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Cheat Sheet

Green Careers For Dummies

From Green Careers For Dummies by Carol L. McClelland

A growing number of people are looking for ways to green their current jobs or find careers in environmentally responsible sectors of the economy. Eco-friendly jobs provide a two-pronged solution. But where to start when looking for your green dream job? Some starting points include identifying green industries to research, using job posting boards to find positions, keeping abreast of the latest developments, greening up your resume, and volunteering to build experience in working on green projects.

Green Industries to Consider When Job Hunting

Everybody knows that green careers are sprouting up in the energy, waste, and traditional environmental areas. But in truth, that’s not the half of it. Don’t neglect the following industries and sectors in your job search:

  • City planning: Creating a plan for land use that balances needs of the citizens

  • Distribution logistics: Moving materials and products in ways that emit less greenhouse gases

  • Event planning: Organizing large events in a sustainable way

  • Green chemistry: Finding less toxic ways to design products

  • Green hospitality: Treating guests to a nurturing stay that’s green and sustainable

  • Green information technology (IT): Running computer equipment more efficiently

  • Green marketing: Persuading people to take new actions

  • Green medicine: Discovering more efficient and less wasteful ways to provide medical care

  • Waste-to-energy: Converting mounds of waste into a renewable energy source

Looking for Careers on Green Job Boards

Job boards, especially those that cater specifically to green careers, are a treasure trove of information you can use to enhance your job search. In addition to finding job openings, you can also use job boards to discover companies in your area that are hiring, job titles you want to explore in more detail, and job descriptions you can study to strengthen your own resume.

Check out these job boards and bookmark the ones that look most promising to you:

  • Clean Edge Jobs: Run by a cleantech research and publishing company, this job board displays a full range of cleantech opportunities.

  • Clean Tech Recruits: This one includes a blend of cleantech and renewable energy positions.

  • EcoEmploy: The majority of positions and resources on this job board relate to environmental science and natural resources careers.

  • Environmental Career: Highlights a wide range of job titles including green building, natural resources, waste, legal, and much more.

  • Green Biz Jobs: Provides job opportunities for professional job candidates with skills that help green businesses to grow.

  • Green Dream Jobs: Features professional positions for those interested in sustainable business.

  • Renewable Energy World: Offers positions within a variety of renewable energy industries throughout North America.

Ten Great Blogs on Green Economy Developments

To identify your green career focus and excel in your ultimate green career you must stay up-to-date on the green economy. The best way to track unfolding developments that may impact your targeted green industry career is to read a selection of green blogs on a regular basis.

  • Earth2Tech: Focuses on a wide range of cleantech innovations

  • Greentechmedia: In-depth news about topics from cleantech to natural resources with posts about companies receiving government and venture capital funding

  • Clean Tech Brief: Tracks the flow of money and innovations within cleantech

  • The Inspired Economist: Features companies and people who are contributing to the transition to a sustainable economy

  • Environmental News Network: A long-established blog that provides an objective perspective on how current issues impact the environment

  • GreenBiz: An interlocking collection of blogs with informative posts about trends in business, green building, green IT, and green design

  • Green for All: An activist organization that tracks and influences the effort to bring the renewable-energy-based economy to all

  • The Green Economy Post: Thorough articles about key issues defining the green economy and influencing your career

  • New York Times Green Inc.: Provides a national and international perspective on topics that influence the green economy

  • Worldchanging: Posts that inform and inspire readers to rethink how they live, do business, and interact with the planet

Strategies to Green Your Resume

Green employers want to see evidence that your values and actions align with the company’s mission. Here are terrific actions you can take and then add to your resume to demonstrate your commitment to a green/clean/sustainable future: Incorporating your green and sustainable actions into your resume is key to landing an interview in the green economy.

Using your target job as your guide, highlight your most persuasive green experiences in your cover letter, the summary statement at the top of your resume, your job-related accomplishments, and the education section of your resume. When you land an interview, be ready to talk in detail about the green elements of your background.

  • Take classes to expand what you know about sustainability.

  • Earn a green certificate or degree to strengthen your credibility.

  • Donate your time to a green organization to build your skills.

  • Volunteer for the green team at work to make a difference.

  • Take on a leadership role on a green project to demonstrate you have the skills to take the initiative on something pertinent to the green economy.

  • Calculate the impact your green efforts have had.

  • Green how you do your current job.

  • Land an internship in your target industry.

  • Negotiate with an eco-friendly company to offer your services pro bono.

Green Volunteer Gigs to Build Skills for Green Careers

Volunteering is one of the most effective ways to gain skills, build your green network, and add accomplishments to your resume. Check out these opportunities:

  • Cool Cities: This green initiative, sponsored by the Sierra Club, has groups throughout North America. Check the map to find the nearest group to you.

  • Green team for your city: Talk with members of your local network and your city hall to find a grassroots or city-sponsored group committed to helping your region go green.

  • Idealist: This multifaceted site gives you access to thousands of volunteer opportunities, nonprofits, and people.

  • Orion Network: Explore this online network to discover environmental conservation opportunities.

  • Your local volunteer center: A Google search with the keywords “volunteer center” + your city/state/region name helps you find your local volunteer center(s).

  • Volunteer Match: Using keywords to identify your interests and your region, you discover volunteer opportunities close to home or available virtually.

  • Environmental organizations in your area: Search Google using “environmental organization” + city/state/region name.

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