What can you do as a job applicant searching for a position in the green economy that is emerging, how can you make yourself really stand out among the rest and land the ideal green job that you have been searching for= Here are a few tips to not only find, but also score a great opportunity.
- Put Your Best Foot Forward
This may come across old-fashioned to some, however in my opinion, the difference between success and failure can still be determined with a professional resume. Although nowadays sixty percent of job applicants land jobs through social networking, a resume that is well polished and perhaps even a LinkedIn profile is crucial to putting your best foot forwards, regardless of the position you are applying for.
What you communicate you your future employer when there are simple errors in spelling, grammar and formatting is that you for not pay sufficient attention to detail, that you rush through this, or even worse, that you don’t genuinely care about the product that you produce. It is important to invest the time in making sure that you present yourself as a professional who is competent, this can make or break your opportunities.
- Place Emphasis on Your transferable Skills
Scanning resumes is something that professional recruiters will let you know they spend little time doing, much like a website, if you do not capture the attention of your reader in just a few seconds; you are probably not going to make the cut. This is why it is important that you resume/profile include the most relevant information, this is especially true when you are trying to make a career change over to the sustainability sector. Remember that companies in every kind of industry, including sustainability still rely on professionals in more traditional roles, for example sales, finance, marketing, etc., an you may have the exact experience that they require.
A Few Quick Tips
- Your experience should always come before your education.
- Even if you have never worked in the sustainability niche before, bullet the accomplishments that showcase the skills you would be able to bring to the new position.
- Research and highlight the required competencies in the position or company that you desire.
- Include some examples of your “soft skills.” Technical jargon can always be learned, however being able to communicate, innovate, facilitate, engage, collaborate and network is crucial to being a successful sustainability professional.
- Consider the use of a functional resume format that will emphasize your experience, skills and knowledge in the industries and companies that you have worked in.
- Develop Your Value Proposition
The position you are looking for may not be in marketing or in sales, it is however important to you develop ample understanding of the challenges that sustainable companies and their customers face; this can help to distinguish yourself from the rest of the crowd.
Regardless of whether your background is in sustainability or not, it is important to get educated. This does not necessarily entail returning to school. The truth of the matter is that MBAs, new graduates and even PhDs are a flooding the market, it does however men that it is important to have an understanding of how complex implementing sustainability solutions can be.
For example, a study which the International Society of Sustainability Professionals recently published found the biggest challenge that sustainability professionals face is being able to communicate the value of sustainability. If what you want is to get hired. Form the very beginning you should expect to be able to express the value of sustainability. This piece from Quanta goes into the detail
- Never Stop Networking!
Not only will networking make it more likely for you to land a job, but throughout the process you will also build valuable skills. Networking can help to build communications skills, confidence, relationships as well as competencies that are critically important for sustainability professionals. On top of that, knowing that you are a person who knows people could be an attractive quality to a future employer.
As you begin your job search, here are a few things to consider:
- Join Linkedin groups which are relevant to the position you desire, however do not just join. Be active in discussions and on the boards. Your activity in these groups can actually help recruiters find you, do as and answer questions to really make yourself stand out.
- Use Linkedin to network with as many people as possible. This immediately will widen your network meaning that more and more people will have access to your profile.
- Look into any Meetup groups in your local area whose emphasis is on green jobs or sustainability. Attend these meeting to learn what is going on in your area and to make connections.
- Get in touch with the companies that you are interested and as for an informational interview. In a low-pressure situation like this you will be obtain exposure with the hiring manager or recruiter all the while being able to learn more about the companies you wish to work for.
- Look into anyone in your network that would be able to connect you with professionals that are already working in the field you are interested in. Ask that person out for coffee so you can discuss the best ways of landing a position in that industry.
- Last But Not Least, Do Not Seem Desperate, Be Confident!
It is a fact that for many, many Americans, times are tough out there. Due to the current economic climate, there are fewer jobs available and more applicants searching for jobs. That unfortunately means that when it comes to recruiting, companies can take their time and can be more selective in their hiring process.
It will not help your case to apply for every position available at the company, it is also not beneficial to harass the recruit by calling them on a daily basis to inquire about the status of the position that you have applied for. Sometimes when looking for the perfect position, less is more. Invest in doing your homework on the company you are interested in applying for and beefing up your resume.
Place your focus on your resume, cover letter and phone calls so that you do not come across as desperate but are seen as accomplished and professional. If at the moment you are unemployed, stay active. Volunteer at agencies where you can do the type of work that you are interested, or blog about topics that are relevant and of interest to you.