How to get your foot-in-the-door with environmental employers
Post by: Angie Knowles, ECO Canada
While the demand for environmental work is strong and projected to grow even further, job-seekers need to use targeted strategies to find employment options that are the best possible fit with their experience, education and skills.
This is especially true for recent graduates, transitioning workers, and newcomers to Canada who often face the additional challenge of trying to enter the environmental workforce with limited or no industry-specific experience.
If you’re looking to find your dream job, what is the best way to connect with environmental employers?
The single best strategy is to think like the employer. This involves knowing how employers typically look for job candidates, and adapting accordingly.
In a major ECO Canada study, Land your Dream Green Job, environmental employers provided valuable feedback on the recruitment strategies they used most often and what they find most effective:
- The majority of the employers rely on existing employee networks such as internal recruitment and personal referrals to find new, qualified job candidates.
- Employers were less likely to use newspaper job postings or recruitment agencies.
These findings point to the tremendous value in building networks to connect with environmental employers to find good employment opportunities.
Build your network with these 5 tips:
1. Prepare and practice your professional identity.
Before you begin to network, ensure you come across as professional and informed. This involves preparing and practicing your professional identity, including polishing your résumé and practicing an effective elevator speech.
Can you quickly summarize your professional accomplishments and skill strengths? Is your résumé up-to-date and tailored to the jobs you’re seeking?
2. Join organizations and groups in your field of interest.
Find local and national professional groups and alumni associations that meet your career goals. Once you’ve joined, make sure to actively participate in their activities to meet valuable connections.
3. Use social media to network online.
A recent survey shows 80% of HR teams use social media for sourcing and hiring new staff.
Do you have a professional LinkedIn profile? Are you following your dream companies on Twitter or Facebook? What information comes up when you Google search yourself?
4. Demonstrate professional business etiquette with all the contacts you interact with.
Often networks are more interconnected than you would think and just as a first impression is lasting, so is a bad one. Common courtesy often requires something very simple, such as thanking a contact for meeting with you or following up in a timely manner.
5. Give back.
Don’t forget that networking is give and take. You need to demonstrate that you can contribute and provide value too.
Consider offering your time to support a professional association’s activities or start by sharing relevant articles on a LinkedIn group.