Question: “Having recently completed an environmental science degree, I am keen to forge a career in an environmental charity. How should I target my CV for this?”
Neville Rose says…
Environmentally focused charities can offer some very rewarding career opportunities that are sometimes unique and can be very different to many other industries.
However, when it comes to applying for jobs, it’s much more about aligning your specific skills and experience to the role rather than what the organisation does. So, if the primary focus is to get into an environmental charity, then I would advise you to be flexible about the type of roles you’re applying for so that you get your foot in the door first.
With your CV it’s important to focus on the type of role you are applying for. Whether it’s a sustainability adviser, project manager, administration assistant or volunteer manager, you need to position yourself in line with that role. You also need to provide examples of direct and transferable skills and experience. Try to present this information as specific achievements rather than hypothetical statements.
Any voluntary work you have carried out should also be included as this might just make a critical difference if competition is high. It goes without saying that you should show empathy with the aims and ethos of the organisation. On its own though, this will not set you apart from other candidates who will probably be just as enthusiastic as you are.
Include examples of any relevant projects, presentations or modules from your degree as these may also be an advantage against graduates applying with more general degrees.
Reading the job description and person specification carefully and aligning your CV to this is very important. If you can then also display a genuine empathy for the organisation then these combined will certainly stand you in good stead.
This article is written by Neville Rose, director of CV Writers, who provide a CV writing service. They can also help with cover letters and LinkedIn profiles. You can get things started with a free CV review.