Feb 022011

(By Matt Deutsch)

Well, it’s that time of year again—the Super Bowl is here.  And regardless of who’s playing in the big game, you can bet that there will be a lot of big commercials.  And you can also bet that some of those commercials will include animals.  In fact, for several years in a row, Budweiser has run ads during the Super Bowl featuring their famous Clydesdale horses, and the beer brewer will be sure to air another one this year.

With that in mind, “The ASM Video Link Spotlight” features one of Budweiser’s Super Bowl ads from years gone by.  This one is titled, “Born a Donkey,” and you can view it by clicking here.

What will 2011 bring in the way of Super Bowl videos involving animals?  Well, we’ll have to wait and see, since the game is on Sunday, February 6.  But as always, we want your help!  Be on the lookout for the best Super Bowl ad featuring animals.  Then send an email to describing your favorite commercial, including what it was about the company or product it featured.

You never know . . . you might see your name in a future issue of The Animal Science Monitor!  It happened before, it could happen again.  Well, maybe your name wasn’t in The ASM before, but somebody else’s was.  As for the big game itself, go Steelers!  (Don’t let Dan see that; he’s a big Baltimore Ravens fan.  He’s still a great guy, though.)

Feb 022011

Welcome to a new feature in The Animal Science Monitor newsletter!  In one issue per month during 2011, we’ll profile sites of interest around the Internet regarding the animal science and animal nutrition industries.  In this inaugural article in the series, we’d like to feature a website called Science Daily, specifically the part of the site that deals with animal science.

The branding statement (or slogan) for Science Daily is “Your source for the latest research news,” and the site definitely tries to live up to that statement.  It’s divided into a number of different categories, and one of them is “Plants and Animals.”  This category includes sub-categories “Agriculture & Food,” “Animals,” “Ecology,” “Life Sciences,” and “Microbes and More.”  The site strives to provide the latest in research information regarding a number of different animals, among them cows, sheep, pigs, and horses, and well as the latest developments in veterinary medicine.

Click here to access the “Plants & Animals” section of the Science Daily website.

Feb 022011

It’s no secret—we at The Animal Science Monitor believe in the benefits of attending industry events like conferences and conventions.  Not only are their tremendous training opportunities available at these events, but there are also chances for you to network with other professionals in your chosen field.  That’s why we promote upcoming events in animal science and animal nutrition and why we’ll continue to do so.  With that being said, we’re pleased to promote these upcoming industry events:

Great Lakes Regional Dairy Conference—The Great Lakes Regional Dairy Conference is dedicated to helping dairy producers learn new ways of increasing their profitability by doing more with less. Leading experts will make presentations on topics ranging from dairy nutrition and reproduction to labor management and environmental stewardship.  In addition to the quality line up of educational speakers, spouses will not want to miss the popular Partners Program, which promises a variety of entertaining and educational sessions. The location of this year’s event is the Bavarian Inn Lodge and Conference Center in Frankenmuth, Minn., and the dates are Thursday, February 10, through Sunday, February 12 Click here for more information.

35th Annual National Wild Turkey Federation Convention and Sport Show—This event is an annual conference that draws up to 50,000 people At this event, there will be more than 600 booths loaded with hunting gear from all your favorite brands; the biggest stars from outdoor television, including Michael Waddell and Brenda Valentine, the NWTF’s national spokespersons!; The best turkey callers in the world competing in the Grand National Turkey Calling Championships; and Music from legendary entertainer Trace Adkins, The Band Perry and more!  The location of this year’s event is the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn., and the dates are Wednesday, February 16, through Sunday, February 20Click here for more information.

If there’s an industry event that you believe we should promote through our newsletter, please email your information to

Feb 022011

(By Don Hunter)

To help you construct a better, more powerful resume, here are 10 pointers and areas of consideration in regard to your resume’s content and presentation.

1. Position title and job description. Provide your title and a detailed explanation of duties and your accomplishments. Since job titles are often vary from one company to another, your resume should tell the reader exactly what you’ve done.

2. Clarity of dates and place. Document your work history and educational credentials accurately. Don’t leave the reader guessing where you were employed or when you earned your degree.

3. Explicitness. Let the reader know the size, nature and location of your past employers, as well as what their business does or provides.

4. Detail. Specify some of the more technical or involved aspects of your past work especially if you’ve performed tasks of any complexity or significance.

  • Accomplishments/Achievements – show your responsibilities, but highlight your achievements
  • Quantify and Qualify your responsibilities and achievements, such as “Awarded Top Safety Manager (2009) for leading a team of 30 to 365 days of incident-free work.”

5. Proportion. Give appropriate attention to jobs or educational credentials according to their length or importance to the reader. For example, if you wish to be considered for an engineering position, don’t write a paragraph describing your current engineering job, followed by three paragraphs about your summer job as a lifeguard.

6. Relevancy. Confine your information to that which is job-related or clearly demonstrates a pattern of success.

7. Length. If you write more than two pages, it sends a signal to the reader that you can’t organize your thoughts or that you’re trying too hard to make a good impression. If your content is strong, you won’t need more than two pages.

8. Spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Create an error-free document that’s representative of an educated person. If you’re unsure about the correctness of your writing, consult a professional writer or editor.

  • Make certain your address, phone number (cell) and email address are current and accurate.

9. Readability, part one. Organize your thoughts in a clear, concise manner. No resume ever won a Nobel Prize for literature. However, a fragmented or long-winded resume will assure you of a place at the back of the line.

10. Readability, part two. Be sure to select a conventional type style, such as Times New Roman or Arial, with a 12pt font, and choose a neutral background or stationery. If your resume takes too much effort to read, it may end up in the trash, even if you have terrific skills.

I suggest you write several drafts, and allow yourself time to review your work and proofread for errors. If you have a professional associate whose opinion you trust, by all means, listen to what he or she has to say. A simple critique can make the difference between an interview and a rejection.

Feb 022011

Behavioral-based interviewing is designed to help ensure more targeted and more successful hires.  Although a resume is what initially catches the eye, it’s the characteristics and behaviors the candidate possesses that should ultimately dictate whether or not they’re hired.

The first part of the behavioral-based interviewing process is to thoroughly evaluate the position you’re seeking to fill.  The next step is the actual interviewing of the candidates, and when it comes to behavioral-based techniques, the questions you ask are quite divergent from standard interview questions.

‘Tell me about . . .’
The main difference of behavioral-based interviewing questions is that they’re designed to probe deeper and to uncover more information about the candidate.  The key is to ask questions that will elicit detailed responses, revealing the candidate’s skills, how they utilize those skills, and in what manner they facilitate their problem-solving strategies and their character.

Some call this approach STAR interviewing.

The acronym stands for Situation, Task, Action, & Result.

The bulk of your questions will be situational in nature.  You can ask a combination of both fictitious and past situations, or they can all be real situations.  It’s not recommended that they all be hypothetical.  It’s not enough to ask an initial question or two and leave it at that.  Follow-up questions are essential to discovering how the candidate will think and act in a given situation.


Instead of “Tell me about yourself,” you might say, “Tell me about a situation where you had to overcome a conflict, including between you and another co-worker, in order to accomplish a common goal.” While the candidate tells their story, you can ask additional questions, such as “What were you thinking at that point” or “What led you to make that particular decision?”  This will help you uncover the candidate’s behaviors, characteristics, and interpersonal skills.

This interviewing technique is more difficult for the candidate to navigate.  It requires them to answer questions they didn’t foresee and helps to evaluate their ability to think and respond quickly.  It will also reveal something about their behavior based upon the way they answer the questions themselves.

It’s all about ‘who they are’

Behavioral-based interviewing requires a slightly different perspective.  That difference can help you to not only avoid a potentially bad hire, but also zero in on the candidate who can help take your company to the next level.  That’s a win-win situation—and you win both times.

According to one of the trainers in the recruiting industry, “People are hired for what they do, and they’re fired for who they are.” If you hire people both for who they are and what they do, you’ll find they might be stars at your company for a long, long time.

Jan 162011

The ‘Career Book of the Month’ is . . . 

Welcome to a new feature in The Animal Science Monitor!  In today’s challenging economic environment, you need every edge that you can get.  That’s why in one issue per month throughout 2011, we’ll take a look at a book designed to help you advance your career. 

This month’s book in the “Career Book” spotlight is Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear by Frank Luntz (2008, 368 pages). 

Synopsis: The nation s premier communications expert shares his wisdom on how the words we choose can change the course of business, of politics, and of life in this country. 

Dan Simmons’s review: “This book is concisely written, easy to read, and shares practical tips for effective communication for anyone who wants to have people buy into their vision.” 

Click here to read other reviews of Words at Work at  (And remember, we don’t receive a commission if you purchase the book through this site.  We’re recommending books such as this only because we believe they will enhance your career.) 

If you have a career book that you’ve read and you’d like to endorse, we’d be happy to publish your endorsement.  Send your information to, and you might be included in a future issue of the newsletter!

Jan 162011

Welcome to the first installment of our “In Search of . . .” series in 2011!  For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, we’ll highlight Dan Simmons’s hottest job opening in the first issue of each month.  The same job might run in consecutive issues, but our goal is to give exposure to as many openings as possible throughout the year.  Below is the position that we’d like to highlight in this issue of The Animal Science Monitor


Location: Minneapolis, MN

Contact Dan Simmons: (888) 276-6789 or 

Experienced food industry leader to manage new product development projects in a growing customer-focused company committed to the pursuit of perfection.  This is a large, privately held, expanding, and integrated agri-business leader seeking an R&D Manager to provide technical and managerial guidance to enhance the company’s sale of their ingredients. 

To be considered for this role: 

  • You must have 10+ years of R&D experience with a major food or food ingredient company and a Master’s Degree in Food Science or a related discipline.
  • You must have experience with emulsifiers or emulsion in food systems and ingredients.
  • Specifically, you must have product process for production of Mayo and Dressing Products.
  • You must have a strong Research & Development background in the Food Science industry, along with knowledge of raw material and ingredient functionality, as well as knowledge of or experience with Gum and Starch systems.
  • Procedural competence—The ability to maintain compliance with HACCP and USDA guidelines, along with the ability to work cross-functionally with the various departments, including Quality, Sales, and the customer.  Technical expertise with sensory systems necessary, as well as product development, product trials, and converting from test to a full production environment.
  • Innovative—The ability to engage effectively with all stakeholders and develop new products that include the company’s ingredients, along with the benefits of utilization or development of alternative product ingredients to meet customer functional needs.
  • Excellent people skills—Along with excellent written and oral communication skills at all levels in the organization, you will also provide leadership, motivate others, and be an accomplished problem solver with a high level of personal initiative.  You will be self driven, action-results oriented, and have the ability to prioritize and follow through.  You will also be computer literate with Word, Excel, and Outlook.

Preferences are that this person will possess a Chemical Engineering undergraduate degree and ideally be bilingual (English and Spanish). 

Five (5) reasons why this is a great job for the right person: 

  1. This is a growing company with a passion for the pursuit of perfection.
  2. The organization is extremely efficient and cutting-edge with a global perspective.
  3. The company is committed to providing the capital resources necessary to achieve its goals.
  4. The company has a “family feel’ environment.
  5. The position has a competitive salary with relocation assistance.

If you’d like more information about how you can give your open positions exposure in The ASM or if you’d like more information about the position listed above, contact Dan Simmons at (888) 276-6789 or via email at

Jan 162011

Each January, the Conference Board publishes a job satisfaction survey.  In 2010, it showed that only 45% of American workers were satisfied with their work.  This was the lowest satisfaction rate ever recorded in 22 years of taking the survey. 

History has shown that as the economy begins to improve, some unsatisfied workers will work for themselves, others will start their own businesses and hire their colleagues, and still others will drop out of the workforce altogether because their retirement portfolios have improved. 

What does this mean to you? 

It means that as the job market continues to improve, the demand for qualified talent will subsequently increase and opportunities will come your way.  Are you prepared for that? 

Over the past several years, most people have developed a “hunkered down” mentality, and as a result, have not kept their career information current.  Career information includes your resume, your list of references with current contact information, performance reviews and letters of recommendation, and any online presence you hold (i.e., LinkedIn).  As these new opportunities arise, it’s more difficult for individuals to present their qualifications and interview for potential advancement.  Being prepared shows potential to employers that you are organized and serious about reaching your career goals. 

Below are four tips for preparing your career information: 

  1. Review your resume—Have you added recent quantifiable accomplishments to your track record of success?  Does it include recent training, education, or certifications?  Does your resume accurately reflect what you do now?


  1. Touch base with your references to know where they are now.


  1. Do you have a copy of your most recent performance reviews so that you can show you are successful without having references being called?


  1. Are there any other documents, such as letters of recommendation or appreciation, that show you are at the top of your game?  Get those in hand!


Once you’ve assembled your portfolio, you will feel more confident and better prepared when opportunity knocks.  For a complimentary professional review of your portfolio, contact me at

Jan 162011

Energize Your Team

(By Jim Hipskind) 

Over the last few years, American companies, their managers, and executives have been successful in getting more out of their employees because of the uncertainty of the economy.  At the same time, job satisfaction among American workers has been at historic lows. This uncertainty has kept job opportunities few and the ability to relocate low, with confidence in change almost becoming non-existent—something we haven’t seen in decades.  As we head into a new year, the economy continues to improve and opportunities will subsequently increase, giving your employees wings they haven’t had in years. 

Retaining the people who have proven themselves to you over the past few years will be the key to your success.  The question becomes this: with the economy improving and employment opportunities on the rise, how will you energize your people to continue to stay on your team? 

I offer these five suggestions: 

  1. Communication—Make certain your team understands the company goals and vision and how, as a member of that team, they fit into the strategy to obtain those goals.
  2. Appreciation—Verbally show them that you understand and appreciate their contributions to the team and to the overall company.
  3. Reward—Show appreciation in their compensation package.  Don’t be stingy, as a new economy will continue to prove that people go where they feel appreciated, both verbally and monetarily.
  4. Training—Provide opportunities for your team to improve its skills, including seminars and conferences, both online and offline.  Strengthening your core team will not only benefit you, but also make the employees feel like they’re being invested in.
  5. Career Path—Speak with each of your team members.  Listen to their career aspirations and then create a path for the realization of their dreams within your company’s structure.

Remember, as you effectively manage your energized team to achieve your company’s goals, you will also be leading yourself down a path to your own career advancement.

Dec 132010

(By Dan Simmons, CPC)

(In the first part of this article, published in the previous issue of The Animal Science Monitor, Dan defined what a “MPC”—“Most Place-able Candidate”—is and what motivates them.  In this part, he’ll discuss what you can do stay informed about the “MPCs” within your industry and more importantly, how you can hire them before your competition does.)

So how can you make sure that you hear about as many “MPCs” as possible?  By ensuring that the relationships you’ve built with your recruiters are as good as possible. These relationships can mean the difference between hearing about the routine candidates that most hiring managers hear about and being presented with a true “diamond in the rough.”

The initial step is to trust your recruiters to first find and then bring you the best and brightest candidates.  It’s important to invest time into your relationship with these recruiters.  Trust them with specifics about yourself, your group, and your plans for the future.

The second step is to give your recruiters flexibility.  Do you give them an assignment asking for exact qualifications that restrict the talent they present to you?  Having a recruiter search for the same people you surface merely duplicates your efforts, and you can accomplish much more than that.  A recruiter who is a professional will get to know you, understand the culture of your company, and screen for the type of people in whom you’ll truly be interested.

By establishing a relationship of trust with recruiters and providing them with flexibility and latitude, you’ll enable them to assume the role of your “talent scout.”  You’ll be surprised and more than a little satisfied with the people they present to you, people you might never have uncovered on your own.

You may spend a few hours each month on the interviewing and hiring of additional staff, with the majority of your time spent managing your group and delivering a product.  It’s imperative that you have the chance to evaluate candidates before your competition does.

By developing quality relationships with your recruiters and giving them the latitude to present their best candidates, even when you don’t have an open assignment, you can help guarantee yourself the opportunity to maximize a recruiter’s efforts, energy, and time and leverage their industry resources to your full advantage.

Are you doing everything you can to ensure that you see the best possible candidates in your industry?  By how much could you increase production (and profits) in 2011 if you added two or three superstars to your team?  What do you think your competition is doing to locate and hire the best in the business?

If you have any questions about this article, about “MPCs,” or about your workforce needs in the coming year, you can contact me at

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