Applying for jobs can be a little overwhelming and it can be hard to know where to start.  Whether you have just left university or you have recently started looking to secure your first or new role, here are some simple steps that can help you get ahead of the game and secure that dream job.

Polish your LinkedIn profile:

·       highlight your specific achievements that illustrate your value to potential employers;
·       ask for some recommendations from people you have worked with;
·       follow companies and connect with relevant industry professionals, comment on their posts and ask relevant questions if appropriate.

The above will raise your profile and get you noticed.

·       change settings to reflect that you are open to work;
·       ask for advice from your network, people love to help;
·       use an appropriate up-to-date photo (something friendly and interesting);
·       attend events/networking.

LinkedIn can be a great way to meet relevant people from the industry and get advice and tips on moving your career forward.  People are always happy to give free advice if you show enthusiasm and a willingness to learn.

Follow up with people you have met with a LinkedIn invite and a short note about your situation.

If you are about to start your career, ask people for opportunities to shadow on site visits/surveys to gain valuable experience.

Sign up to job alerts on relevant job boards, LinkedIn, Indeed and specialist sites such as Ecology Jobs.

There is a host of websites and resources which once you have signed up to will provide you with valuable news and insights

ACE your CV:

Write a strong opening summary. Use this to grab attention and ensure the rest of your CV gets read.  It should include your best achievements to date, your most useful skills and your career vision moving forward.  Make it targeted to the roles you are applying for;

·       summarise your key skills/strengths, soft skills and technical skills;
·       a well laid out CV, two pages, not too much text, using some creativity to highlight ability to present in an eye-catching way.  Put some personality into the CV.  Include some hobbies and interests;
·       clear description of academic qualifications and what the courses entailed (highlight modules most relevant to the industry);
·       highlight any work experience including volunteering, and include responsibilities that can be transferred from other jobs you have held;
·       interrogate the job description you are applying to and emphasise as much relevant information as possible;
·       write a covering letter, shows added determination and a great way of drawing attention to your specific merits;

Applying for Jobs:

·       identify the companies you are most interested in;
·       research these companies and get to know them. Sign up to newsletters and job alerts;
·       connect with relevant people from the target firm via LinkedIn;
·       express an interest to work for them and ask if there are any suitable opportunities are on the horizon;
·       get in there early, but do bear in mind how busy people are come the survey season, so try reaching out in advance of busy periods.  Don’t be shy to follow up;
·       Persistence and patience pays off.

Work Experience & Volunteering:

·       Gain relevant work experience through volunteering for conservation groups.  Seek work experience with potential employers either paid or unpaid.
·       Continue learning and stay up to date with industry news.  Look for relevant short courses to keep your learning fresh.

So good luck with your job hunting.  I hope this has helped.  Don’t get disheartened if it takes a while and remember that determination will get you there in the end.

JM Pic

Written by:
Jeremy Money
Director, JSM Associates

I have worked within the Environmental and Sustainability sector for 20 years, making me one of the most established and well connected networkers in the market.

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