Laura Sullivan at TopCV, the largest CV-writing service in the world, offers advice on how to market yourself effectively through your CV.
As the nation begins a new year, now is the perfect time to start thinking about the direction you wish to take your career.
Vacancies are on the rise and top employers within the environmental sector are on the lookout for talented professionals to join their stronghold.
If you want to make the most of the recruitment rush, here is how to market yourself and tailor your CV to the environmental sector.
Know what the employer is looking for
To market yourself effectively through your environmental CV, you must first familiarise yourself with the job description and what the employer is looking for in a successful candidate.
Read the job spec carefully, making a note of the key terms used in the job title, duties and requirements. Not only will this help you decide whether you are a suitable match for the role, but it will also signal what details you must focus on when proving why the employer should hire you.
Tailor your skills to match requirements and keywords
Now that you are aware of what makes a successful candidate for this position, it is time to tweak your skills, abilities, and experiences using the keywords referenced in the job description.
Targeting your CV in this way will help your application pass through employers’ Applicant Tracking System software (ATSs) that is scanning CVs for relevant keywords. Once your CV passes this stage, the use of key terms and phrases will also clearly signal to the recruiter that you deserve an interview.
Start by tweaking your personal profile, as this is the first section the prospective employer will read and make a judgement on. Reference qualities the employer values. For example, if the job description states that a successful candidate must have an MSc in marine science or a CIEEM membership and you fulfil this requirement, do not bury the information; put it in a prominent position, like your profile.
Then, continue to inject relevant terms throughout your experience and education sections.
Remember, it is only beneficial to incorporate keywords that relate to your skillset if you genuinely possess the skills. Never lie on your CV, because you will get caught out.
Structure your CV to your advantage
The structure of a CV is relatively flexible, and I advise you to use it to your advantage wherever possible.
As a rule of thumb, the most relevant information must sit in the top third of your CV as recruiters will read this first. Therefore, the first position listed on your CV is a crucial one as it’s the first example of employment a recruiter will read. But this is unlikely to impress the recruiter if the role does not relate to the environmental sector.
In this case, instead of opting for a traditional, chronological CV format, you may want to consider opting for a functional format. A functional CV emphasises the skills you can bring to the role, rather than placing focus on your employment history. While this format is usually not preferred by recruiters, it’s sometimes the best option available to showcase your skills.
Introduce a key skills section underneath your profile and list four or five skills that are most valuable to the employer. Remember to support the skills with evidence of your experience.
Even if you have several years’ worth of experience in the industry, it may be worth adding a ‘core environmental skills’ section too, to make your skillset pop and show you are worthy of an interview.
TopCV offers a range of CV-writing services including expertly-written and keyword-optimised CVs, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles. It is currently offering a free CV review to help you land your dream environment job.