Jobs within the horticulture sector vary so it’s important to tailor your CV and application to the position you are applying for. There are a few generic tips including the language you use, the keywords and skills you highlight and the experience you list, that will help you get the job you deserve whatever field within the sector that is.
Let your experience talk: Experience shines through on a job application. Matching the job description criteria with what you have already achieved is a demonstrable way of showing you have read the specification. Don’t be shy either. This is the time to be ‘out and proud’ about your achievements. Facts work too. If you can demonstrate that you brought ‘x’ value, then quantify it.
Link it in: If your horticulture work is practical like gardening or landscaping then include links which showcase images of the work you have created or attach drawings, designs, and computer-generated mock ups. If you have client references that will verify the incredible work that you do, then include those in your application.
Research meticulously: Read the job advert thoroughly. Understand what the key qualities are that the recruiter is looking for. Take time to research the values, mission, and history of the business. Check out its employer brand – what do they champion and what do others say about working there? Check your application is closely aligned to what they are asking for. If you get through to the interview stage your research will also put you in good stead to answer questions about your knowledge of the company.
Proofread your application: Nothing stands out more than a badly spelt application or ones scattered with grammar mistakes. It looks sloppy and signals that you don’t check your work or care enough about it. Similarly, check that you have included all the details that they have asked for. Many applications ask for you to upload both your CV and fill in an online application. Be consistent in both. Check the dates of school and university attendance are correct as well as the dates you were employed at in previous places of work.
Focus on first impressions: The opening of your CV will traditionally be a three to four-line introduction to who you are. This profile should stand out. If this is your first job within horticulture, then highlight either your relevant degree - whether that is in horticulture or a related field - and any work experience you have had in the area. If you are in the mid to late stages of your career, then focus upon the roles you have already held. Titles of past jobs stand out, together with a summary of your accomplishments.
Skills: Professionals within the sector have shared skills in research, verbal and written communication, research, teamwork, data analysis, creativity, observational skills and more. If you are applying to a large organisation your application could be screened for suitability by software that searches for these keywords. Don’t get filtered out incorrectly at the first stage because you haven’t included key skills employers are looking for. A good way to check this is to cross-reference what they are requesting in the advertised job specification.
Use powerful verbs and attractive adjectives: Language techniques can help your CV stand out. Using verbs including achieved, transformed, created, delivered, and inspired shows you are confident, reliable and get things done. Similarly, select your adjectives cunningly to show why you are a credible candidate: effective, flexible, hard-working, persistent, enthusiastic, confident, and analytical, for example. These verbs and adjectives champion you as positive, talented, and accomplished - all qualities a recruiter is looking for.