Looking for a landscaping job in Washington DC? You probably aren’t going to flip to the back of The Washington Post to find job listings or expect companies to seek you out.
Times have changed, but there are several encouraging findings if you’re hunting for a job.
The demand for skilled workers in the green industry continues to be high, while there’s a fairly low supply — making your job search a little easier.
In a recent National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) survey, they found labor shortage is the biggest issue for lawn and landscape professionals. They also reported the landscape industry hires about 300,000 employees a year.
Things are on your side if you’re looking for a new job, so do your research to find the best position for you.
Here are seven tips to help you on your search for a landscaping job in Washington DC.
Search the Top Job Websites
Unless you have a specific company you’re hoping to work for, you’ll probably need to turn to online job sites to help you with your search.
The most popular sites used to find landscape maintenance jobs are Craigslist.com, Hortjobs.com, Indeed.com, Glassdoor.com and Monster.com. You can search for keywords like landscape, landscaping, landscape maintenance, groundskeeper or even company names to narrow down the search.
At Level Green Landscaping, we mainly use Craigslist.com and Hortjobs.com, although we have used Indeed.com a few times.
Using the advance search filters, you can also set a radius from a city, like Washington DC, that you want to look at. That helps you make the search as large or small as you want.
Social media sites like LinkedIn and Facebook can also be good resources for finding job openings. According to glassdoor.com, 79 percent of job seekers use social media in their job search — and 86 percent of younger job seekers use these sites.
Companies are checking these sites as well to search for potential employees: 73 percent of recruiters have hired a candidate through social media, according to jobvite.com.
But remember: Social media sites go both ways, so make sure you wouldn’t mind a potential employer seeing what you’ve shared and posted.
Attend Local Job Fairs
You can skip the waiting game to hear back from companies by meeting with them face to face at a job fair.
There are several across the Washington DC area filled with companies that are ready to hire.
Treat the job fair as an interview, and try to make a good first impression. Here are some tips to catch a company’s attention:
- Dress professionally: Don’t show up in jeans or wrinkled clothes.
- Have an elevator pitch: You need to have a 30-second pitch that describes your professional background, experience and anything else that makes you stand out.
- Resumes: Bring more copies than you think you’ll need so you don’t run out.
- Business card holder: Keep up with any business cards you receive during the job fair.
If there are any companies you especially like, show them you’re interested by sending them an email or message after the job fair. That will help you stand out from the other candidates they met.
Check if The Landscaping Job is Seasonal or Full-Time
There are different lengths of landscape maintenance jobs around the DC area, so make sure you know what the job calls for before you apply.
Some landscape companies basically shut down come winter time and spring back into action when it warms back up. So, a job with them would mean several months off without pay.
Others offer snow removal, landscape design and installation services — in addition to maintenance — helping them have year-round positions.
Ask About Employee Benefits for Landscaping Jobs
One of the main things you’ll want to check when researching jobs is what benefits the position offers.
Here are some of the top ones to look for:
- Health insurance
- Paid time off
- Sick leave
- Overtime pay and bonuses
Benefits can be just as important (if not more so) than the base salary. Finding a company with these types of incentives can put them at the top of your list and help them stand out. Plus, it shows they value their employees.
Look Beyond the Tangibles
Having insurance, vacation time and other benefits are definite pluses for any position, but there’s more to enjoying a position than just tangible factors.
Finding a job that will leave you filling fulfilled and happy can be worth a lot, especially if you’re looking to stay there a while. Here are some questions to ask and research to see if the company and position are right for you:
- Are there opportunities to advance in the company?
- How important is work-life balance to the company?
- Do they hold company-wide events, such as grilling out or having a night out with employees?
- How would they describe the work culture?
The position should meet your needs now and in the future, so think about what will be important to you.
Once you’ve found a few companies you’re interested in pursuing, you can also look up reviews for those companies on sites like Glassdoor.com. These reviews are often anonymous and from past employees, so you’ll get a real look into company.
Talk with Current or Past Employees
It may not always be possible, but talking with past or current employees of a company you’re interested in can really help you decide if it’s the right fit for you.
This resource will probably come into play once you’ve begun the interview process, but it’s still a vital part of finding the right job.
You can ask your company source to put you in contact with another worker to get some honest feedback on the environment there. Or, you can search social media sites to see if you can find someone connected to the company to talk with.
Here are some good questions to ask employees:
- What is your favorite part about working for the company?
- What do you enjoy the least?
- Do you have a good work-life balance?
- How long have you worked with the company?
- Have you been promoted since you’ve been there?
It can be hard to get a good feel for the company by just reading a job description, so take advantage of any chance you have to get insight from a past or current employee.
Find the Right Landscape Maintenance Company for You
A job search needs to be a two-way street if it’s going to be successful. The landscape maintenance company should have everything you’re looking for, and you need to possess the skills and work ethic to meet their requirements, as well.
Look for a company that matches your values, is growing and has a good reputation throughout the Washington DC area. You want to work for an established company that isn’t going anywhere — or you could be out looking for a job sooner than expected.
Our employees receive competitive pay and benefits, and they also have the opportunity to move up within the company. We give our salaried employees up to six sick days per year, which they can also carry over from year to year.
We love what we do — from landscape maintenance and enhancements to design work — and we want to find others who feel the same way.
We have a variety of job openings at any given time, including operations managers, account managers, landscape designers, field supervisors and crewmen.
You can view and apply for Level Green Landscaping’s landscape maintenance jobs on our Careers page.