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Job hunting – practical tips

Applying for a job can be overwhelming, and it can be hard to find the time to dedicate to it. Having a clear goal and plan in place will help significantly with the process. Leverage your experience. Understand your skills and knowledge. Make personal contact; be active in your industry and network to help you on your journey. Most importantly, understand the role that you’re applying for.

Sustainable finance advisor working on a laptop

Searching for a job

  • Get organised and sign up for job alerts across lots of different jobs boards and websites
  • Consider speaking to a recruiter, such as our Green Careers Hub partner; Hays Recruiters can do some of the job hunting for you and guide you through the job application process, offering advice and supporting with your CV, and helping you prepare for an interview
  • Consider approaching organisations that you like, but that aren’t actively recruiting now
  • Consider an internal move within your current organisation
  • Don’t feel disheartened – it can take a while to find the right fit!
Paul Gosling, at Hays, talks about how to ace your sustainability job application

Your CV

Hiring managers, recruiters and HR departments often sift through hundreds of CVs for a role. You should ensure your CV is up to date and is tailored to each role you are applying for. It’s important to make a good first impression and the structure of your CV can help with this.

  • Relevant contact details: your full name, a phone number and email address where you can be easily contacted.
  • Personal summary: this section at the top summarises your experience and should be relevant to the specific job you’re applying for.
  • Your skills: list your key strengths and skills, which should be relevant for the role you are applying for.
  • Your experience: list your most recent job first and account for any gaps in your work. Try to highlight situations where you acted and the result of this action. This is also useful for interview questions.
  • Your qualifications and credentials: reference any qualifications, training or professional memberships that you may have.

Using LinkedIn

LinkedIn can be an important part of the job search process. You can change your settings if you’d like to let your network know you are looking for work. Ensure your profile, and photo, are up to date, and reflect your achievements and personality. LinkedIn can also be a great way to search for jobs and will help you grow your network and keep up with the latest trends in a particular industry.

Job interviews

Interviews can be daunting for some, so it’s imperative to prepare.

  1. Work through some key questions that you think could come up and ensure you have answers ready
  2. Collate examples for the skills mentioned on the job description
  3. Research the organisation – look at areas such as the company values, strategy and relevant projects
  4. Think about why the organisation should hire you and prepare compelling reasons that you can talk through
  5. Interviews are a two-way process, and you need to consider if the company is the right fit for you. Think about questions you want to ask the interviewer
  6. Some interviews are now being held virtually, so make sure you test out the software beforehand and think about your video background
  7. Consider your clothes and dress appropriately for the role
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Browse more careers advice, including interview tips, cover letter advice and how to work with recruiters, on the Hays website

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IEMA is the membership body for environment and sustainability professionals