Write a Green Resume

You’ve got your mind made up: you’re going to follow your passion and look for one of the green-collar jobs everyone’s talking about. Follow the typical guidelines for good resume writing. Take a look at some samples, to make sure you're on the right track.

Then green your resume using these tips:

  • Learn green buzzwords. Savvy use of the lingo in your field shows employers that you’re authentic. Don’t stack your resume with over-the-top terms, but if words like ecoflation, sustainable consumerism, green audit, precycling, or carbon trading are commonly used in the industry, throw one in to show you’re up-to-date. If you land an interview, familiarize yourself with more relevant terms, like ecohacking (using science to change the environment); global weirding (strange weather patterns or climate-change shifts); or rewilding (restoring a wilderness).
  • Don't assume certain work experience isn't valid. Green businesses need all sorts of staffers, including secretaries, accountants, marketing specialists, business developers, techies, and more. Think about what transferable skills you do have, and highlight these.
  • Prove you genuinely care about the planet. The college recycling program, the Green Drinks group, and the neighborhood knapweed abatement project are all worth mentioning. So is the fact that you volunteered to coordinate the recycling effort at your last non-green job. Green employers want to know you’re not just pursuing a paycheck—you’re pursuing positive change. If enviro action is in your past, include it.
  • Get email wise. Most employers these days—and particularly green ones—ask only for email copies of your resume. To make sure yours doesn't get garbled when you send it electronically, consult some online resources. As with scanning versions, emailed resumes typically need to be in plain fonts without fancy layouts or other flourishes. If you email an unsolicited resume directly into someone’s email box, don’t send it as an attachment. No one (who’s virus-wise) opens attachments from strangers.
  • Practice what you preach. If employers do ask for a printed resume, show your commitment to the environment by using recycled, chlorine-free (or hemp!) paper and envelopes. If your employer needs to scan your resume into a database, send two copies: one with an ultra-plain design for scanning, the other for human eyes. Attach a recycled sticky note to identify the plain one.
  • Borrow some eyes. Ask someone already in the green industry to look at your resume, offer advice on wording, and give pointers on what should be boosted or deleted. Then spell and grammar check it, and read it again for good measure. Nothing will get a resume tossed out faster than a misspelled word.

Adapted from SustainLane