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Posts Tagged ‘career transition’

June 2nd, 2009

Smart Grid 101: Definitions and Opportunities

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Carolyn ThumbnailPenned 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.

Aclara
Ambient
Amplex
CalAmp
Comverge
Conservation Services Group
Corporate Systems Engineering
CPower
Direct Energy
Echelon
Eka Systems
eMeter
Energy Capital Partners
Energy Curtailment Specialists
EnergySolve
EnerNOC
Enfora
Enspiria Solutions
General Electric
Google
Honeywell
IBM
Ice Energy
Itron
KMC Controls
Landis + Gyr
Lutron Electronics
Oracle
PCN Technology
Sensus
Silver Spring Networks
SmartSynch
Steffes
Tendril
Trilliant Networks
Ziphany

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May 26th, 2009

Follow up Thoughts on "Why Your Resume is Getting Passed Over When You Apply Online"

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Carolyn ThumbnailPenned by Carolyn

I’ve gotten some great feedback and questions in response to the post on 3 Reasons Why Your Resume is Being Passed Over When You Apply Online.

In response to the questions we’ve received, here’s a closer look:

Is it preferred and OK to attached the cover letter as the first page of the resume?

Yes and no. To qualify what I wrote last time (that you should put your cover letter into the body of your email), I would do so and then attach a copy of your cover letter below your resume, as the second attachment. That way it will also go on to your automatic file (depending on the back-end system the company is using).

As for combining the two documents, avoid it at all costs. It’s cumbersome, and where employers are making quick judgments based on a glance at your resume, having to scroll past a 1pg cover letter may be just enough of an annoyance for them to overlook your application entirely.

Is it an acceptable format to convert the Word document into a PDF when asked to include an attachment?

PDF certainly looks cleaner and you can make sure the formatting won’t get screwed up when someone opens your resume with a different version of Word.

My only hesitation is that some back-end systems have trouble parsing PDFs correctly, or creating “previews” of these documents for the recruiter to easily glance at. However, if a company or recruiter prefers one type of file to the other, they’ll probably specify, so just read the instructions and do what seems appropriate.

What if you’ve been heeding these recommendations since day 1 and you still never get any job interviews?

Unfortunately, following these guidelines for submission of your resume doesn’t necessarily mean that the content of your resume is what the company or recruiter is looking for – it just makes the resume and application more likely to be read and properly judged.

As for content of your resume and formatting, check out the Jobseekers section on our site for tips and guides.

Have more questions? Post them here and we’ll respond.

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May 12th, 2009

Dive In: 21 Places to Look for Green Volunteering Opportunities

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Carolyn ThumbnailPenned by Carolyn

We always encourage students and grads (and everyone else!) to volunteer with environmentally-focused organizations/initiatives in order to network, get some green experience on their resume and do good as they’re jobsearching.

So, you ask: What opportunities are there to dive into a green career through volunteering?

Non-profits: Given the state of the economy, non-profits need a lot of help right now and could really value your volunteer time. Find a non-profit in your area that works on issues you’re interested in – policy, water issues, international development, etc. Do keep in mind that it’s better to focus on a specific project that you are willing to help with or spearhead. Idealist.org has an extensive list of volunteer opportunities that you can sort by interest and location to get a sense for what’s out there. Find your local Sierra Club chapter; Green for All has resources on how to support green jobs growth in your local community.

Get down and dirty: Add some manpower to a green building project and get industry exposure at the same time. GRID Alternatives is popular in the Bay Area, where volunteers help install solar panels on low-income housing. Habitat for Humanity has some green building related projects as well. Friends of the Urban Forest in San Francisco asks for volunteers to help with tree-planting. Find your local community garden project or farmer’s market and offer to help out. Join AmeriCorps for a year of service. Go help clean up your local park, or find a summer or seasonal job in a National Park through The Student Conservation Association.

Get political: Find your state PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) and help them canvass and push green legislation in your state (we’ve got Environment California here in the Bay Area). Apply to spend a year working with GreenCorps, a year-long hands-on training program around the U.S. that breeds the country’s top environmental organizers (and has a really strong job placement program and alumni network to take advantage of at the end).

Go abroad! Foundation for Sustainable Development places students and recent grads in internships in developing countries around the world. You are placed in a domestic non-profit there depending on your development-related interests and can design your own project, seek funding, and get some great hands-on experience… all while experiencing a new culture. Ecoteer.com connects you with green volunteer opportunities around the world. Join Willing Workers on Organic Farms (WWOOF) and spend some time trading your work for room and board in one of many countries around the world that hosts a WWOOF network.

Take a “pay the bills job” and volunteer for a company you’re interested in. Make sure you have a specific project suggestion to put in front of them, rather than just willingness to work. For example, a 2007 graduate named Ajay sent us this note about his efforts to get “green” experience. He works for a utility, and offers a few days a week for free to a solar company in the area, who he reached through a contact there (go network!). As he says, “The more I work with this solar manufacturer, the more people I meet and the more people know my name.” Troll green job boards such as Treehugger and GreenBiz for unpaid internships or volunteering; use contacts at these organizations and others to find out whether you can lend a hand.

Network: Another example is helping to organize green networking events in your city. Green Drinks is a great monthly meet-up that has chapters in many cities. Contact your local chapter to help organize; if none exists, start one up! We’re working with an amazing team of Green Drinks volunteers here in San Francisco that are helping set up a “Green Careers Connections” event – by doing so, they’re networking with eachother and getting to reach out to lots of companies that they might be interested in working for themselves. We’re also big fans of Net Impact – lend a hand with your local chapter and get connected to passionate professionals.

Conferences need volunteers. When you hear a green conference is coming to town, find out ways to volunteer with the organization and actual conference. Green Festivals needs lots of hands on deck; keep an eye on GreenBiz‘s list of events for whether anything’s being planned for near you.

If you’re already out there volunteering, send us a success story of how it’s helped you in the job search process!

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April 28th, 2009

Paul's TV Interview on San Diego News Network

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Paul made the media rounds during Earth Week as everyone was wondering where green jobs are and whether they’ll live up to all the hype. Paul speaks here with San Diego News Network; he also spoke on Saturday at the San Diego Green Careers Conference.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=putdR4jFXmI&hl=en&fs=1]

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April 20th, 2009

LinkedIn: 3 Steps to Start Jobseeking

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Carolyn HeadshotPenned 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.

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April 14th, 2009

Routine, Structure and Staying Positive: The Job Seeker's Trifecta

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Christina headshotPenned by Christina

Stick to your routine. Do you usually work-out in the mornings or wear a suit to work?! If so, keep doing it! The NYT agrees with this one.

Set-up an ASG* (Accountability Support Group.) If you have friends or acquaintances also looking for a job, set up a “check-in group” to bring structure and accountability into the process. You’d be surprised how motivating it is to have a friend ask you, “So did you call those 3 people you said you would?”

Stay positive. I know you have heard this about 1000 times but for the 1001st time, I’d like to add that you should find something that is uplifting that you can come back to as needed. That could mean joining a soccer league that gets you out running around on grass and really feeling the “team spirit” again. But it can be even simpler that that… My own personal choice for a 5 minute pick-me-up is listening to a story or two from This I Believe on NPR.  Hearing others share stories of dealing with obstacles much more harrowing than your own can put your own situation in perspective, help you feel grateful for all that you DO have and restore your energy to keep on keepin’ on!  Try a few and see how you feel!  (Send me your favorites!)

* Don’t worry, this is a made-up acronym…you aren’t behind on some fancy new lingo or anything.

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April 10th, 2009

A Bright Green Refresher: Categorized Advice for Green Jobseekers

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Since February, we’ve been putting out daily advice for green jobseekers. If you’re new to our blog or want to poke around in a specific topic, here’s a nearly-complete list of our advice posts. Have a look around!

General:
Bright Green Talent’s 5 Ways to Ramp up your Job Search
Getting Oriented to Go Green
Getting Radically Tempered: Creating Change from the Inside
Paying it Forward
To School or Not to School?
Job Search Tip: Quality over Quantity to Keep Your Sanity
Linking People and Planet: Our Partnership with Solar Richmond
“Oh no, please don’t make me NETWORK!”

Sustainability Consulting:
Sustainability Consulting: What is it, and am I qualified? Part I
Sustainability Consulting: What is it, and am I qualified? Part II

Career Transitioning:
Perspectives from a Green Career Transition-er
To School or Not to School?
Getting Oriented to Go Green
Getting Radically Tempered: Creating Change from the Inside

Engineering:
Renewable Energy Inroads
Solar Opportunities to Match your Skill Set
Solar Classes and Certifications

Students and Recent Grads:
The Real Deal on Green Jobs for Students and Recent Grads
Get Skills; Get Savvy Part I
Get Connected (Networking 101)
How Not to Be a Jobseeker Horror Story
Resume Boot Camp I
Resume Boot Camp II
Resume Boot Camp III
Get Linked(In)

Networking:
“Oh no, please don’t make me NETWORK!”
Get Connected (Networking 101)
Get Linked(In)

Career Coaching:
Here to Help: BGT Launches Career Coaching
Career Coaching: Launch is a Success!
Kudos to Christina: Career Coaching Feedback

Tom’s (Rules of) Thumb
Green Jobs: The Definitive Article
Top Skills for Getting a Green Job
What’s the Best Way to Find a Green Job?
Twit Your Way to a Green Job
On Eco-preneurship

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April 9th, 2009

"Extra! Extra! It's Not All Bad News!"

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dsc_1294-1Penned by Nick

So I admit it, I’m a news junkie. My fiance is quietly considering putting me into therapy for information addiction disorder. Its got me by the brain, (quickly deteriorating) eyes, and mouse-clicking finger all at once. Worse yet, I don’t want to kick the habit. I crave information and news 24/7.

Just as everyone’s nearing total burnout on the never-ending news stream of bad news, I’m finally feeling in control. It’s weird, but the more I consider it, the more it makes sense. The world’s changing fast right now — particularly for job seekers. Entire industries are rising and falling by the week, and with them, the fortunes of millions of people. The bad news is already a known quantity–it’s the good news that keeps me reading and positive.

At a time when the only certainty is change, I’ve come to enjoy the little news stories that feature people doing positive things with unfortunate events. Consider the new crop of DJ’s popping up in local clubs, or the unemployed who are discovering their thespian talents.

Another small factoid: I consider myself a pessmistic planner with an optimistic outlook. Yes, times are tough, but I’m convinced that from all the penny-penching and thumb-twiddling will come something greater: a cultural renaissance. That the arts are enjoying a newfound constituency in the unemployed is, I believe, a newsworthy story. Out of misfortune and hard times tradtionally come great ideas and a newfound inspiratoin. It’s a story as old as time, but easy to forget. For those who have, join me, and “read all about it“.

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April 8th, 2009

Bright Green Talent's 5 Ways to Ramp Up Your Job Search

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tom_green_face_biggerPenned by Tom

At Bright Green Talent, we’re always concocting new ways to help out our community. We’re not your typical recruiting company — we want to build lasting relationships with both clients and candidates and help you in the years to come as you settle into your green career.

Here are some ways you can engage with us today and tomorrow:

1. If you haven’t yet, register your resume:

  • You’ll be the first to know as new opportunities arise that are relevant to your skill set.
  • You’ll receive our monthly newsletter, with advice, information on green career events we’re hosting and/or attending, and up-to-date information on the green job market.
  • Sometimes we work on positions that we don’t post on our site – you’ll be eligible for consideration in those special cases.
  • As you apply for jobs, we will be your advocate. If you’re qualified for a position, we work hard to get you an interview and negotiate for the best possible compensation package

2. Sign up for career coaching.

  • If you’re new to the green space, you might be disoriented by all the resources, job boards, and advice swirling around out there. Spend some time with Christina, our Career Coach Extraordinaire, to gain our unique perspective on who’s hiring right now, and create a smart strategy for finding your ideal green job.
  • Check out the amazing feedback Christina’s gotten on her coaching so far.

3. Follow our blog and twitter!

  • We offer daily tips, insight and advice from our unique perspective. Find resources for transitioning into a new space, hear what clients are thinking, learn how not to be a jobseeker horror story, and more.

4. Sign up for our new weekly tips, and register to enter the Greenhouse, our jobseeker resource center.

  • You spend enough time job-seeking. Why not let the advice come to you once a week?

5. Refer a friend or fellow jobseeker to Bright Green Talent!

  • We believe in “paying it forward” — no one gets a job all by themselves. Help out a friend and the good deed will come back around when you’re in need in the future.
  • Give the gift of guidance! You can now opt to gift a career coaching session to someone who needs a nudge in the right direction.
  • And to speed up those karmic returns on helping a friend find a job, we offer a $750 referral reward if we place someone you recommend for a position.
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April 4th, 2009

Two Quick Green Career Transition Tips for the Less Experienced

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Penned by Matt

  1. Focus on networking more than looking at job boards. People give you jobs. Most of the people I talk to that get a good job had some kind of “in” –  either with someone that refers them or recommends them for a job or works at the place where the job is offered.
  2. Focus on the smaller, local companies. Great opportunities abound in your backyard. Small companies have less hoops to jump through, are often fun places to work, and you are more likely to develop a relationship that will result in a job. Compile a list of cool companies in your local area and be sure to check their websites, call them, or give them a visit (if appropriate!)

It took me years to figure these two things out. I hope that helps. Have a great weekend! – Matt

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