Sunday, December 4, 2016

Entomology Career Hints

        Careers in Entomology extend far beyond the traditional scope of research, professorship, and laboratory work. For instance, did you know that the United States Army employs entomologists? Or that the United States Fish & Wildlife Service, due to an increase in pollinator conservation and the listing of species such as the American burying beetle, also have entomologists within their ranks? In the ever increasing competitive world of job hunting it is important as you move towards graduation to research any and all potential job options that exist.  

        For federal jobs, most positions are listed on, including positions with the United States Department of Agriculture, United States Fish & Wildlife Service, the National Parks Service, United States Forestry Service, and the Bureau of Land Management to name a few. A simple search into the database will pull up jobs all across the country, and sometimes even in outlying U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico. The key to USAjobs is to make sure that you upload your resume and all of your transcripts, as well as read through the entirety of the job posting as each job listing will be different and will ask for different requirements in order to apply. For example, one position that I applied for before being hired on as a Park Ranger with the United States Fish & Wildlife Service asked me to provide a breakdown of every job that I had worked by hours worked per week. This tiny bit of information was listed at the bottom of the job listing, in small type, but the job listing stated that without this piece of information that my application would not even be looked at!

        As with applying for any job, when applying for federal positions the hiring department will often ask for you to describe your experience in previous positions. Unlike many other agencies or companies, a large part of your application and hiring process will be done through your computer, and you may not meet face to face with your supervisor until the day you actually report to work, as the interview may even be done by phone. In fact, the timeframe in which you are asked to describe your past experiences may actually occur while you are uploading your resume, CV, and transcripts, in the form of a questionnaire. If this is the case, be thorough with how you answer the questions, and if you have had experience in a certain area then say so- however, under no circumstances lie about having experience on a subject no matter how much you want the position! Every year there are stories in which someone writes on their questionnaire that they have done a biological procedure or laboratory test only to find when they arrive on the first day of their job that their supervisor expects them to show their knowledge or hop right into their role. If you cannot perform the job description duties and you take the position under false pretenses, because it is a federal position not only can you be immediately dismissed, you could also serve time in jail as there are oftentimes moving costs and incentives rolled into federal jobs. Be honest! If you haven't had experience yet in an area, answer the question truthfully and move on. There is always another position that you are better suited for waiting for you!

        In closing, always be on the lookout for unique career opportunities and do not be afraid to think outside of the box when it comes to hunting for jobs. While you are still in school, be sure to build your resume, and take internships and volunteer work to help build a network that will help you when you walk away from college with your degree in hand. If you are interested in internships, I suggest looking into Americorps as well as the Student Conservation Association, which provide awesome opportunities, a stipend, and living quarters while you gain invaluable knowledge and experience in your field. Good luck, and remember to stay positive during your searches!

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