Written with a bias toward the recent college graduate, the straight-talking BGT Guide to Getting a Green Job opens with a no-nonsense overview of the challenges of getting a green job: everybody wants one. Fortunately, those graduating, or recently graduated, have some advantages: youth is at a premium in the green sector, you have few commitments tying you down and you probably know something about sustainability if only by osmosis, because it’s a hot topic at universities.
Bright Green Talent should know something about the green job search: It’s a search firm that offers green career coaching services and a host of resources for finding a green job.
It shouldn’t surprise readers, then, that there’s a self-promotional interlude in the book, directing readers to send them their resume, sign up for career coaching, follow the blog, and use a recruiter. The Bright Green Talent blog, in particular, provides relevant, inside information about the green market, and gets a big endorsement from this reviewer.
But not all of this make sense, especially for an entry-level job seeker. Few businesses use recruiters to find entry-level employees, unless they’re looking for a specific, hard-to-find technical skill, and most green and clean-tech recruiters won’t want to spend time helping those with little experience.
This hardly detracts from the rest of the guide, which is useful with some fresh advice. The authors urge candidates to get skills and savvy through internships and volunteering; offer tips for avoiding wasting time on job boards; and provide a perspective on things like voicemail, e-mail etiquette, and smartphones.
A mini-workbook offers a four-step process on creating a resume, and the authors share sample cover letters—with specific critiques. Heading the authors’ expert analysis will go a long way toward helping you write a cover letter that somebody’s actually going to read.
There’s even a section about online tools, such as social networking sites—including a savvy strategy for using LinkedIn, an excellent, and often underutilized, job seeker tool.
Finally, the obligatory resource section offers newsletters, blogs and green career pathways that offer a starting point for those trying to figure out what the hell to do with their life. The authors even offer specific resources for green career paths in the solar industry and sustainability consulting, as well as tips on making your job green from the inside, and offer their thoughts about whether or not you should get your green MBA.
Then there’s a little advice on how to be green—you know, unplug stuff, bring your own coffee mug, take shorter showers, that sort of thing. After all, if you’re going green—really go green!
The writing engages, the advice is relevant, and, best of all, it’s free. If you’re serious about getting a green job, this is a great place to get ideas for starting, refining or improving your search.
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If you’re interested in more green career advice, you can also find resources at Triple Pundit, including articles refreshing your resume, advice for social intrapreneurs and a series of excellent articles about careers in wind farm development.
Frank Marquardt is the author of the Solar Job Guide.