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13 May 2011
Topic: Agronomy

An Agriculture Plague - The Black Cutworm Moth

According to a Purdue Extension Entomologist, the presence of the Black Cutworm Moth has never been greater. Cooperators throughout the state have been catching abnormally large numbers of these moths over the past few weeks with pheromone traps.

The Purdue Newsletter article informs us that barren fields are not an appealing place to lay eggs, however, the black cutworm has a broad range of hosts so fields showing green, yellow and purple weeds are still at the highest risk. The moths are also particularly attracted to winter annuals, such as chickweed and mustards.

"Remember, corn is one of the black cutworm's least favorite foods," Krupke said. "It just so happens it is the only plant remaining by the time larvae have emerged and weeds have been killed."

Typically, cutworm larvae will starve if weeds are treated with tillage or herbicide two to three weeks before corn emerges, but with the wet Indiana spring, Krupke said it is already too late for that.

He also suggested farmers pay attention to seed-applied insecticide and Bt corn labels to determine management strategies so farmers don’t get a false sense of security. They need to know what they’re getting.

With so little of the state's corn crop in the ground right now, Krupke said it would be awhile before growers start to see black cutworm damage. He encouraged scouting fields once crops are planted and determining control strategies as the season progresses.

Meanwhile, cooperatives are going to continue to work with the traps and keep us posted on what’s going on in the coming weeks.

For up-to-date black cutworm scouting and treatment guidelines, watch future issues of the Purdue Pest and Crop Newsletter at

Photo from Something Wonderful
29 April 2011
Topic: Agronomy

Urban Gardens Create Community Responsibility

Career Solutions understands that growing doesn’t just involve big farms and rural areas. More and more urban areas are developing ‘urban gardens’ in their communities to foster growth, better health, and community responsibility.

As part of Let’s Move! Faith and Communities, First Lady Michelle Obama has challenged congregations and neighborhood organizations to plant gardens in their communities.

According to the Let’s Move Blog, there are many positive benefits to starting a community garden: increasing access to healthy, fresh food; improving soil and water quality; providing exercise for people within a wide range of physical ability; and creating the opportunity to teach about nutrition, agriculture, and ecology. In short, starting a garden can help make real and lasting change in communities.

To learn more about the “how-to” for starting a new garden, the University of California Cooperative Extension’s Community Garden Start-Up Guideprovides guidance on how to organize a sustainable garden site in your neighborhood.

Here are some more stories from Earth Eats to help you get started in the right direction: Urban agriculture is great way to eat local and reduce your food miles while supporting your local community. Here are some inspirational urban agriculture projects that have been in the news recently… Stories

How exciting to be able to make a difference in other people’s lives and your community. To learn about different community gardens that you could be a part of or to start a new project, visit the USDA coverage on the First Lady initiative.

20 April 2011
Topic: Agronomy

Agriculture concerns with rising costs

There has been rising concerns recently in the agriculture community about the costs of crop production continually rising, and according to Fox News, it's most likely going to get worse. For decades, farmers have had a sacred place in the federal budget and have received massive handouts from congress. Fox News says this may be coming to an end, but not without a fight.

Here are the three programs that face cuts:
conservation subsides that give farmers money to take marginal lands out of production for wildlife, crop insurance, and direct payments to farmers who plant corn, cotton, wheat, soybean, rice and peanuts. The farmers of these commodities are eligible for government payouts whether they farm or not.

That's only one issue concerning rising crop prices. According to the Huffington Post:

Groundbreaking events are adding to the list of things pushing up food prices. Erratic weather in key grain exporting countries, the increasing crop use for biofuel production, export restrictions, and low global stocks, have been key contributors to the spike.

Now, it is also linked to surging fuel prices connected to events in the Middle East and North Africa. Crude oil, for instance, increased 21 percent in the first three months of 2011, pushing food prices up because it raises the cost of inputs needed in agriculture, among other things.

Just last month, a gang of thieves absconds with $300,000 worth of tomatoes, cucumbers and meat. As food and commodity prices continue to increase, is this the tip of the iceberg?
12 April 2011
Topic: Agronomy

April Showers and Lightening Safety


We’ve all heard the saying, ‘April showers bring may flowers,’ but with that can also come dangerous lightening, damaging winds, and even tornadoes. So, Career Solutions has compiled some safety precautions to keep you and your family safe if you happen to be in harm’s way. We’re going to start this series with lightening.

Lightening - According to Lightening Safety, In the United States, an average of 58 people are killed each year by lightning. To date, there have been 29 lightning deaths in 2010.

Hundreds of people are permanently injured each year. People struck by lightning suffer from a variety of long-term, debilitating symptoms, including memory loss, attention deficits, sleep disorders, chronic pain, numbness, dizziness, stiffness in joints, irritability, fatigue, weakness, muscle spasms, depression, and more.

While most lightning casualties occur at the beginning of an approaching storm, a significant number of lightning deaths occur after the thunderstorm has passed. If thunder is heard, then the storm is close enough for a lightning strike. It is very important to seek safe shelter immediately

However, when inside during a thunderstorm, avoid contact with anything that could conduct a lightning strike to you, including anything that plugs into a wall outlet, corded phones, plumbing, metal doors, and window frames.

This means do not take a shower or bath during a thunderstorm. Battery-operated computers and cell phones are fine. Generally, enclosed metal vehicles (not convertibles), with the windows rolled up, provide good shelter from lightning If a storm is approaching, get inside immediately.

Gazebos, rain or picnic shelters, baseball dugouts, convertible vehicles, and golf carts do not provide protection from lightning. When lightning can be seen or heard, the danger is already present.

For more info on lightening, visit here.

Have you ever had any close calls with lightening? We'd like to hear your story.

1 April 2011
Topic: Interviewing

Interviewing Do's and Don'ts from Career Solutions

Interviewing can be tough. Let's be honest. I've had interviews where I've walked in completely confident, but once in the seat for the actual deed, hello sweaty palms. Here are some interview do's and don'ts that we thought we'd share with you from Career Solutions to help make your interview process as sweaty-palm-free as possible.

The Do's

  • Do take a practice run to the location where you are having the interview or be sure you know exactly where it is and how long it takes to get there.
  • Do your research and know the type of job interview you will be encountering. And do prepare and practice for the interview, but don't memorize or over-rehearse your answers.
  • Do dress the part for the job, the company, the industry. And do err on the side of conservatism. Do plan to arrive about 10 minutes early. Late arrival for a job interview is never excusable. If you are running late, do phone the company.
  • Do greet the receptionist or assistant with courtesy and respect. This is where you make your first impression.
  • Do bring extra resumes to the interview. (Even better, if you have a job skills portfolio, do bring that with you to the interview.)
  • Do make good eye contact with your interviewer(s).
  • Do show enthusiasm in the position and the company. Do show off the research you have done on the company and industry when responding to questions.
  • Do ask intelligent questions about the job, company, or industry. Don't ever not ask any questions -- it shows a lack of interest.
  • Do close the interview by telling the interviewer(s) that you want the job and asking about the next step in the process. (Some experts even say you should close the interview by asking for the job.)
  • Do try and get business cards from each person you interviewed with -- or at least the correct spelling of their first and last names. And don't make assumptions about simple names -- was it Jon or John -- get the spelling.
  • Do immediately take down notes after the interview concludes so you don't forget crucial details.
  • Do write thank you letters within 24 hours to each person who interviewed you. And do know all the rules of following up after the interview.

The Don'ts

  • Don't rely on your application or resume to do the selling for you. No matter how qualified you are for the position, you will need to sell yourself to the interviewer. Don't smoke, even if the interviewer does and offers you a cigarette. And don't smoke beforehand so that you smell like smoke. And do brush your teeth, use mouthwash, or have a breath mint before the interview.
  • Don't be soft-spoken. A forceful voice projects confidence.
  • Don't act as though you would take any job or are desperate for employment.
  • Don't inquire about salary, vacations, bonuses, retirement, or other benefits until after you've received an offer. Be prepared for a question about your salary requirements, but do try and delay salary talk until you have an offer.
  • Don't bring up or discuss personal issues or family problems.
  • Don't answer cell phone calls during the interview, and do turn off (or set to silent ring) your cell phone and/or pager.
  • Don't answer questions with a simple "yes" or "no." Explain whenever possible. Describe those things about yourself that showcase your talents, skills, and determination. Give examples.
  • Don't ever lie. Answer questions truthfully, frankly and succinctly. And don't over-answer questions.
We hope these tips can help. The biggest thing….RELAX. Confidence shows when you have a perfect fusion of confidence and curiosity. What are some interview tips you could throw onto this list?

21 March 2011
Topic: Agronomy

Japan's conditions and the effect on US Agriculture

As most of you know, the crisis that happened in Japan has had tremendous affects in so many areas. This won’t be excluding the agricultural sect here in the US. According to an article from Inforum, growers and marketers of wheat, soybeans and other farm products are watching Japan with concern as conditions threaten to disrupt a top market for U.S. goods.

“Anytime you get something this catastrophic happening in your No. 1 customer, it does raise some levels of concern,” said Jim Peterson, marketing director for the North Dakota Wheat Commission.

Japan is the No. 2 export market for U.S. wheat and the top export market for North Dakota hard red spring wheat, representing 25 percent of demand in some years, Peterson said.

As of early March, Japan had purchased 60 million bushels of North Dakota hard red spring wheat for the marketing year that ends May 31, putting it on pace to break the previous record of 61.5 million bushels set in 2006-07, Peterson said.

Read the rest of the article here.

We’re going to be keeping a close eye on how the tsunami in Japan is affecting the US agriculture industry and bringing it to you.

2 March 2011
Topic: Agronomy

The rising costs of crop production


We were just having a conversation the other day about how agricultural prices were on the rise. Especially when it comes to corn and soybeans. This goes for both farmers and buyers, and according to two Purdue University Extension specialists, “Farmers will spend more to produce their 2011 crops.” The good news for farmers, according to the article on Corn and Soybean Digest, is that they’re likely to make that up and then some, from higher grain prices.

Which crops farmers choose to plant this season also will play a factor in the returns they'll earn, say Craig Dobbins and Bruce Erickson of Purdue'sDepartment of Agricultural Economics. The numbers suggest acorn-soybean rotation is the best choice, with double-crop soybeans/wheat a good option for farmers living in areas where that cropping system is viable.

Some of the reasons for these higher prices of production is because diesel and fertilizer prices have gone up, and the article says crop insurance is likely to go up as well.

It adds up to a per-bushel production cost of $4.19 for rotation corn on average-yielding land, up 30¢ from 2010. The projected cost to produce rotation soybeans this year is $9.73/bu. on average-quality land, a 33¢ jump from one year ago.

"We're in an environment where that's not a place to think about saving costs this year," he said. "It's an issue of finding the policy that you think will work best for you and pay the premium."

What are your thoughts on this? Do you think farmers need to worry?
25 February 2011
Topic: Job Tips, Agronomy

Agricultural Jobs and Resources

When a person goes off to college and has to answer that one question that everyone asks, "What do you want to do with your life?" or "What do you want to declare as your major?" It can be completely overwhelming. Seven years ago, up to 80% of college freshman did not declare a major. With so many areas of study and so many different fields, it's hard to make a decision. So, since we know agriculture, we're going to fill you in on what we know about that.

In one of the first blog posts we ever wrote, we talked about agriculture and why choosing a job in this field was worth it because over 1/4 of the United States GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is Agricultural-related. This translates to jobs. And Career Solutions is one of the best places to find these jobs.

But to answer that question on what type of jobs a degree in agriculture can get you, I've done some research and here's a couple of good resources I found.

1. Georgia Agricultural Education - This site lists dozens of agricultural positions and explains them all. It's a great tool resource to

2. The University of Phoenix has a good list of agricultural careers by positions too.

3. Another excellent resource is Purdue University. One of their specialties is in agronomy. Their website can help answer any questions regarding agriculture and education.

4. There is also the United States Department of Agriculture or USDA. Their website is full of current statistics, budgets, and laws and regulations and more.

There are so many areas you could explore. Have a look. What are your thoughts?
7 February 2011
Topic: Recruiting

A fresh approach to recruiting

I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago on the process of recruiting, or at least on the process Career Solutions takes when it comes to agricultural recruiting. We feel that recruiters in the past have been given a bad rap, and some of them, I'm sure, deserve this reputation. But not all recruiters have the same ethics. We have four major categories in which we base our model on.

  • We want long-term partnerships with our clients
  • Our responsibility is to ensure our clients hire the best people
  • Contingency only, as we only want to get paid for what we do
  • Do not recruit personnel currently employed by clients

  • Client centered, we build the process around the client
  • Thorough needs assessment that may include an onsite visit
  • Detailed screening of candidates, we do not blast resumes
  • Our internal sharing of candidates creates a larger selection

  • Each recruiter is specialized by industry sector and/or region
  • We utilize a professional, ethical, hands on approach
  • All information is treated with the highest confidentiality
  • We are flexible and available to meet your schedule

  • We save time and money by freeing up internal resources
  • Our diverse and extensive network of candidates
  • Our industry knowledge can be tapped for data/trends
  • We assist with scheduling interviews and providing feedback

How we work means a great deal to us from working with our clients to working with our candidates. We want to do things the right way here at Career Solutions, and if that's what you're into, then it's time for a deeper conversation.

Have you had any less than great recruiting experiences? We'd like to hear about them.

1 February 2011
Topic: Job Offers

Rate your pay - Guest post by Lisa Heacox

The following is a guest post by Lisa Heacox, which she originally wrote for Croplife. I was interviewed for it, and it has some great information. This is the first post in the series we'll be talking about this. Let me know if you have any questions.

See how your company compares in this snapshot of current retailer salaries and benefits.


LATER this year, CropLife will conduct its first-ever ag retailer compensation survey. But we wanted to talk to a few agriculture placement specialists to get an initial lay of the land. The scenery is, in fact, especially interesting this season in light of the economic challenges facing not only dealers but also the entire country.

Six months ago, search firms were working with a large number of ag companies seeking employees" and demand was not being met. But at presstime, the tables had turned dramatically. As farmers hold off on input purchases, so employers have been waiting on hiring. "The pre-pay market is way, way off this year, down around 40%, and some more than that," says Gary Weilbaker, recruiter, Eastern Cornbelt with Career Solutions Co. "A lot of companies are on hold mode. They're not really cutting positions,
but I've not heard of any adding or back-filling jobs that have become available. Or, they may have initially made plans to add head count, but they're not doing it."

So the pool of ag job seekers has swelled, and perhaps in an unexpected way. Weilbaker says many of these applicants worked in agriculture earlier in their careers, then left to go into manufacturing. They've lost those jobs or are looking to get back into agriculture.

In fact, "There's also a large pool of non-agricultural professionals trying to get in," says Weilbaker. "That's a little unusual. Normally, people not involved with ag don't want to have anything to do with it." And he says it's tough for these workers to break into our industry without a farm background or ag degree.

About The Money

Melinda Mullinex, HR services manager with, emphasizes that
top talent will always be highly desired, and managers are faced with the challenge of meeting the demands of a more experienced job seeker pool" plus a talented group of current employees. She notes current staff hold valuable job knowledge or even a "trade secret," plus the investment of time and money wrapped up in their training and development.

Several factors are key in keeping good employees, not the least of which is fair pay. Unfortunately for retailers, compensation levels in 2007 and 2008 appreciated a lot. "We were on a real steep climb," describes Weilbaker. That created challenges for established agribusinesses who had to pay talented new hires more than what current employees were earning" to the tune of $5,000 to $10,000 more. "It upset the whole compensation structure of the company, and there's had to be some readjusting
companywide," he says. The situation has flattened out just recently, he says.

When managers do get to talking about compensation, they reveal a wide
variation in what employees are paid. Weilbaker is amazed how often salaries don't correlate to the value a staff member brings to a company. "There are guys that are way, way underpaid" and some that are way, way overpaid," he says. Mullinex adds that dealers need to be creative if they don't have the money to pay more competitively. She has heard of companies offering retention bonuses, years of service awards, employee referral programs, additional paid time incentives, and gym membership reimbursements.

Bring On The Benefits

What do benefit packages look like these days? Here's a rundown.

Health coverage: Group plans are the norm, with a monthly premium of $150
for an individual and $300 for a family. Annual deductible for one person would be $500, $1000 for a family. Above-normal packages will lower the deductible to $250 for the individual and $500 for families" with no monthly out-of-pocket premium for one person and $150 for a family. While many Americans find themselves without health insurance, Weilbaker says 95% of the companies he works with offer coverage.

As a general rule, Mullinex would say that competitive employers pay between 60% to 75% of health premiums and higher than this figure would be "above scale."

Vacation: Two weeks is standard, though for more experienced employees, say
30-plus years old, three weeks is common.

Retirement plans: Companies usually offer 401K plans, with the employer
typically matching dollar for dollar 3% of an employee's contribution. In higher-end benefit packages, employers match 4% to 5% or more.

Profit sharing: More companies are creating profit-sharing pools. The plans
encourage longevity with a firm, since any money employees have invested for them returns to the pool if they leave before the 5-year mark. These programs are in offered in addition to 401K plans.

Incentive pay: Here, companies reward employees based on the value their sales bring to the company. The reward goes beyond a straight commission percentage. "It's not only the volume of product you're selling, but at what price you're selling it and what is the gross or net margin of that product or service to the company," explains Weilbaker. "If somebody is selling a higher value or higher margin product they get paid more than someone selling a lower profit product."

"We have heard from employers that have delivered bonuses and not base pay, or merit, increases," Mullinex says. "This is one way to reward strong performers without increasing your salary budget for the time being."

Commissions: In's survey, Mullinex says that approximately 41% of the 46 agribusinesses polled in their survey paid commissions. Solid and top performers can be rewarded with anywhere from 2% to 3.5% of their sales.

Company vehicles: For sales people on up, company vehicles" or at least car allowances" are provided. Mobile phone plans are also offered.

Education reimbursement: This benefit is particularly in demand by "our
Millennial generation of employees," notes Mullinex. It's not often offered, but can have a significant impact on an employee's job satisfaction: the message is that the employer is investing and building value into an employee's career, says Weilbaker. In fact, workers' ages play a role in the benefits they want most. Generally, employees under 30 years old look for compensation, perks, and job titles. In the 30- to 40-year-old age range, compensation, job location, and job stability are important. For employees in their 40s and above, health insurance, 401K plans, vacation time, company stability, and work load are valued. At this age, preferences often get more involved because workers have children, says Weilbaker.

"Job seekers and employees alike are looking for the reinforced message from your organization that their job will be secure and your organization is stable," emphasizes Mullinex.

Stay tuned for more this week on this topic! Thanks for reading!

18 January 2011
Topic: Interviewing

Interview tips: Stage 4 - The Offer

Getting a new position can be some exciting stuff, and getting a new position that pays well with good benefits is just as exciting. So, how do you handle the offer stage of the interview process?

Depending on the company and the timing demand of getting someone in place, an offer can happen during any phase of the process. Normally, offers usually come at the last interview or shortly thereafter. As a rule of thumb, you want to always get it in writing. ; Don’t be afraid to ask questions to clarify any details, BUT at the same time, you don’t want to obsess about the minor ones…like, which holidays are paid holidays, etc…

One thing to keep in mind is that offers can and are often withdrawn. So it’s best to make a decision fairly quick. At the same time, don’t feel pressured to make an “on-the-spot” decision. It is okay to take time to research the offer.

So, what if you have multiple offers from different companies? There are definitely things to compare and contrast, such as who you will be working for, what you will be doing, and where you will be doing it. Say you fancy one position over the other, but the other has more along the lines of what you’re looking for benefit-wise or pay-wise; Don’t be afraid to share the facts on the offers you’ve had to get what you’re looking for. There’s nothing wrong with that. ; ; It’s always good to negotiate, but do it only once.

If you end up turning down a position, don’t rule it out completely - things always have a funny way of coming back around. It’s always good to leave the door open to offers you reject…remember, all positions can add some value to your resume, especially if you do good work.

At the end of the day, know what you’re looking for, but also understand that you may not get it all in one shot. ;

17 January 2011
Topic: Interviewing

Interview tips: Stage 3 Follow-up letter

So, you’ve sent in your resume, made yourself available, and gotten the chance to either sit down with your interviewer(s) or have a phone interview. Now what?

By following the instructions in our last blog post on interviewing, you should already know the time frame in which your interviewer will be letting you know whether or not you’ve been hired for the position. ; Our advice is to send a follow-up letter or email as soon as you get home or to your next destination, thanking them for the opportunity to have been able to talk to them. ; So, check it, this is a good formula for the follow-up letter:

1st Paragraph - This paragraph should start off with “Thank you…” Avoid being general. Be as specific as possible here.

2nd Paragraph - Be sure to mention that you liked what the company had to offer. Be specific with this one too.

3rd Paragraph - Sell yourself again. What we mean by this…remind us again why you’re qualified for the job and what you’ll bring to the table as far as experience and expertise. ; Let us know why we should hire you.

4th Paragraph - Ask for action or next step. Now, you probably already know the next step, but instead of leaving this alone, you could write, “I know we discussed a decision being made by Wednesday of next week. If for some reason we don’t connect, I will give you a follow-up call by Thursday…” ; This shows that you’re also willing to take action and that the position is important to you.

Follow up letters have the potential to be a deciding factor in who actually winds up with the position, especially if the company is having a hard time choosing between candidates. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.

Next blog post, we’ll be discussing the “offer” stage.
12 January 2011
Topic: Interviewing

Interview tips: Stage 2

We recently wrote about the importance of prepping for your interview. Well, once you prepared prior to the actual interview, let’s talk about the day of the interview, and how you can put your best foot forward for your potential employer.

  • Arrive early - Some people say to arrive 15 minutes early. Some say to arrive up to 30 minutes early. When you do this, it allows for any unforeseen traffic issues that may arise, and it also gives you a chance to check out the area and the facility.
  • Silence electronic devices - It’s pretty unprofessional to have your phone go off (even on vibrate) during the middle of an interview. It can throw both employer and interviewee off a bit. Best bet is to leave devices in your car until the interview is over.
  • Eye contact - Eye contact is so important, especially when meeting someone for the first time. ; It’s a way to show respect along with a way to show that you’re listening. Listening is another key thing to do during an interview.
  • Firm Handshake - A firm handshake goes hand in hand with good eye contact. A good firm handshake shows a level of confidence over a limp or weak handshake.
  • Portfolio - We told you not to go into too much detail on your resume. The interview is now the time to dive into your portfolio of experience and sell yourself. Be sure to give specific examples of the things you’ve done.

Those are a couple of key ones. It’s also good to avoid using slang terms, ask for next steps/time table of hiring process, and be sure to get contact info of your interviewer.

One more thing: It’s never a bad thing to ask for the job…
Next post will talk about interview follow-up.

Can you add to this list or do you have any comments?
10 January 2011
Topic: Interviewing

Interviewing tips and strategies

We’ve been talking about getting your foot in the door to a great agriculture career by looking organized on paper or LinkedIn, but now, how do you transfer this organization and professionalism over to your interview? ; We’re going to do a series this week on interviewing, starting with how to prep leading up to the interview.

There are typically two types of interviews we do here at Career Solutions:
  • Face to face interviews
  • Phone interviews

So, you may be wondering why we would do phone interviews versus face-to-face interviews. Well, for starters, we’re physically located in Indiana. We serve agriculture, equipment, and livestock companies all over the United States. We wouldn’t ask you to fly into Indiana if you were in Iowa and we were hiring for a position out there. No, rather, we’d do a phone interview and move onto the next steps if you qualify. (See our last blog post on the Career Solutions candidate process.)

If you were around the Northern Indiana region, we would most likely ask you to come in for a face-to-face interview. A couple of things we recommend:

1. Remain flexible and make yourself available - There is nothing worse than attempting to pin down a candidate for a position and either a) not being able to get a hold of them, or b) they’re too busy. Also, be sure to confirm the time, itinerary, get the proper address and directions if needed.

2. Find out appropriate dress attire - If you have piercings or tattoos, take the piercings out and I’d cover up any tattoos. We understand that tattoos are more mainstream, but when you’re interviewing, you still need to maintain professionalism.

3. Always, ALWAYS, do research on the company - The more you know about the history and progression of the company you’re interviewing for, the more impressed your interviewer will be. It shows you CARE about the company and that you want to be a team player. It also lets the interviewer know that you took time learning about them.

4. Always be honest about your experience - According to Pamela Meyer, author of Liespotting: “Up to 25% of C-Suite executives falsify their resumes and at least one third of all resumes contain misinformation: a made-up award; an embellished title; even an imaginary degree." Lying or falsifying your resume is not cool, and can lead to termination if found out. Always be honest, and if you need help on something, be up front about that as well. We’ll work with you, especially if the passion is there.

5. Write down any specific questions you may have - Yes, there always comes a time where your interviewer will ask if you have any questions. Now is the time to ask. This part is pretty easy if you’ve done your research as suggested in step three. We’ll talk about appropriate questions and questions to avoid in the next posts. Having questions prepared lets the company know you’re interested in your future and is also a sign of preparedness.

We hope this helps you prepare for your interview. Stay tuned for our next blog over more interviewing tips!

7 January 2011
Topic: Recruiting

Debunking any recruiting myths - How we do it

We know there can be scary stories out there on "headhunters" or "recruiters," so we've decided to just strait up let you know the way we do things here at Career Solutions: Here is our application process.

Career Solutions Applicant Process

How we are structured:
  • We never charge candidates a fee
  • All candidate information is strictly confidential
  • We never disclose your name or information without your authorization
  • Recruiters are industry and geographic specific
  • All candidates are shared internally within the recruiting team
What you should do initially:
  • Go to our website:
  • Search our data base of current job openings
  • Clink on our Application button
  • Complete the questions and attach your resume and references
What you should do long term:
  • Monitor our web site for open positions that you are interested in
  • Apply to other positions you are interested in and qualified for
  • Keep us informed of changes to your career needs
What we do initially:
  • We notify you via email that we received your application
  • We review you resume, qualifications and references
If you don't meet our clients requirements:
  • We keep your information on record
  • We search for other appropriate career openings and call when they turn up
If you DO have the necessary qualifications our clients are looking for:
  • We contact you to assess your career needs and goals
  • We arrange a time to interview you - on the phone or face to face
  • Internally we search all Ag industries for additional career opportunities
  • We contact your references and industry professionals with your approval
  • With your endorsement we present your resume and credentials to our clients
  • You are contacted to make arrangements for an initial interview with our client
  • After the interview we provide you with our clients evaluation
  • Further interviews are scheduled if needed
  • We help you review the offer and assure your needs are being met
  • After your new career starts we contact you to evaluate your position
  • We welcome referrals from other industry professionals in need of your services
That's it in a nutshell. We want to help you find a job you're secure with and want to help the companies that work with us find the most qualified candidates. Any questions?
5 January 2011
Topic: Resumes

The Resume Checklist

For many soon-to-be college graduates, the time is coming to put together your resume. This can sometimes be a daunting task. So whether you're using LinkedIN as your resume source or putting together an old-fashioned paper one, here are some tips to help make your resume stand out.

1. Make it easy for hiring managers to analyze your resume use a simple format with short sentences and bullet points. For example:

X Company 3/2009 - 11/2009 Location

Area Sales Manager for X Territory

  • Provided all accounts with X products. Maintained orders and stocked levels for all accounts.
  • Sold new products as they came into the market by utilizing open communication with all accounts providing the best service possible.
  • Sold, ordered, merchandised and maintained cleanliness of product with every account.
  • Planogram resets, POS place meant, fixture installation and adjustment as well as cold called new accounts in order to increase sales within the territory.

2. All information needs to be factual, save the subjective info for interviewing (such as "great team player" or "quick learner"). This saves your time, and we want to give you the chance to sell yourself in person. After all, facts about your work history are what the employers are seeking.

3. Highlight or bold key qualifications that need to standout (certifications, skills, etc....). This is important…we want to know all your great accomplishments, and we want to be able to see them quickly. However, stick to ones that are close to the area your applying for.

4. We recommend always including references at the end of your resume. Thought and consideration of your current employment situation will help determine references and should include former or current supervisors, co-workers, and/or other relevant industry professionals. All references should be contacted by you for their approval and understanding of confidentiality. A brief description of your relationship to the reference in addition to contact information if also helpful.

Hope this helps! Feel free to contact us if you have any additional questions! Happy writing!

3 January 2011
Topic: Recruiting, Agronomy

Welcome to the Career Solutions Blog

Thanks for stopping by our new blog. We're pretty excited to finally get this thing launched. We're also pretty new at blogging, so we're getting a bit of istance. However, what we ARE good at is finding some of the best agricultural positions out there, all over the country.

Why choose a career in the Ag world?

This is one of the number one questions we get asked. Did you know that over 1/4 of the United States GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is Agricultural-related? There are millions of people who don't know this. Here are some more benefits of choosing a career in the agriculture field:

  • Stability - When you think about it, people have to eat every year. Period. Farmers' will always be planting and harvesting product.
  • Diversity - the multiple sectors in agriculture field require varied ag backgrounds and skill sets.
  • The agriculture field is international in scope, which increases the number of job locations.
  • The United States is the world leader in agri-business. As mentioned above, 1/4 of the US GDP is from agriculture. People all over the world rely on this constantly evolving industry.
  • Cutting edge technology and new innovations are constantly being developed.
  • Compensation has steadily been increasing. We'll talk about salary negotiations soon.
  • The culture and people of agriculture make it a great place to work.

Most of us have grown up in this industry. You could call it a way of life. What we're here to do is give you the most current information, give you hot jobs of the week, and help you walk into your Ag career with your eyes wide open by giving strait-forward resume and interviewing tips.

Welcome to your one-stop shop for all things agriculture-related.