It's time to get a job. Are you ready to meet with a recruiter?
While you might assume getting a job in landscaping is a more casual situation than in other industries, recruiters in landscaping are looking for some of the same qualities that are valuable in any profession.
James Kole, branch manager at Level Green Landscaping, knows his way around the recruiting table. He and his colleagues visit several colleges and universities, collegiate competitions and professional conferences each year, looking for prospective new employees.
What impresses him?
He'll tell you.
First Impressions Matter
"Present yourself well, right off the bat," Kole says. "Make eye contact, offer a firm handshake. Your body language says it all.
"You can tell the difference between someone who has done this before and someone who hasn't," he says. "Freshmen at career fairs often stare at the floor.
"If you walk up and say, ‘Hi, I'm James,’ look me in the eye and shake my hand, that makes a great first impression."
Dress For An Interview — Not Bulb Planting
"Wear clean clothes," Kole says. "Iron your shirt. Don't wear shorts."
Shorts? To talk to a recruiter?
"You'd be surprised," he says.
"If you show up in shorts or a T-shirt, that sends a different message than if you wear pants and a nice shirt,” Kole says. “It says you're just browsing. If you dress for an interview, it says you're more serious about finding a job."
Bring Your Resume
"You'd be surprised how many people come to a career fair without a resume," he says.
Be prepared to show recruiters your skills, background and experience. It’s your chance to impress.
Do Some Research
"Know what you're looking for," Kole says.
Do some research ahead of time about the areas of the industry that interest you. Ask intelligent questions based on what you already know.
Find out about the company whose recruiter you'll see, so you can ask informed questions about their particular company.
"Send a follow-up email after you meet," Kole says. "Only about 10 percent of the people we talk to do this, but it really makes a good impression. It shows maturity and real interest."
Have Internship Experience
This isn't a must, Kole says — he didn't intern in college — but it does make a good impression if you already have some industry experience.
Consider an internship at Level Green. We’re a fast-growing company with one of the most well-rounded landscaping internships in the industry.
Interns rotate through several departments at the company, spending at least two weeks in each area, then returning to spend more time, if they like, in the area that interests them the most.
You’ll work in construction, in enhancements and landscape maintenance pulling weeds, installing plants, building retaining walls.
You’ll spend time with account managers checking on customers and writing proposals. You’ll hang out with a landscape designer and spend time with owners Doug Delano and Bill Hardy.
Be Ready To Commit
If you're serious about getting a job at a landscaping company, be serious about staying a while, Kole says.
"We don't want constant turnover," he says. "We're a fast growing company and as we grow we want them to grow with us. We want them to make a career here.”
Check Us Out — We’d Love To Meet You
If you’re interested in working at a fast-growing company in an exciting team environment that values your fresh ideas, consider a job at Level Green Landscaping.
Contact us at 202-544-0968
We’d love to meet you.