Tips For Writing a Strong CV for Jobs in Sustainable Energy

Windmills in field

Nations across the world are racing to embrace renewable and sustainable energy sources as old energy sources begin to approach depletion points. In the UK, the government has embraced one of the most aggressive renewable energy initiatives of any industrialised nation. It has been estimated that North Sea oil reserves could be depleted within the next 50 years and that gas reserves may only last another 150 years.

The result of the push by the government in the UK is a boom in career growth in the renewable and sustainable energy sectors. Not only are jobs being created directly in these fields, but new jobs are popping up indirectly in other sectors of the economy as businesses adjust to the shift toward environmental consciousness.

As you sit down to write your CV for some of these emerging and growing career fields, such as oil and gas, you’ll need to make sure that CV catches the eye of hiring managers with experience in the sustainable energy field. So what tips do you need to know to get noticed?

General Advice
The rush to fill the ever-expanding number of roles in the sustainable energy field doesn’t mean that recruiters are going to relax the standards for landing a job in the industry. There are thousands of applicants vying for thousands of jobs, but don’t expect to get a job just because there are more openings than applicants to fill them.

Recruiters in sustainable energy roles are looking, first and foremost, for the right people to fill each role. There are three major factors your CV will need to cover to attract their attention. For starters, sustainable energy firms want individuals with the proper qualifications and/or training to fill these highly specialised, and often technical, jobs. Secondly, they will want to read about your skills and experience that specifically apply to the sustainable energy field.

Last, but certainly not least, recruiters want to see that you have a demonstrable interest in the field of sustainable energy, renewable energy sources, and the environment. If you’ve volunteered with environmental groups and organisations, attended lectures on environmental topics, or taken extensive coursework in the field you need to make that clear on your CV.

Advice for Newcomers
As mentioned already, the need to fill thousands of positions in sustainable and renewable energy industries does not mean that standards will be relaxed when it comes to filling those positions. Many jobs will require graduate level study and advanced degrees. If you haven’t worked extensively in the field of sustainable energy, you’ll want to highlight your educational exploits over your experience.

Place the education section of your CV ahead of your work experience, and be specific when listing the courses you have taken or are currently completing that are relevant to renewable energy and the environment. In place of experience, recruiters want to see that you are taking (or have taken) courses related to the environment.

Recruiters are also looking for graduates with a sense of real concern for the environment. If you aren’t involved in extra-curricular activities, get involved and highlight those activities in the education and training section of your CV.

As a newcomer, you are going to lack relevant work experience and professional training that recruiters are looking for in applicants. This means that your education and training section needs to sparkle. List your educational achievements in reverse chronological order and explain how those course modules have provided you with the environmental policy, legislation, and managements systems knowledge you need to succeed.

Last but not least, keep your CV short. A good CV for those with less field experience and more educational accomplishments should be no more than two pages.

North Sea Oil Rigs

“Showcase your passion for sustainable / renewable energy…”

Advice for Career Changers
If you have already been employed in the renewable and sustainable energy fields, your CV should focus more on the relevant work experience you bring to the role. This can be tricky though, so consider following these formatting and organisation tips for your sustainable energy CV.

For starters, you’ll want to highlight all of your business or professional skills and experience that make you the right person for the job. However, the manner in which this is completed is critical. Under your work experience section, list relevant sustainable energy work experience in reverse chronological order.

Detail in your CV what your role entailed and don’t forget to boast a bit about accomplishments. Hiring managers in the sustainable energy field are less concerned with the stated responsibilities of your previous role, and more concerned with what you actually did. If you helped launch a new recycling initiative, helped source green office supplies for your company, or devised a water usage reduction campaign, give that greater lip service than the specific duties of your role.

Most importantly, don’t forget to talk about the vital business skills and experiences you earned from non-environmental jobs. Recruiters in sustainable energy are looking for professionals with well-rounded skills and experience, regardless of the field. The trick here is to create a subsection with work experience gained outside the sustainable energy field.

Your work experience section should start, in reverse chronological order, with your relevant environmental positions and then move to a subsection of other work. That other work is important as it showcases your business acumen, but environmental experience needs to come first.

Focus on the Position
Finally, don’t allow yourself to become so caught up in boasting about your education, training, and work experience in the field that you forget about the role you are applying for currently. A brief cover letter that explains your interest in the specific role and the greater environmental sector is a good idea.

From there, throughout your CV your focus should remain on the position. The tone of your skills, experience, and educational sectors should be aimed at conveying what you can offer to this specific position and why you can succeed.

Image 1: “Sustainable Energy”, ©YoungCanadian87 –
Image 2: “Oil rigs, North Sea Pol, Scotland, UK”, ©Berardo62 –

With 20+ years of experience writing CVs, it still puts a smile on my face when I hear a client has secured an interview Lee Tonge - Founder and Director


Phone: (01904) 902 102


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