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A guide to writing your environmental CV

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Neville Rose provides a tailored guide to writing your CV for everyone from grads to experienced environmental pros

Whether you currently operate in the environmental sector, or are looking to get into it, it is absolutely vital that employers can clearly see you have the right skills and qualifications. The amount of experience you have, and how aligned it is to your career ambition, should inform the structure of your CV. Qualifications and memberships are particularly important in the environment sector so these should certainly be highlighted.

As a graduate or with little or no experience, you might adopt a skills based CV. A skills based CV has an expanded skills section just after the professional profile. Here, you should list four or five of the skills that are most relevant to the job being applied for. For example, these could be along the lines of project management, analysis, assessment or report writing. The important thing is to align the skills to the job and use examples to illustrate. This format helps to demonstrate your skills are transferable. So you can use examples from university or non-environment related work.

At entry level any environmental qualifications or relevant memberships are vital. With less work experience to rely on you should fully amplify your degree or other qualifications. So provide examples of project work, environmental impact assessments, dissertations or other relevant modules. Include facts and figures that demonstrate the results of your efforts. It’s important to demonstrate an outcomes focused approach.

As an experienced environmental or sustainability professional, the most appropriate CV structure would usually be a reverse chronological style. Start with your most recent work as this is what employers would generally be most interested in. This structure helps the recruiter easily recognise the thread and progression of your career. Where you started out and how you came to be where you are. Ease of navigation is important where a decision on calling you to interview will be made in literally seconds.

The most important thing that will help your environmental CV stand out are specific examples of achievements supported by facts and figures to illustrate. For example, as a wind farm installation manager you would want to include the size and number of turbines, the amount of power generated and timescales. You can demonstrate the scale and scope of your job by including details on the size and number of teams managed. Include all the positive results in completing each project.

Qualifications and memberships are important, but generally less so the further in your career you get. So qualifications can usually sit at the back of the CV as final affirmation of your credentials. Remember, what will help your CV to stand out more than anything are those clearly articulated examples of achievements.

This article is written by Neville Rose, director of CV Writers who provide a CV writing service. You can get things started with a FREE CV review.

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