We really believe we can change the way the world works by changing what we work on. Whether you’re applying for a different role within the environment space or using your skills in a different industry to apply them to a sustainability focus, there’s a few things you can do to ensure you have the best chance possible!
1. Declutter your resume
Design: Make sure it’s well formatted and clean. Ensure all the margins line up, the paragraphs match and you’ve formatted it into sections. Really pay attention to the details and go for minimal design wherever possible to keep it simple, neat and to the point.
Grammar: Check all your spelling and sentence structures. Ensure you’ve used consistent conventions throughout the document.
Experience: You don’t need to list all your experience. If you’ve had a number of jobs it is of no bearing what you did during high school for example unless it relates directly to the field you’re applying for. Comb through your experience and delete whatever doesn’t fit.
Summary: Ensure you have a few little lines at the top for an overview of what you do and where your skills lie.
Personal details: You do not need to include your exact living address and we recommend against doing so for privacy and security. Your city, state and country is nearly always fine.
Email address: Please ensure this is a professional email and not an old one from when you first started on the internet… or you were sixteen and thought you were hilarious!
Length: Keep it to three pages to get the key details, accomplishments and your skills out.
Photo: Don’t include one on your resume.
Designer? Design your resume using your pro skills!
Extra: We highly recommend getting a resume review. If you can afford it, often this only sets you back a couple of hundreds dollars to have it looked over and fixed up to a much higher standard and quality.
2. Get specific
Experience: Write one or two lines for what you achieved specifically in each job you’ve had so those reading your CV can quickly see that you attained some measurable goals and are able to sum up the value you provided to an organization.
Applications: We recommend tweaking your resume for each job application. Study the requirements and job description and make sure you’ve spoken to these in your resume using the keywords from the job, and addressing the desired criteria.
3. Add related opportunities to your resume
Don’t be afraid to have a section for volunteering positions you’ve undertaken, charities or businesses you’ve started, significant roles you conducted at college/university or any similar work. Tailor these to ensure they’re relevant to the position you’re applying for (whether that’s in subject matter or desired skills such as mentoring or innovation).
4. Note the tone
Some job descriptions have a much more fun tone or upon researching the company, you might find they’re really relaxed and casual. Tailor your application to suit the organization’s approach. If it’s a really bold job description, ensure your cover letter includes some humor too. If it’s a creative position, develop a beautifully designed resume pack to go alongside your standard one to showcase you and your work.
5. Do a little digging & personalize
We recommend doing a little digging. For example, some non-enterprise organizations will list their office dog on their Team / About pages and name them. Use that in your application somewhere to show you’ve had a good look around and would fit in with the team. Follow all their social channels and see if your application can speak to something recently (in your cover letter or email ideally). For example, a number of environment organizations are now launching podcasts. Listen to one of the episodes and make a specific comment on it. It shows you’re deeply interested, going the extra mile, know their company and really want to be part of their team. It automatically places you well ahead of generic applications.
If the application mentioned a hiring manager, look them up on Linkedin or their website and see if you can personalize your submission a little! It could be something very simple. For example, the manager might mention they love tea and never drink coffee. You could sign your email off with Fellow Tea Drinker. Just let people know that you care enough to do your research (but don’t be creepy!).
6. Update your social profiles
Whoever is hiring will Google you and look you up on the major social platforms such as Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Are you visible to the public there? Is your description an accurate reflection? Are you comfortable with them reading your posts? Switch your security to your own network if you don’t want these to be read or ensure you are comfortable representing yourself in this way on your public profiles.
Additionally, get active on the platform where most of your field contributes. For example, journalists and scientists tend to hang out on Twitter. There are some great circular economy jobs in Linkedin groups. Start extending your community, contribute and have a presence within your field.
Bonus: you could even add in something specifically for recruiters looking at your profile!
7. Get your Linkedin sorted
Linkedin is being used more and more by hiring managers, business owners, and recruiters so make sure you’re on there.
Summary: Create a summary of what you do, what your background is in and a list of the key skills you have possess in the top section. This also helps with keyword searches so that you can be found by more people. Additionally, add any website addresses that you might want to send people to for more information.
Seeking roles: Switch your status to open to new roles. You can do this in your settings.
Update your title to something applicable to what you do. This could be your job title, a combination of industries you work in, or a specific one-liner (for example, Helping brands assess their environmental impact).
Update your photo: Ideally your photo is a professionally shot photo at high quality. Make sure it largely concentrates on your face and reflects who you are. While you’re at it, update your cover / header image. You can have this created by a graphic designer for something specific or simply upload a photo that matches what you do or stand for. If you have a great photo of you in action – at a speaking event, facilitating a workshop, studying microplastics or a mockup of a new circular product – use this to show it off!
Skills: Make sure your skills are all up to date and relevant to the jobs you’re applying for.
Reviews: Ask a few friends and colleagues to write a Linkedin review for you and don’t be afraid to point them to a few things you’d like to focus on or have featured.
Get active: Write articles related to the position or industry you want to move into. Or write little posts with your thoughts and idea. If you’re changing careers and stuck on topics think about how your current industry can cross over into the one you’d like to head into and what skills or ideas could apply.
8. Pay attention to the job application process!
We have a clear ‘How to apply’ section on each listed job. Make sure you understand it and address the requirements. Some jobs may simply be an easy CV and cover letter upload. Others might have questions you need to answer inside your cover letter. Others may have a lengthier application on their own site. Pay attention and follow the instructions to ensure you end up in the applications the recruiter will read.
9. Build a little space for yourself online
It only needs to be a one-pager, if you can. Craft out a little domain for yourself where you can provide your summary, links to the social profiles you’d want others to peruse and connect on, your email for outreach, a summary of projects you’ve worked on, any links out to specific pieces of work or writing and anything else that provides a little more insight into you. This might even be a list of your favorite books or podcasts (with links!).
10. Write a unique cover letter
Many job applications still require a cover letter these days. If it’s part of the process for the position you’re applying to, make sure it stands out! Don’t upload a generic one but one that is specifically targeted to the company, addresses their pain points and their requirements and shows that you know what you’re doing and where they’d like to head. Clearly show how your past experience will provide value to them. Ideally, note who you’re applying to and address it to them or try to figure it out from their team structure. The recruiter or manager will really appreciate that you’ve taken the time to understand the organization and have an idea of where you can contribute too.
11. Get creative!
If you see a position listed on our job board then you know they’re looking for people like you! Can you get on their radar by showing off your skills or letting them know how much you love the work they do and wanting to be a part of the team? Is there a little something you could send to a specific person (online or offline) in relation to the role that would capture their attention?
Lis’s friend Mark created a viral CV video many years ago that landed his dream position at the men’s health charity, Movember. Can you do something similar or in this vein? Remember to include it in your application if you do!
Bonus: Nail the interview
This post covers your application but worth keep in mind is preparing for the interview you’ll hopefully get! We’ll cover this in further detail, but for now, remember to do significant research. Follow all their channels. Jump on their website and understand their main services and products. Get a good idea of their partners, sponsors and clients. Try to glean some more challenges of the organization and where you would fit in. Make some notes and feel welcome to bring them to an interview (video or in-person). Have at least 5 – 10 questions prepared that you can ask throughout the interview when it arises or at the end why they request this from you. If you’re presented a question you don’t know the answer too or need more information to answer well, ask questions! Dig deeper; they’re looking for how you to get to this and what you’re seeking.