Looking for a job can be a daunting task, especially when you're looking to launch your career in renewable energy. Entering a new industry can feel like stepping into the unknown, and anyone who says they've never felt nervous about a job interview is probably not being entirely honest.
Here are some helpful insights to put your best foot forward during your job search.
What Are Employers Looking For?
Transferable skills - Regardless of whether you are fresh out of school, or making the switch from another industry, employers like candidates with a track record that shows they have a strong work ethic. Job applicants can display this through the skills they've built through their work in other industries or the military, such as troubleshooting and critical thinking.
Quality training - Having a two-year degree is a big benefit when applying for jobs in the renewable energy industry. It shows that not only do you have the industry training you need to be successful, but also that you have a well-rounded education. It's also important to highlight certifications you've earned. For example, Ecotech Institute students earn their OSHA (30 hour) safety training certificate before graduating.
Soft skills - Many job applicants put their focus toward displaying their technical knowledge and skills. While these are important qualities to highlight, it's important to also show that you have “soft skills” like the ability to communicate and work well with others. Employers are looking for applicants that can come into an existing team environment and thrive.
How Can Applicants Wow Employers?
Make a good impression with your résumé - When it comes to getting your foot in the door with a potential employer, the first step is to have a solid résumé. Ecotech Institute Director of Career Development Natasha Maier recommends job seekers list skills and experience in the following order: education, job skills, safety skills, work experience, military experience (when applicable).
Prepare for your interview - There's an easy way to show an employer that you're exactly the candidate they are looking for — utilize the job description. Take a look at the listed skills and requirements, and align them to your existing traits and experience. Make sure to touch on these topics during your interview, and be prepared to answer questions related to the position summary.
Put a positive spin on things - A mistake that some job seekers make is speaking poorly of a past employer, manager or their education. This is a big turn off for employers — negativity tends to leave a bad impression, and blaming others can make it look like you're not a team player. Try to put a positive spin on your past experiences, and, as they say, if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.
It's also important not to limit yourself in the positions you apply for. Even if you don't quite match up with the requirements, you might still get an interview. And even if an interview doesn't lead to a job, it gives you valuable experience that you can apply to future interviews.