From Net Impact SF’s site, in regards to last week’s green jobs event:
What a success! Last night we had over 60 RSVP’s and 2 great speakers that left the crowd in an upbeat and hopeful mood. Leonard Adler of Green Jobs Network and Christina Gilyutin of Bright Green Talent were there to assure us that there are jobs out there…we just need the right tools and strategies to sniff them out!
You’re good enough, smart enough, and gosh darn it! People like you!
The burden of finding a job is not only like dating with its many high expectations and low results, but many of us feel like we need therapy just to get through it! How many resumes do we have to send into oblivion via Craigslist/Career Builder/Hot Jobs/Monster before we get a break? According to Christina Gilyutin, Director of Development and Chief Career Counselor for Bright Green Talent, we need to stay positive and remember that we are smart and talented, we just need to find strategies so that we are seen. Leonard and Christina helped the crowd to stay positive with some inspiring tips on finding a job.
Tips on how to be noticed: Networking
- Volunteer to meet people or become a leader of a group, this not only helps you to meet new people, but it shows that you have initiative
- Join affinity groups such as Green Jobs Network (www.greenjobs.net), Net Impact (www.netimpactsf.org) or SF Green Drinks (sfgreendrinks.org) which all serve to surrounded you with people who have similar interests
- At networking/social events, TALK TO AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE
- Comments from the crowd included using your every day activities as an opportunity to tell people about your interests, you never know who you’ll meet!
- Another suggestion from the audience was to organize dinners with friends and acquaintances who have similar/related career interests
- A Net Impact leader mentioned that he found his job by talking to people in his field of interest as a peer, which resulted in a job! Confidence pays! He continued to say that if you’re looking for a job in sustainability, you need to find a 3rd vector to define your niche. Green + Business isn’t specific enough. Are you into design, procurement, logistics, materials science, …? The more specific the better.
- Be a connector! Link people to others, they will likely return the favor!
Get Strategic! Leonard Adler of Green Jobs Network highlighted 3 points for us to remember:
- Follow the Venture Capitalists! They might want to fund your idea!
- Follow the money! Where is the government funneling money right now? To Green projects! Find out what kind of projects and to which companies the funds are going.
- Follow the law! What laws have been passed recently? How does this legal change relate to my industry of interest?
Spend only 10-20% of your time online for your job search and use the rest of that time giving your elevator pitch to new networks. While job boards are great, try to find job boards with a clear focus on your industry of interest such as Treehugger.com. There are a lot of Green job boards out there! General job boards can be more competitive due to their high amount of traffic and tendency to cover a broad number of industries. Also, try your old university’s job board, they often post jobs for alumni.
Need help with your resume?
Did you know about the Job Forum? The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce holds an event every Wednesday evening (6:30 to 8:30) called the Job Forum where they provide feedback on resume writing and give advice on job hunting http://www.thejobforum.org/.
What if I don’t have experience?
Try interning, its not just for the 20-somethings! If you don’t like that idea, try volunteering. Many businesses would love to have you work without paying while you gain valuable experience.
Seek Professional Help!
To learn more about Bright Green Talent’s Career Counseling Services, please visit http://www.brightgreentalent.com/
July 13, 2009 at 9:38 pm Job Rooster
Penned by Carolyn
“Smart Grid“ is one of those terms being thrown around the media and the green business sector – and for good reason, as it’s one of the most promising areas for growth even in this economy. In terms of being able to talk the talk in the green sphere, this is a concept you should be able to discuss with some level of intelligence and awareness.
Though there’s no singular definition attached to smart grid, it’s basically the concept of combining a power delivery system with a digital technology/metering system that allows utilities and consumers to adjust their electricity use with an end goal of increasing the efficiency of power usage nationally and globally.
Get familiar with some of the issues around implementing smart grid technologies, and why there’s so much buzz and hope for this growing green sector. Here are some resources to kick off your investigation:
- The Department of Energy published a 48-page e-book called “Smart Grid: An Introduction,” which explores in layman’s terms the nature, challenges, opportunities and necessity of Smart Grid implementation in the U.S. and beyond. There’s a great glossary of terms in the back.
- The Demand Response and Smart Grid Coalition has information on the companies in the sector. Its member list (copied below) will give you a sense of some of the big players in the field.
- This map of 101 Cleantech Startups shows several Smart Grid companies.
- Smart Grid News gives information on companies in the sector, deals and transactions and trends in the industry.
- Wikipedia has some basic background and interesting links.
And now, dive in to these companies and see where you might be interested in fitting in. Our usual thoughts on networking apply – run a search through LinkedIn to see who you know there; join some groups that the company’s employees are a member of to get exposed to the industry dialogue; read through the company bios; and check out job openings.
Conservation Services Group
Corporate Systems Engineering
Energy Capital Partners
Energy Curtailment Specialists
Landis + Gyr
Silver Spring Networks
June 2, 2009 at 12:59 am Job Rooster
Penned by Carolyn
So by now, hopefully you’ve set up a profile, joined groups, and created a strategy for LinkedIn usage that will keep you from looking desperate.
Now down to business: who has the job you want?
1. Make a list of companies you think you’re interested in working for. If you haven’t figured that out (solar? green consumer goods? carbon finance?), use the industry search function under the “companies” tab to browse who’s out there. Find out who’s who in that space. Use other resources like GreenBiz to see which companies are making headlines.
2. Now, search those companies – if you can narrow down to the job title you’re interested in, all the better (use “keywords” under the company search). Who do you already know there? If appropriate, send them a note to connect – as always, don’t be too pushy.
3. For people that currently hold the position of your dreams, what does their career path generally look like? Do they have a graduate degree? How many years work experience? What accreditations do they have (LEED AP, etc)?
Do this for 10-15 folks in 3 or more companies – the more the better. You’ll start to get a sense of general trends in qualifications, and also in what specific companies are looking for. For example, if you’re looking at sustainability consulting firms, are they generally hiring people who have 5 years in environmental non-profits? Or out of traditional consulting backgrounds?
About an hour of poking around like this will give you an idea of whether you have a good shot at being noticed and hired when you apply for positions at that company.
April 20, 2009 at 5:26 am Job Rooster
Penned by Carolyn
Okay, you’re more or less set up on LinkedIn? Good.
Before diving into specifically how to use LinkedIn (next week and beyond), I want you to step back and think about your frame of mind as you use it.
Following Michael Pollan’s advice on what to eat (“Eat food, not too much, mostly plants”), I put forth my own LinkedIn manifesto: Be open, not too open, and choose quality over quantity.
And putting a few disclaimers first:
- Some people disagree with me on the quality over quantity point. I’m going on what I’ve personally seen be effective in my almost-year at BGT.
- Everyone uses LinkedIn for the own purposes (business partnerships, advertising, jobseeking, etc), and will have different takes on what’s useful for those aims. I’m focusing on jobseeking.
Yes, make sure you’re marked as “Interested in Career Opportunities,” have a public profile, a photo, a completed profile, etc. (See LinkedIn’s own tips on jobsearching through the site).
Not too open:
Know someone whose LinkedIn name looks like this? “Bob Smith BOB.SMITH@GMAIL.COM OPEN TO ALL CONNECTIONS”
These people make me shudder for a couple reasons: they look desperate, and they look like they don’t have a clear idea of what they’re looking for. If you want to connect with people you don’t know, they have to see the value in connecting with you. The age-old dating rule applies: while you need to be open and accessible, do play a little bit hard to get.
Drop the CAPS lock, the exclamation points. asterisks, etc. Your resume and experience should be able to market you. If they don’t, spend your time getting some experience instead of adding Wingdings to your profile.
Choose quality over quantity:
To me, flags are raised when people have 3000 connections. Or when they have 5. Find a sweet spot between those numbers, comprised of solid connections with people you’ve met or worked with. The point of LinkedIn is you can access all their second and third degree connections, so you don’t need to link to every person you ever come across. If you want to expand your networks quickly, join a bunch of groups that you’re interested in (like BGT‘s — in order to be able to vouch for everyone in our personal networks, we link to our community through our group rather than through those 3000 connections with people we’ve never met).
Oh, and file this under Carolyn’s Serious Pet Peeves: If you are going to request to link to someone you don’t know, PLEASE add an introduction or reason you want to connect — it drives me nuts when people I don’t know at all request to link to me without any explanation — or, worse, they just mark that I’m a “friend.” If you take a minute and think about what you and that person share, they’re more likely to check out your information, link, and remember your name. Make people want to help you.
April 13, 2009 at 2:21 pm Job Rooster
Penned by Carolyn
This week I’m launching a To-Do list for students and grads who are getting into the job search.
LinkedIn is basically the cheap & easy way to start virtually networking. Here’s some homework for the uninitiated:
Step 1: Create a profile. Fill out your profile with the internships you’ve had, positions held. My general resume tips apply — but you can be more concise on LinkedIn. Just the most relevant and impressive things you’ve done.
Step 2: Find folks. The genius little robots behind LinkedIn can get into your Gmail/Yahoo/AOL contact list and find folks you already know that are on LinkedIn. As you invite people to connect, take the chance to include a friendly hello — and, if you like, politely mention you’re jobseeking.
Step 3: Join groups! Find alumni organizations, interest groups, and, especially, Bright Green Talent‘s group. Groups are a great way to find interesting discussions, job postings, and links, and to connect with folks who share communities and interests.
More next week on how to get set up and start using these tools to find yourself a job. We’ll also be hosting a webinar with our friend George Kao in the coming weeks on more tactics for leveraging LinkedIn in your job search. Stay tuned!
Oh, and if you don’t believe me that LinkedIn is the way to go, check out what Guy Kawasaki has to say on the matter.
April 6, 2009 at 4:41 am Job Rooster