Paula West, Digital Experience Project Manager, AgCareers.com

6 AGCAREERS.COMAGRICULTURE & FOOD CAREER GUIDE AGCAREERS.COM PROFILE When you visit the AgCareers.com website, it is also beneficial to create a candidate profile. You can use several tools from your profile to help you manage and expand your career search. These tools include the resume database, application history, and job search agents. You can access all these tools from your job seeker dashboard when logging into AgCareers.com. RESUME Take advantage of your time as a student; it is a perfect time to create your profile and upload your resume. You can update your profile with work and education experience anytime. Upload new resumes as often as needed for employers to browse using our resume database. Employers search the resume database daily. If you are already working, you do not need to worry about your current employer seeing your account or resume, as there is an option to ‘hide’ from employers. You can still save your resume in the account, keep it confidential, and not upload it to the resume database. Use the uploaded resume on file to apply for positions posted on AgCareers.com without allowing employers to see it in the resume database. You can also save multiple resume versions and cover letters to your job seeker profile to organize and streamline the application process later. SAVED JOBS Rarely do you have time to apply for a job the minute you find it. You can save jobs to your AgCareers.com account to come back to later. Click “Save this Job” in the upper right corner of the job listing. Your saved jobs can be viewed by clicking “Saved Jobs” on your dashboard. JOB ALERTS & AGENTS Once you’ve built your profile, you can subscribe to job alerts for positions or companies you are interested in. When searching on the site and coming across a job that interests you, click on the green box that says, “Want notifications for new jobs like this?” Input your email, and you also have the choice to input your phone number for text alerts. You may follow a particular employer and receive alerts when they post a new job. At any time, you can adjust these alerts or stop them. If you constantly search the same keywords when you visit AgCareers. com, save time by creating a Job Search Agent. The agent stores a search that will run each time you log in. This agent lets you quickly see the positions that meet your search criteria when logging in to your account. Keeping track of your applications and knowing that the system processed them is vital. If you apply to positions on AgCareers.com with your candidate account, it will save an application history for you. Your “Application History” is found on your dashboard. EMAIL UPDATES Register for AgCareers.com email updates to stay current on the latest jobs, career search strategies, professional development, human resources trends, and education in the agriculture and food industry. There are several newsletters to choose from to suit your needs. AgCareers.com offers a weekly newsletter with active job postings, job seeker tips, and event information. There is also a Career Success Kit published monthly during the school year. This kit helps you gain confidence and provides resources as you begin your career path. Additionally, we dedicate the Skill and Trade newsletter to those in the trades. Register for the AgCareers.com newsletters here: Online searching has undoubtedly simplified the job hunt. You can now search from anywhere, anytime. This simplified job search may provide the opportunity to rush through the application process. Allocating enough time to thoroughly edit the information you provide and upload all your materials is essential. Many online tools can be very beneficial if used and used properly. Start by setting up your AgCareers.com Candidate Profile today at www.AgCareers.com! AG Photo by Tippapatt on Adobe Stock

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9 AGCAREERS.COMAGRICULTURE & FOOD CAREER GUIDE Whether you’re applying for a job, aiming for a promotion, trying to connect with leadership, or working with clients, we always do our best to ensure your credentials and experience are known, but can you say the same for making sure they know who you are? While it’s important to share your qualifications, you shouldn’t underestimate how important your values and personality are. Although this may be demonstrated through interactions, you’ll have a significant advantage if you can give people a sense of who you are before meeting them. This idea of consciously creating a message of you as a person, with your different strengths, values, and characteristics, and then advertising it to others is called making a personal brand. Living in a time when we can connect with people even before meeting them, creating a personal brand has never been more critical. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PERSONAL BRAND AND A RESUME Everyone has credentials, and because we’ve worked so hard for them, we like to show them off, but your personal brand isn’t supposed to lay out your education, experiences, and qualifications instead, it’s supposed to be a description of your experiences and values. When creating your brand, remember how you navigated and contributed to different experiences, what kind of role you played, how you collaborated with others, and how you accomplished your goals. Asking these questions is meant to help you understand what kind of person you are, what your strengths are, and where, and in what ways, you can best contribute to a goal; for example, are you open minded, professional, creative, attentive, strategic, or divergent? Your qualifications and experience are undeniably necessary, but who you are and how you act are as well. THE IMPORTANCE OF A PERSONAL BRAND Personal brands establish a persona of who you are, which is vital because it not only articulates who you are as a professional but also displays your values and leaves little room for people to make assumptions. Impressions are meaningful and personal brands are designed to ensure that people understand who you are and your values. Now someone who already feels established within a company might think that taking the time to create a personal brand isn’t worth the effort since they’ve worked with people within the company and have already made an impression, but this is only partially true. Although you may be comfortable in your position, what happens when you want to move up in the company or bring in a new client? Can you be sure those decision makers know who you are and your values? Employers and clients value good character; your brand is a shortcut to demonstrating that character. CREATING YOUR PERSONAL BRAND The first step to creating a personal brand is to take a moment for introspection and think about how you want to describe who you are and the kind of person you want to be. This process of self reflection can be difficult and uncomfortable for some, but if you don’t invest the time to understand who you are properly, you can’t expect to create a brand for yourself! Another way to think of it is you’re trying to advertise yourself as a product. If you were to try and sell a product, you would naturally showcase its values, but you need a strong understanding of the product to know where to start. The same could be said for creating your own brand; if you don’t know your strengths, how can you expect to create an accurate image for yourself? Although essential to the process, sometimes introspection can only take you so far. In this case, it’s all right to By Kathryn Doan, CVO, Director, AgCareers.com > > >

10 AGCAREERS.COMAGRICULTURE & FOOD CAREER GUIDE seek input from those around you; make sure that whoever you’re asking will give you an honest answer and not just want you to want to hear. Examples of good people to consult are mentors, coworkers, team members, community leaders, and not your best friend or direct family members. Once you’ve established how to describe yourself, consider your situation and how you want to present this information. For example, if you’re a candidate in a municipal election, you should use wording like “Community Builder” instead of “Lifelong resident of Norwich.” Between those two examples, one is proactive, impactful, and looking to the future, while the other may be relatable, but it doesn’t push your image as a leader. If you are still struggling to develop your personal brand, here’s a way to reframe the concept; in the past, people handed out business cards to connect after a meeting or event. In today’s world, it is about leaving a lasting or memorable impression, often followed up virtually by a call, text, or social media. A personal brand is essentially a verbal business card designed to clearly articulate who you are at the same time as differentiating yourself. WHAT IS A PERSONAL BRAND STATEMENT? A personal brand statement is an integral part of your brand; it’s a catchphrase that says something about your expertise and what makes you unique. It gives people a glance into what you can do, so they’ll be able to understand how you can benefit them. And if it’s catchy enough, that’s how people will recognize and remember you. It can be challenging to come up with a compelling personal brand statement. It must be strong, descriptive, short, and catchy all at the same time. People reading the statement should know exactly what you can do and what you specialize in. It should also spark their curiosity and make them want to know more about your services. Let’s say you’re a motivational speaker and career counselor. Your personal brand statement could be something like this: “I help individuals reassess their life choices to discover their true paths to success.” You must carefully choose the right words and arrange them in the right way to get your message across effectively. But most of all, your personal brand statement should reflect your brand’s identity and values. In other words, it should reflect yourself and your abilities. GROWING YOUR PERSONAL BRAND ALONGSIDE YOUR CAREER Your career will continue to grow and evolve, and as it grows, so will your experiences, values, and responsibilities, so it’s important to ensure that the brand you’ve created for yourself reflects this growth. To stay on top of your brand and how you’re presenting yourself, you should check in with yourself, look at the different ways you’ve changed, and update your brand to match your personal and professional development. Above all else, ensure that whatever your brand, it accurately and honestly demonstrates who you are and what you believe. ADVERTISING YOUR BRAND After you’ve invested the time in creating your personal brand it’s vital to start putting it out there for everyone to see, because what’s the point in branding if nobody’s aware of it? Starting this process is easy. You can include your brand in your social media bios, personal posts, and job applications. I’ve even seen people who include them in their email signatures. Remember that you promote yourself and move your career forward whenever you advertise your personal brand. IN CONCLUSION Building and maintaining a personal brand isn’t easy; it requires you to take an honest look at yourself and get a better understanding of who you are, but once you’ve created your brand and a pairing statement, the advantages, whether personal or professional, will over time be hard to deny. AG Illustration by REDPIXEL on Adobe Stock

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GRADUATE STUDIES (PhD, MSc thesis & non-thesis) • Agricultural Economics • Animal Science • Bioresource Engineering • Biotechnology • Entomology • Food Science/Food Safety • Human Nutrition • Microbiology • Renewable Resources • Plant Science • Parasitology www.mcgill.ca/macdonald/prospective studentinfo.macdonald@mcgill.ca Tel: 514-398-7925 www.mcgill.ca/macdonald/prospective/gradstudies gradstudies.macdonald@mcgill.ca Tel: 514-398-7838 UNDERGRADUATE-LEVEL PROGRAMS (BSc, BEng) • Agricultural Economics • Agro-environmental Sciences • Bioresource Engineering • Ecological Agriculture • Dietetics andHuman Nutrition • Environmental Biology • Food Science • Global Food Security • Animal Health and Disease • Microbiology and Biotechnology • Plant and Animal Production • Professional Agrology COLLEGE-LEVEL PROGRAM • FarmManagement and Technology (www.mcgill.ca/fmt)

13 AGCAREERS.COMAGRICULTURE & FOOD CAREER GUIDE Transferable skills are skills you can take from one job to the next. No matter your degree or desired career path, transferable skills can benefit you professionally and socially. Therefore, they are essential when considering a job or career change. While your previous job duties or educational experiences may align differently with the requirements of a new job, transferable skills can help you bridge the gap and let employers see what a valued asset you can be to their team. Top Transferable Skills Whether you are looking to make a career change, land a new job or get an internship, displaying the transferable skills you have already developed can help employers see the potential you can bring to their organization despite lacking direct industry experience. Don’t count yourself out if you lack industry-specific experiences. Instead, show employers how your education or previous work experience is a good fit for the role you are applying for by highlighting transferable skills. According to the 2023 Employee Skills Survey conducted by AgCareers.com, the top necessary skills employers need are: 1. Problem-solving 2. Teamwork 3. Organization and planning 4. Verbal communication Because these are the most necessary skills for employers, they could also be seen as the most important transferable skills. Let’s take a closer look at each of these skills and how you can demonstrate them. 1. Problem-Solving:  This transferable skill was noted as the most coveted skill in the 2023 AgCareers.com Employee Skills survey. When problems arise, you may have to be creative when coming up with a solution or be required to make decisions. While training is important, problem-solving and decision-making skills are vital in setting you apart as a valuable team member. Practice demonstrating how you worked through problems in your role and the thought process used to overcome obstacles. 2. Teamwork:  Unless you are working for yourself with no other human contact, teamwork is a vital skill that is transferable to any industry or type of role. Being able to demonstrate that you can work with others, including workflow, conflict resolution, and positioning yourself as a valuable team member is essential. Try enhancing this skill by seeking out team-related projects at work and asking for feedback from group members. Determining how you can best support your team and being able to follow through is a welcomed transferable skill. 3. Organization and Planning:  On the job, you will be required to prioritize tasks and manage your time well as you take on different projects in addition to your daily job duties. While the need for this skill may seem obvious, many employers are seeing a lapse in this skill as they continue to look to fill positions. Consider your current workflow if this is a skill you need to sharpen. Are there areas of your education and work life that need more organization? Work-life to implement new systems to share how you practiced organization and planning skills to improve a project timeline or process with a potential employer. 4. Verbal Communication:  Effective communication is vital when working with a team, whether clarifying instructions, mitigating issues, or collaborating on projects. Avoid many issues within the workspace through effective verbal communication. In addition, clear and concise communication can make projects go smoothly and lessen confusion. Some questions to ask yourself are: What and who have you communicated with today? Do you think communications were easily received? Continuing Education Further education through certification courses, training, or webinars can also help employees as they work to diversify their industry knowledge and transferable skill set.  Eighty percent of employers reported that when looking for professional development opportunities, they or their employees are looking for “general professional training or soft skills.”  Finding employers that offer training, especially with transferable skills, can be a huge benefit when beginning your professional career and building your skill repertoire. In summary, while industry-specific experience and skills are valuable, these will come with time as you advance further into your career and education. When highlighting your potential to future employers, do not underestimate the value transferable skills can bring to the table. Explore the AgCareers.com Career Success Library https://www.agcareers. com/career-success-library/ and register for the Career Success Kit https://www. agcareers.com/newsletter-signup.cfm to gather additional tips on transferable skills. By Rachael Powell, HR Solutions & Compensation Manager, AgCareers.com The Most Important Transferable Skills Photo byAndrii Yalanskyi on Adobe Stock AG

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15 AGCAREERS.COMAGRICULTURE & FOOD CAREER GUIDE Are you on the hunt for the next step in your career path? Are you thinking about making a career change? No matter what your goal is, having a wellcrafted resume is essential. However, crafting the perfect resume takes time, diligence, reviews and proofreading to ensure that it checks all the boxes and best shows off your skills and experience. One way to help your resume stand out is customizing it for the role you are applying for. While you have likely already spent time crafting a resume including your education, industry certificates, work experience, related job experience and all the critical details it is also important to consider customizing this resume for the specific role you are applying to. Adapting your resume, especially early in your career when you are still selecting the right path for your future and looking to try a few different opportunities will be critically important, especially if the type of roles that you are applying to do not all fall into the same category. Perhaps you have tried your hand at a few different types of jobs already and are looking for the next right step, for example let’s say you really are passionate about the dairy industry perhaps this means you would be very open to a marketing role with a dairy company, a sales position for a dairy supplier, or a herdsman role on a dairy farm. Your skills and background may have set you up in a way to make you a very qualified candidate for the position, but the way that you highlight your different experiences should differ depending on the part of the industry you are applying to with that specific resume. How you highlight the skills you learned while working on that dairy farm right after you finished your degree could be presented differently for each position. In the marketing role, you could mention how you understand how the farmer and end-user uses the product or that you understand what dairy farmers are looking for and could use that in marketing the products. In the sales role, you could highlight how you can connect with dairy farmers and understand their operations and needs, so you would be well suited to be out on farms selling to producers. In the herdsman role, you could highlight specific animal health knowledge you learned or industryspecific certification you may already have obtained. While all your skills could benefit each of these roles, the benefit you bring to the company should be portrayed differently depending on the role you are applying to. Can recruiters and HR people read between the lines and see that you have the experience they are looking for? Yes absolutely, but if there is a large stack of resumes to go through, the ones that most easily check the boxes of qualifications based on the job description will rise to the top and be the candidates that successfully land the interview! There are many key parts of your resume, highlight the experience you have and what makes you the right fit. But is sending the same resume out to the masses going to land you that dream job or the next career you are hoping for? Here are some tips and tricks to consider when customizing your resume to fit the job you are applying for. RESEARCH When applying for a job, it is important to understand the position you are applying for and the company you are applying to. By doing some research before you finalize your customized resume and application, you can better understand the company’s values, size, culture, and what makes them unique. You can research whether the company has been in the news lately to understand the current hot topics within their business this can help you to highlight the areas about you that are relevant. This research will also help you to be prepared if your amazing customized resume helps to land you the interview! THE JOB POSTING Read through the job posting in detail a couple of times, make notes of the repetitive keywords and phrases used. This indicates that the employer is looking for candidates with these skills or experiences so be sure to include that in your resume if it is something that you have experience or a background in. Remember, this job posting highlights what they are looking for in an ideal candidate. Some of the items on the job posting might be something they “wish for” but won’t necessarily find, if you look at the job posting and feel you meet most of the criteria, still apply, you still might be the very best candidate for this company! Even if there is one piece of the job posting that you don’t feel experienced at yet, your skills in the other required areas might compensate for that and still make you the best person for the role. Paint the picture for the hiring manager as to why you are the perfect candidate for this role. > > > By Katie Hunter, Talent Solutions Manager, AgCareers.com

ADAPTING YOUR RESUME You’ve read through the job posting and thought through the keywords and skills that employers are looking for, now it is time to take your standard resume and adjust it for the specific role you are applying to. Be sure to save your standard resume before you make edits, this can be a great starting point each time before you modify the resume for the specific role you are applying to. Be intentional about what you include on your resume. While the various certifications, clubs you’ve been involved in, scholarships you may have won could be a critical piece to a hiring manager if you are newly entering the workforce, as you advance in your career and have more job experience to highlight some of those other pieces will become less important to the hiring manager. Also consider what job and work experiences you are highlighting and what specific parts of that job are relevant to the role you are applying for. You have looked through the job posting and know what they are looking for, so take the opportunity to speak to the items that are keywords with your skills and experience that you have. This will allow the employer to make the connection between your skills and why you are a fit for the job. Highlight your most relevant experiences and leave the others off the resume. You don’t need to include every single thing you’ve ever done. APPLICANT TRACKING SYSTEMS Many large and smaller employers may also be using a computer software system called an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) for applications. As a job seeker this means to you that the computer system might review your resume before a person even gets an opportunity to look at them. Often an ATS will look at some of your skills and strengths listed on your resume and be looking for some of the specific keywords important to the job. If you have matched your resume to the language and keywords you found in the job description, it will help your resume to stand out well and get on to the hiring manager. UNIQUE RESUME IDENTIFIER OR FILE NAME One important note about modifying your resume for specific roles is to consider the file name you use. When updating and saving your tailored resumes, do not edit directly on your standard resume. Instead, copy the file and make changes from there. That way if there are specific experiences you are removing from your resume that aren’t relevant for one role, you still have that information to reach back to when applying to a position that they are relevant for. When saving your file, remember that hiring departments receive many resumes, save the file with your name, not just the word resume. Saving the resume with your name and the role or company you are applying to help ensure you send the right resume to the right place. These tips will help you create your customized resume to land the interview and then land the dream job! Good luck! AG Illustration by Feodora on Adobe Stock If interested, please visit our websites below. cavagri.com | cavendishfarms.com CAREER OPPORTUNITIES Are you or someone you know interested in a career in agriculture? Consider a career with Cavendish Agri and Cavendish Farms!

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19 AGCAREERS.COMAGRICULTURE & FOOD CAREER GUIDE Photo by Vasyl on Adobe Stock You did it! Your perfectly tailored resume landed you a scheduled interview at your dream employer. Now the only thing standing in your way is the interview. Success, especially when it comes to your job search, is about being able to get the details right. For many, a co-op position or internship is a first-time job filled with many unknowns. An interview for a co-op position or internship is like other types of interviews, such as those for full-time or part-time work. All these interviews generally follow the same format where the interviewer will ask you informationbased questions about your background and behavioral questions to gauge your skills and problem-solving abilities. They may even present hypothetical scenarios to evaluate your approach to various situations. As a student, it is unlikely that you will have a wealth of job experience. Hence, you must lean on your academic and volunteer experiences and explain the potential benefits you could bring to the company. Remember that most organizations will recognize that as a student completing their degree, you have limited work experience. Also, you likely won’t have the direct skills you’ll perform on the job. Therefore, your goal for the interview is not to show employers what you have done but the potential of what you can get done for the organization. It is about demonstrating your potential for the role, how you will grow into the role and benefit the company. INTERVIEW QUESTIONS When asked, “Tell me a little about yourself,” the best way to make a lasting impression is to avoid your education and work background because the employer already knows this through your resume. Instead, talk about yourself, what motivates you, and how you work in a team environment. Make connections to the job description and company when answering the question. Interviewers may ask you directly what you know about the company; this is where your preparation for the interview comes in handy. Keep it brief but relevant. Practice what you will say in advance if you are asked this question during the interview. Understanding a company’s values and current projects can better help you decide on your interview answers. For example, if you know about the company’s involvement in multiple environmental initiatives, you could also speak about how that motivates you in your work. You can also use the information you picked up and incorporate it into other responses. Use LinkedIn, the company website, news websites, and other relevant sources for your research. In almost any interview, employers will also expect you to speak about how you have dealt with situations in the past. For example, they may ask, “Tell me about a time you worked on a team and things didn’t go so well. What did you do?” When asked about a past situation you’ve dealt with, employers are looking for you to explain in detail a problem you faced and the steps you took to overcome it. Your explanation gives them a snapshot of how you would act if you encountered similar situations during your co-op position and your problemsolving ability. To prepare for this question before the interview, brainstorm two or three relevant instances where you solved a problem. Knowing the story’s key points is sufficient to avoid appearing robotic to the interviewer. Additionally, ensure you can explain the situation through the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, and Result). INTERVIEW PREP Overall, interviews can be nervewracking no matter what stage you are in of your career. Remember that nervousness is normal, and preparation is the key to doing well in an interview. Lean on your Career Services department for assistance and use resources available at your school. Almost all of them offer workshops to conduct mock interviews. Good luck out there! Find more tips and resources in the “Interviewing” category of the AgCareers.com Career Success Library at www.AgCareers.com. AG By Nicole Gallace, Talent Solutions Manager and Veronica Hislop, Content Creator, FoodGrads.com

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21 AGCAREERS.COMAGRICULTURE & FOOD CAREER GUIDE By Clara Boles, Digital Marketing Coordinator, AgCareers.com Saying “yes” more may seem easy to do…but is it? It may not be simple if it puts you outside your comfort zone. It is great to take advantage of opportunities that come along during our academic and professional careers. These opportunities can benefit us in multiple ways, such as by expanding our network, gaining a new skill set, or helping us to achieve a goal. These opportunities could look like volunteering, taking on a new task at work, or even mentoring. It can also be easy to fall into a professional work routine where we are comfortable, making new opportunities seem extremely daunting. After all, it would get us out of our comfort zones! Don’t allow the novel occasions that arise in your educational and professional careers to intimidate you; here are the benefits of saying “yes” to unique opportunities and some ways to overcome the challenge of leaving your safe haven. EMBRACING NEW OPPORTUNITIES EARLY IN YOUR JOURNEY Don’t wait until you have launched into your professional career to begin saying “yes” to new challenges. Instilling an open mindset when we are younger only makes it much easier to take advantage of these unique opportunities for the rest of your career. Embracing change and new opportunities earlier in your life helps you stay out of that box you put yourself in! During your academic career, you usually have much more time on your hands to sign up for new opportunities. This is an ideal time in your life to meet new people and expand your network. Sign up for a club, volunteer. Or even connecting with classmates for a study group. SAYING “YES” IN YOUR CAREER Suppose your boss has proposed the idea of you attending a conference and representing the company on your own. For some, this might be an easy “yes!” For others, the thought of attending a conference for the first time or going alone might seem daunting. Instead of thinking about how overwhelming going alone feels, try to think of all the benefits this new opportunity could bring you: • A chance to network with a new group of people • Show your boss that you have initiative • Expand your educational palette • Build your professional skills and resume HOW TO SAY “YES” TO GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES Challenging yourself to say “yes” more in your career doesn’t necessarily mean you have to take a course or complete a certificate; you could simply do a task that is not your usual cup of tea. By doing something that is not in your norm, whether it is big or small, you are indeed challenging yourself and pushing yourself to an area you have not been before. Other effective opportunities to say “yes” on the job could include: • Signing up for a volunteer activity • Going to lunch with a coworker or colleague • Seeking advice from a mentor WHY YOU SHOULD CHALLENGE YOURSELF TO SAY “YES” TO GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES Having an unlimited mindset really opens the door to many more possibilities. If you have an attitude of “yes,” people may be keener on approaching you or even asking for collaboration or feedback. Having that type of skill not only adds to your toolbox of skills, but also to your entire team. YOU WILL IMPACT OTHERS Being someone who says “yes” and is open to new things can rub off and have influence over others. I have a friend that says “yes” to almost every opportunity. Just by being friends with her, she has influenced me and made me want to get out there and do more. You never know who you could be affecting. SET A GOAL If it is too overwhelming for you to think of a life of saying “yes”, set yourself a time parameter and try to complete that. For example, tell yourself that for an entire month that you are going to take advantage of the opportunities that arise. Do not make an excuse for why you cannot attend or commit to opportunities that fill your cup or contribute to your growth. Setting a goal and establishing a time to complete it can help you remain accountable and push yourself to grow. Establish boundaries by agreeing only to activities that you are comfortable committing and completing. When you think about life as a whole, it is much more fulfilling to say “yes” to new opportunities rather than be timid and missing out on the possibilities. Saying “yes” not only opens the door for us, but it also makes us better versions of ourselves through new experiences and growth opportunities. AgCareers.com’s followers responded to a posted poll, “How quick are you to say “yes” to a new opportunity?” I challenge you, the next time someone presents you with an opportunity that makes you feel nervous or a little uncomfortable, give it some thought and say “yes!” Every time you get out of that box you put yourself in, you are expanding and growing. AG Photo by Liubomiron Adobe Stock

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24 AGCAREERS.COMAGRICULTURE & FOOD CAREER GUIDE WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM AN ENTRY-LEVEL JOB? As you begin your job search as a recent graduate, most roles you are qualified for are entry-level jobs. An entry-level job typically requires less experience, training, or education than a more senior role. However, the definition and timeframe of an entrylevel role may vary depending on the company or industry. Although you may immediately have higher career or salary aspirations, entry-level jobs are often just the starting point. Companies seek to fill entry-level jobs with recent graduates or young professionals with less experience or fewer job requirements. Consequently, these jobs may have a starting salary that is lower than expected, but these jobs will benefit your career. In addition, entry-level jobs offer experience and networking. While getting caught up on the dollar amount when evaluating positions is easy, do not forget the career benefits of getting your foot in the door at your dream company. Having a supportive mentor can also provide tremendous benefits for your career. Gaining skills and connections through entry-level jobs is invaluable for a successful career. Consider your first position out of school as your launching pad, embracing the opportunities to gain experience, learn new skills, and grow your network. WHAT SALARY AMOUNT CAN I EXPECT RIGHT OUT OF COLLEGE? Having a ballpark range for the salary for a starting position is essential for financial planning and budgeting. > > > You worked hard through years of study, internships, coops, extracurriculars, and part-time jobs to prepare for graduation and build your resume. Now that the tassels have turned and the caps have flown, your next chapter is about to begin—your career! As you comb through job postings, here are some factors you should consider about salary (and other benefits) during your job search. By Rachael Powell, HR Solutions & Compensation Manager, AgCareers.com Setting (Realistic) Salary Expectations: Considerations for Your First Full-Time Job

25 AGCAREERS.COMAGRICULTURE & FOOD CAREER GUIDE While setting career goals for yourself and your salary is imperative, ensuring these expectations are realistic is also vital. Using online research tools can be helpful as you begin benchmarking an average pay range. Take this number with caution; it can vary significantly based on factors such as your job responsibilities, industry, company, geographical location, and more. Cross-reference other salary reporting sources specific to your career path for a more realistic expectation. Additionally, it is essential to consider the impact that individual company factors, such as size and culture, can have on your pay. Ultimately, recognize that experience can have an enormous influence on your salary. Adjust any salary expectations for your first role out of school accordingly. Your compensation can grow as your skills and experience increase, which comes with time in the industry. Remember that pay alone does not determine a good job or career. Don’t let your starting salary be the only factor in deciding on a job. After scouring the internet for your first job post-graduation, you may notice that some job postings list a salary. While not all employers will or are required to post salary, if you find this information, it can provide valuable context about the compensation of the role. Compare the salary range to similar positions in the field and geographic area to gather an idea of what a fair salary would be for this position based on their individual experiences and credentials. It is essential to consider that where a job seeker will fall in this range is influenced by multifaceted aspects like education, experience, skills, and the value the company feels the interviewee can bring to their business. DO BENEFITS MATTER? It is not all about money. While a higher salary may initially be more appealing, compare each potential company’s benefits before accepting any offers. Jobs can differ in the benefits they provide, such as bonuses/ incentive pay, their PTO or sick days policy, relocation packages, work allowances, a flexible work schedule, or remote work opportunities. Having desirable benefits such as those mentioned can lead to improved worklife balance or job satisfaction, which is of significant consideration when job hunting. AgCareers.com polled agriculture and food employers about their staff allowances, including vehicles, cell phones, the internet, and relocation benefits. According to the 2022 Employer Benefits Survey, the percentage of Canadian employers offering these allowances was: Percentage % Mobile Phone 54% Relocation 41% Vehicle 38% Internet 8% Note that these allowances vary by job level and by company WHAT OTHER FACTORS SHOULD I CONSIDER? Additional factors can affect your overall level of job satisfaction. AgCareers.com also surveyed candidates and employees about the importance they place on career development components and company culture. Employees & candidates report they are looking for challenging and meaningful work, professional development, and learning opportunities. These are also important but often overlooked factors to consider when job hunting. Employers may offer a tuition assistance or reimbursement program for those employees looking to increase their education or obtain additional degrees, which can benefit employees wanting to move up internally or within the industry. Supporting employees by providing training or certification courses can also reiterate a company’s importance in investing in its employees. Another factor to contemplate when looking for your first job postgraduation is whether a support or mentor system is in place to help you navigate the transition not only to the industry but also to the business world. A mentor is a valuable resource as you enter the early stages of your career. They are there to help you learn and can provide their expertise or guidance when needed.  Finding your first job may take a little time. While salary is a critical component, practice setting realistic expectations and reflecting on all factors, and you’ll be sure to land a starting role that will set you up for future career success. Ready to jumpstart your career? Visit AgCareers.com to post your resume on a site with hundreds of new jobs posted daily, explore our Career Success Library, and attend events like our Feed Your Future Virtual Career Fairs. AG Photo by Vadym on Adobe Stock