You Applied for a Job – Now What?

You finally found a agricultural job opening that gets you really excited.

You’re convinced that you meet all the qualifications so you confidently submit your application.

Then you wait. And wait. And wonder. And wait.

Is there anything you could be doing in the meantime that might help your chances?

Answer: maybe.

Most entry-level jobs require some sort of online application or resume submission.

The upside is that these jobs are accessible to anyone on the internet.

The downside is you have pretty much no idea whether or not you are even being considered.

Here are some tips that might help.

Warning: these will not all work in all situations, but I think they will set you up for the best possible chance for success.

First, make sure you TRULY qualify.

Be objective. Applying for jobs for which you are not qualified is largely a waste of time. Sure, there are the very rare exceptions. And, you likely have nothing to lose by applying other than your time. However, manage your expectations if the job listing calls for qualifications you simply don’t have.

I speak with people almost daily who tell me that they have passion, and energy, and they learn quickly. All of this is great, and it will serve you very well in rising up the ranks. But, in the vast majority of cases, if the job specifies a requirement, it usually means that those who do not meet that requirement will not be considered.

Ok. So you are fully qualified, and you really want the job. You apply. What can you do now to improve your chances?

Here is how you can show your interest without crossing the line into being “overly aggressive”:

Send a “confirming you received my resume/application” message.

This is an email or phone call to confirm that your submission has been received. This also gives you the chance to follow up with three very important questions:

    1. “What’s the timeline for filling the position?” This gives you an important insight into what type of timeline the employer expects. If they anticipate filling the position within 30 days, they will need to contact finalists for phone interviews within the next 10 days. However, if they are not in any hurry and you are, you know that your time might be best spent seeking other openings rather than following up on this one. Also, and possibly most importantly, you know when you can follow up to confirm whether the position has been filled or not. The answer to this question gives you a sort of invitation to follow up at that time.
    2. “Would it be ok if I connected with someone in this role to learn more about the day-to-day?” I think this shows a high degree of interest in the position. The message here is “I don’t just want to ‘win’ the job, I want to succeed at doing the job”. Also, you may be working with a recruiter in HR on your application but end up connecting with a hiring manager (or someone close to them), which can be very influential in determining who gets the job.
    3. “When would be an appropriate time for me to check back?” Much like question #1, this sets a “casual appointment” for you to check back in without being pushy or asking for favoritism. Calling to check in daily or even weekly is too much, but just asking for one time that would be appropriate is totally the right move.

 

Here’s the final piece of advice that’s hard for everyone: BE PATIENT.

Most of the candidates I place in positions have been in my database for over two months. What I’m saying here, is that the process takes time. Consider that it’s a big risk for a company to take on a new employee. They need to do their due diligence and follow their own protocol.

BUT, PATIENCE DOESN’T MEAN INACTION.

Keep networking, looking for opportunities, and applying. Consider that through the job search process you are developing skills that will be incredibly helpful in your career. Some of these might include writing, cold calling, conversational skills, prospecting, qualifying leads, and creatively getting in front of the right people. Time spent developing these skills is never a waste.

I’ll end with some good news: the agriculture industry needs your talents. If you’re flexible and persistent enough, the right opportunity will come along. In the meantime, follow the steps above and sharpen your skills. They will serve you well once you get that job.

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Tim Hammerich
tim@aggrad.com
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