Before, I joined my sorority, I struggled in the professionalism department. Luckily I found a group of people to set me on the right track and teach me everything I need to know and then some when it comes to getting a job. In fact, thanks to Sigma Alpha, I spent my summer working as a Cattle Field Sales Intern for Merck Animal Health.
1. Resume Checks – As we all know, the first thing a potential employer wants to see is your resume. The piece of paper that gets skimmed for 30-60 seconds can have a huge impact on if you’re going to get called in for an interview or not. Therefore, having a strong and relevant resume is a huge asset to your work career. Through Sigma Alpha, I was able to strengthen my resume through our professional workshops. This was beneficial because we had successful people in the agriculture industry come in and critique our resumes. Agriculture is a unique industry and it provides you with a unique skill set and list of experiences on your resume. Anyone can critique a resume, but if they do not understand your industry they will not be able to give enough advice to give you a competitive resume.
2. Resume Booster – The first thing a student is going to here when they go to college is, “You need to get involved.” Whoever is telling you this piece of advice is right and they probably have your best interest at heart. One of the most common ways to get involved at campus is through extracurricular activities. Sigma Alpha is no different. I am now able to put that I have served on Professional and Recruitment Committees as well as serving as the Scholarship Chair on my resume. Being involved gives you opportunities to gain leadership experiences. These experiences are going to boost your resume to the top of the pile.
3. Dress Code – Before I was in a professional agriculture sorority, I had very little confidence in knowing what to wear to business events. By attending chapters with a business casual and business professional dress code, I became an expert on being dressed appropriately. When you go in for an interview, it is imperative that you wear the proper attire. Being overdressed for an interview can be just as bad as being underdressed for an interview. Also, wearing the appropriate clothing to the interview shows that you have an understanding of the industry.
4. Networking – The great thing about a sorority is that it is full of girls that share common interests and passions. Also, you never know whose aunt lives next door to the CEO of your dream company. I experienced this firsthand when I was telling one of the girls about a job I was applying for and she told me that her friend’s mom is an employee at the same company. Getting your foot in the door can be the hardest part of the whole job interviewing process. When you have a close connection to the company it makes it much easier to get a look from the company you are applying for. Plus, these girls know you well and can be a great reference on your character and talent.
5. Support - Lastly, it’s great to have a group of friends that share your passions. They are genuinely happy to see you do what you love and become part of the industry they care so much about. In fact, my roommates that also happen to be in Sigma Alpha, are a great resource for advice when it comes to job searching, applying, and interviewing.
I am so grateful that I have been brought closer to this group of strong women that share my passion for becoming a leader and working in agriculture.