Five years ago, job hunting tips wouldn’t seem like an unusual topic. But if we wrote an article about job hunting during a global pandemic, you would might have thought we were crazy.
Yet, here we are, in the new reality. As difficult as the current situation may be, life goes on and so too will your career. So, how do you move forward? Here are some tips.
Yes, some companies are still hiring.
You’ve probably already heard that shipping and delivery companies, as well as grocery stores and the healthcare industry are hiring in droves. But, those aren’t your only options. Some companies within other essential industries are also on the lookout for new team members. The landscape industry is one great example. Landscaping is considered an essential service because it’s necessary to maintaining the infrastructure and safety of our communities. The good news is, opportunities in the landscape industry aren’t only for proven green thumbs. Here at BrightView, our open opportunities span a broad range of skillsets—from crew member to business developer, branch management and beyond.
Prioritize companies that are putting safety first.
Want to size up a company quickly? Check out what they’re doing to keep their employees and customers safe during the pandemic. Their response will speak volumes about how they care for their people. Many companies are posting this information to their websites, but be sure to check their social media channels, too. For reference, you can view our COVID-19 Response here. And remember—if a company’s policy isn’t clear, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification during the interview.
Strengthen your network.
Even if a company doesn’t have a current opening posted that fits what you’re looking for, that doesn’t mean there might not be one in the future. Connect with potential hiring managers on LinkedIn or via email to let them know you’re interested in their company and the skills you have to offer. Better yet, if you have a mutual connection, ask them to make an introduction. It’s a great way to get yourself on their radar.
Overcome quarantine boredom by learning a new skillset.
If quarantine has you nursing a severe case of cabin fever, we have the cure. Learn a new skillset or get a certification that will help you stand out to hiring managers. There’s a wealth of free and low-cost resources online, from virtual classes to instructional YouTube videos and digital library access. If the landscape industry interests you, brush up on your horticultural knowledge by checking the website of your local agricultural extension for intel on local plants, their care, and the insects and diseases that affect them. Or, browse our Resources section.
Whatever you do, don’t despair.
Sure, this might not be the ideal time to search for a job, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find one. Keep your chin up and keep trying. By continuing your search, you’re demonstrating a key trait many employers value: determination.
Ready to put those tips to good use? BrightView is hiring. Browse our open positions here.
Pat yourself on the back—your interview is done! But before you kick up your feet, there’s one more thing to get out of the way: the post-interview thank you notes.
While not every candidate writes thank you notes, everyone should. Why? Because it’s one more chance to leave a good impression with the hiring manager and those who interviewed you. Yet for some, the thought of writing a post-interview thank you note induces as much anxiety as the interview itself. Fear not! With these tips, you’ll be able to write a message that’s impactful and genuine.
Step 1: The Greeting
Let’s start with the easy part: the recipient’s name. Now’s the time to make sure you have the correct spelling. If you collected business cards for each of the people you interviewed with, use them to double check you’ve written each interviewer’s name correctly. If you didn’t get business cards, try LinkedIn, or double check with your recruiter if you’re still unsure.
Step 2: Express Appreciation
Interviewing can be a time intensive process for everyone. Let your interviewers know how much you appreciated the meeting. Start by expressing your gratitude first and foremost. It’s ok to lead with a “thank you”—after all, that’s the main purpose of your note.
Step 3: Reference Part of Your Conversation
Each thank you note should be personalized to the recipient, and the best way to do that is by referencing part of the conversation you had with them. For example, if the interviewer asked about your experience with irrigation and mentioned the team’s irrigation specialists have been stretched thin, this is your opening. You might say “As we discussed, I’d love the opportunity to add to the team’s irrigation capabilities and feel confident my time shadowing irrigation professionals in the field will enable me to be a great help.”
Step 4: Share Your Enthusiasm
It’s not just ok to sound excited about an opportunity; it’s encouraged! Hiring managers want to know you’d be happy to fill the role and passionate about helping the team meet its goals. Don’t be afraid to share what energized you most during the interview. Perhaps the interviewer mentioned a particular project or client account you would serve that piqued your interest. Or, maybe you just enjoyed your conversations and felt a great connection with the team. These are all good things to mention.
Step 5: Reinforce Key Points
As mentioned before, thank you notes are a great way to circle back to any parts of your conversation you’d like to revisit. Whether it’s reminding the interviewer of special experience or skills you have that would be beneficial to the team, or expounding upon a detail you wished you had more time to discuss, this is the place to do it. However, there’s one important caveat. Whatever points you want to make, make sure you’re relating them back to the hiring manager’s needs or the requirements of the position. For example, instead of saying “I have a lot of experience operating heavy machinery,” finish the thought with how that will benefit the company. Instead, try: “My extensive experience operating heavy machinery can help you keep the Main Street project on schedule.”
Step 6: The Close
Now let’s wrap up your note. Your final paragraph should indicate how the interviewer can get in touch if they have any further questions. If you are already aware of next steps, you can reference your enthusiasm to continue in the process. If you haven’t discussed next steps, let them know you look forward to hearing from them.
Don’t forget that time is off the essence when it comes to thank you notes. Aim to send them within 24 hours of your interview. Not only does it ensure your notes will be received in a timely fashion, but it will also make them easier to write since the interview will still be fresh in your mind. Write an individual message to each person you interviewed with, even if the interview was in a group setting. Handwritten on stationery is best, but email is ok too if you know the process is moving quickly. Your note doesn’t need to be long. In fact, one to two short paragraphs are sufficient.
That’s all there is to it! Congratulations on finishing your interview and thank you note. Now you can kick up your feet (but make sure to take the note to the mailbox first).
Imagine a career where no two days are the same. You get to work with your hands and bring big dreams to life. Best of all, the impact of your work will be enjoyed by an entire community. Sound intriguing? You might be surprised to learn a landscaping job can give you all this and more. Here’s what to expect when you choose a career in the green industry:
1. Your Office is the Outdoors
If the thought of being stuck inside behind a desk all day makes you shudder, then a landscape career may be a good fit. One of the perks of working in the green industry is that enjoying the great outdoors is part of the job. You’re never stuck in one place, as you’ll serve different clients. Plus, it’s a hands-on job, engaging both mind and body.
2. Duties Will Change with the Seasons
Just like the weather changes with the seasons, so too will your daily duties. Spring and summer are among the busiest for the landscape industry, as the active growing season means plants need extra attention. In the fall and winter, the focus shifts to preparing landscapes for the colder months, and in some regions, performing snow removal.
3. A No One-Size-Fits-All Career
The landscape industry encompasses a wide range of capabilities, which means your career path can take a variety of shapes. From design to construction, maintenance to enhancements, there are many specialties within each stage of landscape care. For example, landscape construction requires craftsmen like masons and carpenters. Landscape maintenance teams need irrigation specialists, tree care specialists and spray technicians. These are just a few examples. Whatever your interests, chances are the landscape industry has an opportunity that suits them.
4. Room to Grow
You don’t need a formal horticulture education to join the landscape industry. For many positions, on-the-job training is provided. Plus, it’s an industry where hard work and dedication are rewarded with advancement. Crew members who excel can move up to crew leader or foreman, and on to branch management and beyond.
5. New Challenges Everyday
Plants are living beings, so landscapes constantly change—meaning every day brings a new set of challenges. Whether troubleshooting a plant healthcare issue, or seeking new ways to optimize a property’s irrigation, clients will rely on you to think critically to help them solve problems and maximize their landscape. You’ll also be challenged creatively when you help bring to life your clients’ visions, whether in a full-scale renovation or a seasonal color installation.
Working in the landscape industry can be a fulfilling and rewarding career, especially for those who love the outdoors and working with their hands. As an essential service with no geographic constraints, it’s an industry that provides job security and a wealth of opportunities. If you’re ready to explore the possibilities, check out our open positions, or join our talent community now
If the thought of a job interview has you shaking in your boots, you’re not alone. For many people, a job interview is as nerve-wracking as public speaking. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. If you’re considering a career in the landscape industry, here are some tips that will make the interview process painless.
1. Research the Company
You don’t have to know everything there is to know about landscape, but you should know some of the basics. Before your interview, be sure to browse the company website, paying attention to the services they provide and the industries they serve. If the company has a blog or social media, read through their recent posts. If you have the names of your interviewers in advance, be sure to also look up their LinkedIn profiles. Doing so will help you identify where your experience or interests align with the team’s goals and capabilities. This will give you talking points for your interview that will make it easier it to illustrate how you can benefit the company.
2. Choose What You’ll Wear Wisely
Waiting until the morning of your interview to select what to wear is inviting trouble. You don’t want to find out at the last minute that the shirt you had in mind has a stain, or the pants no longer fit. As soon as your interview is scheduled, try on the clothes you intend to wear, so you have ample time to handle any laundering or shopping needed.
As for what to wear, consider the position you’re applying for. Due to the nature of the work, the landscape industry tends to be more casual. However, you should still dress to impress. If you’re interviewing for an office job, a suit or collared shirt with nice slacks is appropriate. If you’re interviewing for a job that’s not behind a desk, stick with the collared shirt and slacks; a suit is not necessary.
3. Know How to Get to the Interview Location
The day before your interview (or sooner), map your route to the interview location. If you’ll need to travel during rush hour, make sure you plan extra time for traffic. If you’re not sure how much time to allot, plug the address into a feature like Google Maps, which allows you to specify what time you’ll be hitting the road to provide a more accurate estimate. Remember, being on-time for an interview generally means arriving a little early. You don’t want to cut it too close.
Finally, if it’s not clear where to park, or where to check-in when you arrive, reach out to your contact at the company ahead of time to confirm. It’s a simple step that will help ensure you stay cool, calm and collected before your interview.
4. Practice with a Friend
If you’re feeling nervous, enlist a friend or family member to practice interview questions with you. For help anticipating what you might be asked, search online for interview questions. Many sites offer a long list of examples. Or, if you’d rather prepare on your own, some people find it helpful to practice in the mirror or car, or write out potential responses. While you shouldn’t go to the interview with note cards, writing down your thoughts in advance can make it easier to formulate what you want to say.
However you choose to prepare, remember you should present a genuine version of yourself in the interview. Don’t worry about trying to memorize answers; it can make you look rehearsed. Recruiters want to see the real you. So, don’t sweat it if you say “um,” or take an occasional pause to collect your thoughts. Those things are only human.
5. Pack Your Interview “Go Bag”
This tip is simple. Bring extra copies of your resume and a pen and paper. It’s likely your interviewer will have your resume in advance, but it’s good to be prepared. Plus, you’ll want to have them in case there’s an additional interviewer you weren’t planning for. The pen and paper are good for note-taking, in case you need to jot down someone’s name and contact information, especially for thank you notes. We’ll talk more about that in a moment.
6. Pay Attention to Your Body Language
Your mind might be racing, but don’t let your leg do it, too. Specifically, watch out for nervous ticks like bouncing legs, shifting in your seat, or tapping your pencil. Incessant movements like these can make you look anxious and distract from what you’re saying. And most importantly, be sure to maintain good eye contact with the interviewer—not just when answering their questions, but also while they’re asking them.
7. Build Rapport with the Interviewer
Interviews can be exhausting—for both the interviewer and the interviewee. But, when an interview feels like a good conversation, it can be energizing for everyone. Pay careful attention when interviewers introduce themselves and be sure to call them by name. Find opportunities for common ground. Ask your interviewer about themselves—such as how long they’ve worked for the company or what made them interested in joining the company. When appropriate, you can share information about your own interests or personal background. These exchanges help put everyone at ease.
8. Buy Yourself Time to Think
Inevitably, you’ll be asked a question you didn’t anticipate, or suddenly lose your train of thought. It happens to everyone. When it does, don’t panic. Instead buy yourself time to think. For example, you can ask a clarifying question that will help you better understand what the interviewer is asking. Or, tell the interviewer, “That’s a great question. Let me think on that for a moment” and take a brief pause to collect your thoughts.
9. Show Curiosity
At the end of the interview, it’s likely you’ll be asked if you have any questions. Before the interview, consider what you might like to ask. Use this opportunity to demonstrate your interest in becoming part of the team or better understanding how you can contribute to the team’s success. For example, you might want to ask about the team’s goals for the year, the biggest challenges they’re trying to solve, or what the team culture is like.
10. Write Thank You Notes
Thank you notes go a long way, yet many people still don’t write them. Put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes and imagine if the decision for who to hire came down to you and one other person with similar qualifications. Now imagine only one of you sent a thank you note. It’s easy to see how that influence their impressions. Don’t let the other candidate have the last word. Always write a thank you note to each person you interview with.
Your note does not need to be long or elaborate. Thank the interviewer for their time, reinforce why you want to be part of the team and how you could benefit the company. Sticking a handwritten thank you note in the mail is best, but writing an email instead is acceptable if the hiring process is moving quickly and time is of the essence.
Follow these tips and you’ll exude confidence and reduce the stress of the interview process. And remember—there’s a reason it’s called a process. Every interview you do makes the next one that much easier. So even if you don’t land the job the first time, know that every interview after makes you that much stronger.
If you’re looking for a career with a wealth of opportunities, look no further than the landscape industry. As an essential service, landscape professionals are in constant demand, translating to an abundance of steady work and good income. Get your foot in the door with these tips:
1. Follow Your Passion
The landscape industry contains many specialties; chances are, one will align with your experience or interests. More than just landscape maintenance, there are also opportunities in landscape construction, water management, and supervisory roles. Consider your strengths and what you enjoy most, then focus your search in those areas.
For example, if you have masonry or carpentry experience, or are qualified to operate heavy machinery, consider broadening your search to include landscape construction jobs as well. Do you have a spray technician or irrigation certification? Or do you have experience as a crew leader? Some jobs request these qualifications specifically, often in the job title itself. When you have specialized experience, be sure to include those keywords in your search so you don’t miss out.
2. Use Keywords to Sell Yourself
When applying online, it’s likely your application will first pass through a software application that screens for keywords and phrases relevant to the role for which you’ve applied. For this reason, it’s important to be thorough about your experience. Make it obvious why you are the one for the job. Scan the job listing’s requirements and call out all the areas in which you match up. And, if you’re submitting a resume, be sure to adjust it so those skills are featured in a way that makes them hard to miss.
Remember the saying, “If you really want something, you have to work for it?” The same can be said for job hunting. Don’t limit yourself to online applications only. If a position really interests you, let the company know. Pick-up the phone and follow-up. Or, visit the local branch so you can make a face-to-face connection with the team. Not only does it demonstrate initiative, it shows you’re passionate about the job.
4. Network Your Way In
There’s arguably nothing more powerful in a job search than the almighty referral. Getting a recommendation from an existing employee is a highly effective way to ensure your application is seen by the right set of eyes. Even if you don’t currently know someone who works for the company you’re interested in, you can still make networking work for you. As mentioned in the tip above, drop-by and introduce yourself. Apply in-person. Or, use online networks like LinkedIn to connect with decisionmakers or peers. Even if there’s not a role available for you at the moment, establishing a relationship will keep you on the radar.
5. Be Yourself
Recruiters receive hundreds of applications and it can be easy to get lost in the crowd. Yes, it’s important to be professional; but it’s also just as important to be yourself. For example, don’t be afraid to share a personal anecdote during the interview that illustrates why you’re passionate about being part of the company. These genuine moments are far more memorable than a rehearsed answer.
6. Gratitude Goes a Long Way
When you interview, you’re aiming to make a lasting impression. Thank you notes help achieve that goal. Write one to every person you interview with. Handwritten are best, but email is fine too if time is of the essence. The notes don’t have to be long, but they should feel personal and unique to each person. Thank you notes can also be a valuable opportunity to clarify or reinforce something you said in your interview.
7. Focus on What You Can Offer
Finally, stay focused on communicating what you can bring to the table. As mentioned in our first tip, if you have special certifications or experience, those can be a huge benefit to the company. Sure, there are probably many things you hope to gain from joining their team, but remember—they want to know that they can gain from hiring you. Sell your strengths, and it’ll be a win-win for everyone.
There you have it: our 7 tips for acing your job search. If you’re feeling inspired, put them to use now. Browse our open positions. Your next great opportunity in the landscape industry could be just a click away.