Mr. Ben Alvar Human Resource Manager Zoom Lion Internatoinal 33rd Avenue, Road
Re: Environmental Scientist
Dear Mr. Alvar,
I am writing to apply for the vacant position of Environmental Scientist in Zoom Lion International as advertised on your website, www.zoom.com . I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from the University of Nairobi in 2005 and a Master’s degree in Environmental Science from University of London.
After completing my education, I worked with Lab hygiene for seven years as a Safety Engineer. Most of my job description at Lab hygiene includes: developing an efficient targeted water program, irrigation and recycling projects, conservation and research on corporate reporting for sustainability.
During my stay at Lab Hygiene, the company was adjudged the best sanitation company of the year 2007 and 2008. In terms of capability and experience, I am the best fit for the job and eager to be part of Zoom Lion International team.
In addition to my experience, I am a good communicator with top interpersonal skills. Moreover, I possess excellent job ethics and can subdue pressure. I am also a fast thinker with ability to multitask on projects to meet scheduled deadlines
I am excited with this opportunity and looking forward to a scheduled interview at your convenience.
[Your Name] Enclosure
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People applying for a career in environmental services should be aware of several key aspects that make the environmental résumé different from the general resume format.
Most people have written at least one résumé in their lifetime, and anyone who has done it, knows that resume writing can be a tedious and frustrating task. New college graduates, and newcomers to the environmental field looking to land the right job, should be aware of several key elements that should be included in every environmental resume.
Name and Contact Information on Résumés
While this section is the same for all résumé types, some guidelines include:
Place all contact information at the top of the page including name, address, telephone, and e-mail address. The name should be in bold to stand out so it becomes more memorable than less important information like the address.
A good idea for environmental résumé is to include a current title with the name. Rather than writing John Smith; consider John Smith, Biologist Aid; Or John Smith, Environmental Tech I. Titles from recent internships or environmental positions can be used as well.
The Education Section of a Résumé
This field generally comes first on the résumé, as employers want to be sure the candidate meets the most basic criteria they have set forth. Always list in descending order, starting with the most recent education and degree. The education field should include the following information:
Location of the school (city, and state)
Environmental résumé should add the following to this field:
Concentration: Because there are many different concentrations and focuses within the environmental science filed, it is important to be specific about the area of science in which the greatest education occurs. For example, an environmental science graduate applying for a position with a stream ecology firm should be sure to include the phrase “Concentration in Hydrology” if this is the case. Simply writing environmental science does not clearly indicate an educational expertise.
If the degree program had no specific concentration, but included much course work relevant to the position being applied to, candidates should consider using the phrase “focus” in place of “concentration.”
For example, an environmental science graduate applying for a position with a stream ecology firm, who may not be able to use the phrase “B.S. Environmental Science: Concentration in Hydrology”, should consider writing “B.S. Environmental Science: Stream Ecology Focus” instead.
Relevant Coursework: It is important for environmental services applicants to include a list of relevant coursework within the education filed of the résumé. Many employers want to know rather quickly not just if the desired degree is available, but to what extent the applicants specific coursework relates to the work required for the position being applied to.
It is important for applicants to contact the company they are applying to in order to determine the specific tasks the position will require. The more an applicant knows about the specific tasks of a position, the better they can target their application for that position.
Work Experience Section of a Résumé
The work experience field is often the most important field of the résumé. General résumé requirements for this field include:
Descending order (list most recent first)
Name of Company
Location and Dates Employed
Work experience description
Beyond these core characteristics, the environmental résumé should also include the following:
Equipment used at a particular company. Employers in the science industry like to see that candidates have experience using a wide range of equipment. Even if a particular device is not needed in the job being applied for, listing various devices shows employers that a candidate holds a contemporary knowledge of science devices, and that the candidate has an ability to learn new-technologies should the company hiring seek to purchase new equipment.
Materials worked with. Listing materials worked with gives applicants the opportunity to show their environmental experience. Include relevant phrases such as sludges, soils, wastewater, toxic wastes, PCB-contaminants, Form U wastes, animals etc. It is essential to include the particular materials that were being tested in the previous position.
Tests run. Beyond equipment and materials, it is important to mention the various tests executed a particular position. These may include pH, ammonia, BOD, COD, CBOD, fingerprint analysis, nitrate, nitrite etc. Even the smallest test at a previous position may be a major aspect of a new position, which would stand out to the employer.
Skills Section of a Résumé
Perhaps the most overlooked section on an environmental résumé is the final section, which lists skills and additional qualifications. An environmental résumé should include the following in the skills section:
Permits. Any permits a candidate has worked with or under should absolutely appear on the résumé. One of the most difficult aspects of working in the environmental field is operating under, and maintaining compliance with, environmental permits. Permits can leap out at employers who struggle with these requirements on a daily basis. Including these permits can be the one detail that separates a résumé from the rest of the pile, and therefore lands an interview.
Certifications. Many environmental service companies bear a huge expense in both time and money in trying to get new employees up-to-date with the certifications required for employment. Listing the right certification could save a company thousands of dollars if a candidate is already certified. Be sure to review previous positions and include any certifications in this section.
It is important for job candidates to remember that a résumé is the very first impression made on a potential employer. For this reason, each résumé should be tailored to compliment the specific job being applied for. Tailoring a résumé for a specific environmental job can be accomplished by altering coursework, and listing a concentration/focus under the education field. Listing the equipment used, tests run, and materials worked with at previous jobs. Also list any permits and certifications held that will save employers money. Remembering to include these elements is key to landing a great environmental career.
Originally published on suite101 on February 10, 2010
Has the various criteria/layout specific to an Environmental resume been changed or updated since this this article was published?. I am having no luck with my current Resume (which follows the layout as described above) and am wondering if you might have any aditional advice.
Comment by Barra Kunz on January 20, 2015 at 10:17 pm
Thank you for your question!
Many of the tips in this article still apply, as these are general, essential elements for résumés targeted to environmental work.
The key challenge is often building a larger job search strategy that includes a strong résumé alongside targeted cover letters, informational interviews, networking, and follow-ups with prospective employers. A great résumé is definitely part of getting your foot in the door, but on its own, it is usually not enough.
For resources to learn more about building a comprehensive job search strategy, it’s worth checking out the other articles in this blog, including this post and this one , as well as our Job Seeker Playbook (available here ).
I wish you the best of luck in your job search! Angie
Comment by Angie Knowles on January 21, 2015 at 3:08 pm
As someone who has helped quite a few people with their resumes and cover letters, I agree with many of these tips. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to have a fresh pair of eyes read your resume and cover letter template. Whether it is a spouse, parent, neighbour, family member, friend, whoever, have a few people read them over. It is amazing the number of spelling mistakes and the like that someone else can catch and you want your resume to be 100% perfect. It does not hurt to read it backwards, word for word, to check for accuracy. Ensure you pick a font that is easily readable. Ensure your resume tells a story – tells YOUR story – in an interesting way. The resume will be kept and it will be remembered. So many resumes look exactly the same and your potential employer will only glance through them. While you may have a standard form of cover letter, make sure each cover letter contains information relevant just to that particular position or business. You want the reader to think they are receiving a personal letter and not a form letter that has been sent here, there and everywhere. Ensure also that the key points you want to make in your cover letter are made in short paragraphs so they stand out and are read. Don’t have two or three “super large” paragraphs that contain all sorts of important information. They probably won’t be read as thoroughly as you would hope them to be. Lastly, don’t be afraid to have some white space on your resume. It makes it so much more inviting and readable.
Comment by Darren Lowe on August 8, 2015 at 6:06 pm
I want to pursue a career in ornithology. I am currently doing my bachelors in biotechnology. what are the steps i should take to take my passion further? Is a masters degree required ? if yes then in what? can you suggest course i have to take
Comment by anna on March 18, 2017 at 7:55 am
Hi Anna, a good first step would be to check our list of accredited programs and see if there is a match for your interests: http://www.eco.ca/accreditation/accredited-programs/ ECO Canada offers training and certification to environmental professionals, explore our site to navigate these options. We can’t speak specifically to what programs you’d need to take, but we can help support you on your career path. Best of luck!
Comment by Ailsa Popilian on March 20, 2017 at 9:37 am
This article provided a lot of helpful tips for me and re-creating my resume. I am currently trying to do a bit of a career switch from medical to environmental. I have a BS in Biology with a minor in Earth Science but just spent two years in the medical field and am now wanting to change to environmental. Any tips or ideas to help cater my resume to the environmental field?
Comment by Dayna on April 6, 2017 at 2:33 pm
You could check out our new Employability Guide. It doesn’t have information about resumes specifically, but lots of helpful tips about getting ahead in the environmental industry. http://www.eco.ca/employability-guide-download/
Comment by Ailsa Popilian on April 6, 2017 at 3:35 pm
I have been here in Canada from last 2 years and did my masters in environmental sciences from country of origin(Pakistan). so my degree is basically focused to coursework. Now i want to start my career in Calgary and also want to update my education here. I need help in composing my resume and about resources where to apply my internship. Thanks Rabail Tabassum
Comment by Rabail Tabassum on October 4, 2017 at 5:04 pm
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