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Greening the Job Search: 5 Tips for Finding Environmentally Friendly Employment

3p Contributor | Wednesday December 15th, 2010 | 2 Comments

By: Brendan Cruickshank you looking for a green job? First, think about what you mean by green. Are you looking for a job in an industry that makes renewable energy technology, for example? Are you looking for work reporting on or writing about environmental issues? or are you looking for an ecofriendly employer in a field that isn’t traditionally considered green? Thinking these questions through will help you to determine how you want to focus your search. In addition, if you have thought these issues through, you will be able to write an informed, well-thought-out cover letter when you apply for a green job. Once you have thought carefully about what kind of green job you are looking for, try the following strategies:

Use a green job search engine or check a green job board regularly. Here are some possibilities:

Consider occasionally checking the job listings of national environmental organizations as well. For example, you might want to consider the National Audubon Society, the National Wildlife
Federation
, American Forest, American Rivers, or Environmental Defense; or international environmental groups such as the World Wildlife Federation, Conservation International, or Friends of the Earth.

Try signing up at an environmentally conscious networking site. You may want to try the following:

  • Clean Economy Network
  • Green America.Green America focuses on networking related
    to green purchasing and investing.
  • Green Business Networking. There is also Green Business
    Networking.com
    , which is the Los Angeles County area incarnation of this group.
  • Idealist.org
  • Sustainable Business.com. In addition to networking services, Sustainable
    Business covers news stories related to green businesses.
  • Your local Chamber of Commerce may also have green business networking events.
  • You may also be able to find some local news about green events or learn about local green businesses through
    websites such as Ecolocalizer, through your local health food store bulletin board or
    newsletter, or through local alternative health care websites.

Establish a green history. If you are currently employed, try advocating for ecofriendly changes within your current company. By doing so, you can develop your leadership skills and show future employers that you are committed to environmentally-friendly practices. If you are not currently employed, you could join an environmental organization, do volunteer work for an environmental organization, or write about environmental issues in your blog. If you are passionate about the environment, this will give you a chance to develop your own interest and to find the particular issues that concern
you the most. It also gives you some background in environmental topics, so that when you make it to the interview stage in your green job search, you will have something to talk about when an interviewer asks you about your personal history with environmental issues.

Educate yourself about environmental issues. Read environmental news, subscribe to newsletters and RSS feeds from environmental organizations, and take the time to pursue particular issues that you feel strongly about, such as water conservation, recycling, or renewable energy. Not only will this strategy make you more informed as you go into potential
interviews, but it will help you to focus your job search on areas that are the most interesting to you. Self-education of this sort can also lead you to job opportunities that you might otherwise not have known about. For example, if you receive the newsletter for a local environmental organization, you might read about a job opening that wasn’t being advertised on job boards or in the classifieds. The smaller the organization, the less likely it is that a job opening will be advertised widely. If you can find and apply for jobs that have not been widely publicized, your chances of being hired are greater because you
will not be competing with as large a pool of applicants.

Be environmentally-conscious about how you conduct your job search. If you are looking for a green job, potential employers may begin to doubt your commitment to the environment if you paper the market with hard copies of your resume. Instead, when you write to employers, make the initial contact by email. Attach an electronic copy of your resume and any relevant work samples. Then, in your cover letter, state that you would be happy to provide a hard copy of your resume and samples if they are needed. If you are applying for a job which requires you to snail mail a hard copy of your cover letter and resume, use recycled paper.

As you conduct your job search, bear in mind that many companies that have a strong commitment to the environment are in industries that are not related to environmental issues. In addition, many companies are committed to the environment, but do not advertise that fact or mention it in their marketing materials. Consider carefully how you want to limit your job search, because if you insist on applying only to companies that are overtly green, you may be screening out some very green companies that have not prioritized green marketing efforts. Good luck with your job search. Remember, finding a
green job may not be as difficult as you think.


Brendan Cruickshank (Vice President of Client Services) – Brendan is a veteran of the online job search and recruiting industry, having spent the past 8 years in senior client services roles with major sites like Juju.com and JobsInTheMoney.com. These sites cover employment searches on everything from Flordia jobs to Maryland jobs.


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  • http://www.thegreenjobbank.com GreenJobsGuru

    Please add The Green Job Bank (http://www.thegreenjobbank.com) to your list.
    We’re a green job search engine that indexes green jobs daily from hundreds of employers sites, recruiters sites and job boards.
    Thanks!

  • http://shredyourresume.com JobSearchTips

    What about looking for green jobs by joining LinkedIn groups?