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How to write a CV for the sustainability sector

Written by: Charlotte Rogers
Published on: 7 Jul 2023

Sustainability engineering jobs

Your skills as an engineer are diverse, there are many different sectors you can go to and one of the perks of working as an engineer is that there’s always something new and different you could be working on. Whether you have trained as an electrical, mechanical or a sustainability engineer, it’s likely you have the skills or the transferable skills to develop a career in this sector. When it comes to writing a CV, you need to let those skills shine. Make them the star of the show and really emphasise an interest. Writing a CV could be seen as an art. There are so many different things you can do to make it perfect but at the end of the day, everything is subjective. Which is why you need to be making sure your CVs are tailored for the sector you want to work in and we’re going to tell you how. 

What roles are you looking for?

Whether the job titles you’re looking for refer to sustainability or environmental engineering, you should make sure you’re using similar language in your CV that they’ve used on the job description. Make sure that you’re making the most of this information and adjusting your CV to meet their requirements. Understand the types of roles you want to apply for and look around at different companies, do your research and really know what you want before you start writing a CV. 

Relative search terms

When looking for a job, whether you’re using a job site or google to search, make sure you are searching for more than one job title. Depending on the type of role you’re looking for, it’s highly likely that employers will use different titles. Like mentioned above, they may use environmental, sustainable, engineer etc. Lots of keywords to focus on when looking for a job role. Do some research on what employers are using, to ensure you’re not missing any potential opportunities. Searching for one single job title across multiple sites is a mistake many people make. Purely because they forget about synonyms. Make sure you use the relative language on your CV as well!

What’s your work history like?

Are you experienced in sustainability engineering or is it something you’re looking to get into? If you’ve worked in this sector in the past, it’s likely you have plenty of relevant experience. However, if this is new to you, you may feel like everything you’ve done isn’t matching what they’re asking for. So, you need to dig a little deeper. When job searching, you won’t have every little skill or specific experience that the employer is asking for, it’s near enough impossible to be perfect. So, take the time to look through your experience, write down achievements, skills and day-to-day responsibilities and see how they can be linked to the role. 

Take some time to do this before starting your job search, it will help you with every CV you write, edit and tailor throughout your search. It can make you feel really defeated when you feel like you’re a bad match for a role, but having this positive reminder on hand can help you through any negativity you may feel. Sometimes, taking a step back and acknowledging your achievements can allow you to see how you could do the role. 

Why do you want to work in sustainable engineering?

What is it about the sector that draws you in? Is there a movement you’re passionate about or is it something you’ve wanted to try for a long time? Whatever the reason, make sure you know it before writing a CV. You can only persuade someone, when you believe it yourself. Make sure you understand why you want the job and writing the CV can become that much easier. I'm not saying it will be easy from here, but it will certainly help. 

Is there something a specific company is doing that you want to get involved in? Make sure you’re thinking about events in the news, experiences, anything that led you to want this career. Understanding yourself a little better can help when it comes to the interview stages. 

Add something extra to your personal statement

Your personal statement is there to both impress and inform the employer. You want them to carry on reading your CV, so it’s imperative that you hook them from the very beginning. Talk about yourself, career and a bit about your aspirations. This is often the trickiest part for a lot of people because you have to fit so much into very few words. But to make it stand out, you could add a bit more information about why you are so interested in sustainability engineering. What is it you want to achieve? This could be just the thing to catch their attention. 

Your cover letter

CV’s are difficult because you have to fit so much in such a small amount of space. You have to be selective and choose what you’re writing very carefully. You want to include all the right information and ensure that you’re showing only the best to employers. Cover letters can help take a bit of this pressure away. 

It’s still important to be selective when it comes to your CV, ensuring that it’s striking enough for the employer to want to move on to your cover letter, but having this extra document allows you to share a bit more about you and your goals. It gives you a chance to delve a little deeper into your reasons for wanting the role, career goals and more. Use it!

What are you doing outside of work

Engineers working in sustainability (and any sector really) are usually very passionate about what they do. What are you going to bring to the sector and what are your goals? What do you know about sustainability?. All important questions. So, it’s likely that employers will ask about your motives. What drives you, what are you doing outside of work to help the cause and what do you want to do with your career? Sustainability is a sector that’s growing every day. There are advancements happening all the time and with the current climate, a lot of work to be done. Tell them how you want to contribute and what you can bring to the table. 

Writing a CV for a sustainability job is similar to any other CV. However, it’s important to be specific about skills, career goals and motivations. Understand what’s driving you and let your passions shine through.