Table of Contents
As you read further, you’ll find step-by-step advice for writing the basic sections of a resume and specific industry guidance to help you focus on the skills and qualifications that are valued in the industry. You’ll be presented with different formatting options to choose from as well as what kind of mistakes to avoid.
What to Include in a Food and Natural Resources Resume
Based on this research, you’ll likely realize that there’s no cookie-cutter resume format. That being said, there are a few basic sections common to each resume style. They are:
- Contact info (name/phone/email)
- Resume summary
- Work experience
The five sections listed above provide the framework for a chronological style resume, which focuses on work history. It’s the most commonly used and most familiar to hiring managers, and for job seekers with no employment gaps who are following a traditional career path, it should work well.
The functional style is different in that it focuses on the applicant’s accomplishments rather than their previous jobs. This style works well for those pursuing a career change or who have difficult-to-explain employment gaps. To accommodate the shift of focus to accomplishments, a new section should be added as follows:
- Contact info (name/phone/email)
- Resume summary
- Accomplishments (new section)
- Work experience
There’s no right or wrong format to use, and you can even create a combination style. Search the resume samples to try on the different formats and decide which one best showcases your skills and accomplishments.
How to Write the Food and Natural Resources Resume Summary Statement
As your write your summary, consider the following writing tips: First-person (I, we) is banned, sentence fragments are favored over complete sentences, and action verbs are preferred.
Review the summaries in food and natural resources resume samples to get a feel for how they’re written.
Below are two examples of well-written resume summaries from different industry sectors:
Agricultural engineer with over 15 years of experience designing agricultural machinery components and testing to ensure proper performance. Planned and directed the construction of rural electric-power distribution systems to previously under-served areas. Designed structures to more safely, efficiently, and hygienically store and process crops.
Food scientist who has lead research teams of technicians and students to understand the biological and chemical processes by which crops grow, with the goal of improving the quality, safety and quantity of agricultural crops. Worked to ensure food safety through monitoring of facilities and studying soil composition related to plant growth. Analyzed the nutrient content of processed foods and researched ways to develop new ways of selecting, preserving, and distributing food.
How to Write the Food and Natural Resources Work Experience Section
If you’ve decided to follow the chronological format, start this section with your most recent job and move backwards from there. Include the job title, company/company location, and period of employment for each entry, and carefully craft 3-6 bullet points that highlight your accomplishments and their corresponding positive results.
Review the employer’s job description for their priority requirements and revisit the food and natural resources resume samples you’ve identified for inspiration.
If the functional style appeals to your because you’re considering a career change or you have an employment gap, insert an Accomplishments section just before the Work Experience section. Based on the job description and your experience, fill this section with 6-8 concise bullet points that reflect you transferable skills and achievements. The nice thing about this section is you can put your accomplishments in order of importance to the employer instead of linking them chronologically to your previous positions.
Once you’ve completed the accomplishments section, the work experience section will be little more than a list of previous employment.
No matter which style you’ve decided to use, the following samples of quantifiable accomplishments may help set the tone:
- Monitored food processing and manufacturing for safety and sanitation, resulting in a 35 percent reduction in violations and fines
- Educated manufacturer and distributor on current health and legal concerns to avoid unsafe practices
- Utilized experience as project manager to lead highly visible innovation project while successfully partnering with others
Action Verbs to Include in Your Food and Natural Resources Work Experience Section
Quickly scan both the job description and food and natural resources resume samples for more action verbs that might describe your activities.
How to Write the Food and Natural Resources Skills Section
Include sub-headings like technical skills and interpersonal skills, but don’t feel limited by these two examples. The decision is yours based on your own experience and abilities.
Examples of skills preferred in the food and natural resources industry include:
- Reading comprehension
- Active listening
- Critical thinking
- Judgment and decision making
- Systems analysis
- Complex problem solving
- Use of scientific rules and methods
- Personnel management
- Ability to manage multiple and conflicting priorities
- Understanding of emerging technologies including ultra-high pressure processing
How to Write the Food and Natural Resources Education Section
If you don’t meet all of the qualifications outlined by a position, but you do have some of the appointed degrees, you may still want to apply. Often, education combined with experience beats education alone.
As for writing this section, list your highest degree first, identified by school/school location/degree obtained. Degrees in agricultural science or related sciences, such as biology or chemistry are highly sought after by potential employers in the industry, but not having them isn’t always a deal-breaker if you have the right experience.
Certifications count, and so do internships. You can create sub-headings to include certifications from organizations like the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS), Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) or the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA). Even if you’re not currently certified, you can begin the process and list it on your resume as in progress.
Because of the rapid growth of scientific developments, if you’ve participated in continuing education, consider another sub-heading where you can include different fields of ongoing study.
Study the food and natural resources resume samples for formatting suggestions as well as for possible educational achievements you can claim but haven’t listed.
Should I Include References in my Food and Natural Resources Resume
The advantage to not including them is that when the employer requests your references, you’ll know for sure they’re interested. Then, you can call your references to give them a heads-up, and ask them to let you know when they’ve been contacted. You can ask them what kind of questions were asked and how they think it went.
When you compile you list of references, it’s best to use previous supervisors, managers, and even outside contacts with whom you’ve developed a strong relationship. Depending on the potential employer’s place in the industry, you contacts could prove to be a plus.
Food and Natural Resources Resume Fails: Mistakes to Avoid
- Mirroring an employer’s job requirements and integrating the right keywords into your resume is more and more important as a lot of companies are using applicant tracking systems (ATS) to look for the very words in the job description. Unfortunately, not only do you have to write a resume that appeals to the hiring manager, you have to write one that gets past the automated system first.
- Throughout your education and work experience, you’ve probably gotten proficient at many software programs that enable you to create a snazzy looking document, but, again, the ATS won’t like it. Unless you’re sending a hard copy by mail, fancy formatting tricks like graphics and embedded tables will confuse the system and kick your resume out before it ever reaches the hands of a human being.
- If you’ve listed written communication as one of your skills, it better show in your resume. Again, this is an exercise in the practice of show, don’t tell.
- The value of studying as many food and natural resources resume samples as you can find can’t be overstated. After a few, you’ll be able to discern the good, the bad, and the ugly.
- Proofreading is critical, and not just once. Proofread when you’re finished writing, wait an hour and proofread again, then wait til morning and do it again. If you can, have a friend read it. You’ll be surprised what a fresh eye can see.
Job Prospects in the Food and Natural Resources Industry
The projected growth of employment of agricultural and food scientists is about as fast as the average, at 9 percent. An increased reliance on food safety through biotechnology will be responsible for a moderate increase in demand. Public awareness of nutrition, health, and food safety will continue research efforts, primarily in private industry.
Employment of agricultural engineers is projected to grow at a slower rate than average at 5 percent. While some engineers are pursuing positions in high-tech applications, the demand for designing new machinery and agriculture equipment is expected to continue.
Natural sciences managers are in roughly the same position, with projected growth at 6 percent. Outsourcing will potentially lead to some consolidation of management, and competition for jobs will be strong. Opportunities will be found in private industry, government, and colleges and universities.
The fourth sector in this discussion, agricultural and food technicians, is projected to have growth of only 3 percent for the stated 10-year period. More technology and scientific knowledge will provide greater control of production and processing, but the increased awareness and enforcement of food safety regulations will be responsible for the slight increase in the need for these professionals.