You’re ready to look for your first, or next, job. Congratulations! A resume will be needed, no matter what type of job you apply for.Applying for a farm job is no different, and farm employers expect to see certain skills and experience on your resume to help differentiate you from the other applicants. We have some tips to make sure your resume is on the top of the pile at the next farm job you apply for.
Benefits of farm work
Choosing to work on a farm says a lot about who you are as a person. Farming is a lifestyle, and not for the faint of heart. However, there are benefits to being a farm employee that you can’t find at other jobs.
As a farm employee, you’ll spend time outdoors, stay physically active, face new challenges each day, and enjoy the rewards of making a positive impact. Since everyone needs to eat three times a day there’s job security in farming, and opportunities to work anywhere in the world.
Resume best practices
Once you’ve found a farm job (or several) that interests you, it’s time to create your resume. Employers are introduced to you via your resume, it’s important to make a positive first impression. Don’t be fooled into thinking that because you’re applying for a farm job that they won’t care about your resume.
Farm employers are just like other employers looking for quality and dependable employees who can be trusted to do the job well. If you don’t care enough about the job to submit a quality resume, why will an employer expect you to care about doing your job well?
Here are some dos and don’ts to follow when creating your resume:
Do type your resume, and use the spelling and grammar check on the word processing software.
Do keep the font and formatting consistent. Text should be Calibri or Helvetica font size 12 points. Headings should be bolded and a font size of 14 or 16 points.
Do have your name and contact information at the top of your resume in a larger font that’s easy to read.
Do keep it clean and simple. Bullet points (like these) and white space around text are important. Most resumes are scanned, not read.
Don’t have any false statements on your resume. Only include skills and experience you have.
Don’t include any negative statements about a previous job or employer.
Don’t use cliché job-seeking terms. All potential employees should be hard-working and dedicated. What makes you unique? Which skills set you apart from other applicants?
Ideally, you will tailor your resume to each job that you’re applying for. Create a master resume, and save a new copy for each job you apply for. The skills and experience that a cow-calf operation is looking for in employees are different than those that a grain elevator is seeking.
Read over the job description, and incorporate the keywords from the job description into your resume. The exact title of the job should appear on your resume somewhere. Try and keep your resume to one page, two pages at the most.
Ask a friend, family member, or educator to review your resume before you apply for the job. They will offer a fresh perspective and may have ideas to improve your resume.
Experience farmers look for on a resume
Farm or agricultural experience should be a cornerstone of your resume. Depending on the job you’re applying for and the experience that you have, you can start creating common ground with the farmer while they’re reviewing your resume.
Employers can guess what you did in your previous jobs, especially if it’s in an industry they’re familiar with. Your resume should focus on your accomplishments at your job(s), and the value that you add. A key factor employers will look for is that employees create more value than you cost in salary.
Did you set up a system to save time and create more efficiency? Include that on your resume. Were you a team leader for a group of employees? Are you certified to operate specific equipment or handle pesticides?
If you have experience in the type of operation you’re applying for a job with, put that information at the top of your resume. Relevant experience is important to a farmer when they’re looking for new employees.
Is your resume light on experience? Include your educational background or relevant courses completed in school. Highlight skills that can be transferred from a different type of job to the farm, such as mechanics or record keeping.
The professional summary introduces you to a prospective employer, and can be one of the most challenging parts of the resume to write. This paragraph highlights your unique skills and attributes that you bring to a job; it’s where you sell yourself to the employer as the best candidate for the job. Although it goes at the top of the resume, sometimes it’s easier to write this section last.
If you don’t have a lot of work experience, perhaps you’re applying for your first job, you can write an objective statement instead. An objective statement should focus on your career goals and plans for the future. You can keep it short, three sentences is fine.
Free resume template
Creating a resume can be a daunting task. We can help get you started with our free resume template. The template has the structure and formatting highlighted here. All you have to do is customize it with your information and experience.
We recommend that you list your work experience near the top, and education at the bottom of the resume. However, if you don’t have relevant work experience, but did take classes that are related to the job you are applying for, these can be switched.
Add or remove bullet points as needed. The most relevant experience and education for the farm job you’re applying to should have the greatest emphasis on your resume. You’ll be submitting your application in no time, and on to acing the interview.