Congratulations on completing your studies and welcome to the ever-evolving industry of Health, Safety and Environment. You may have discovered already that it is a competitive field to get into so we wanted to offer some advice to those starting out in their careers.
The nature of our business means that most companies come to us looking for candidates with very specialised skills or considerable industry experience. Consequently, we are very rarely asked to fill graduate positions.
Having said that, please do submit your CV and your application to us. Should any suitable roles come up, we will be in touch. However, please bear in mind we are not able to respond individually to every candidate application.
Therefore, our specialist consultants have put together a list of expert advice to help you get your job search, and your eventual career, off to a flying start in the Health, Safety and Environment sectors:
Be proactive - because the number of graduate roles are few and the competition is fierce, it is essential to be proactive to gain the attention of employers and stand out in the crowd. This means applying for as many roles and talking to as many people in the industry as possible.
Apply directly – graduate roles are fairly easy for a company to fill themselves so they are unlikely to enlist the help of a specialist recruiter. Therefore, ensure you are always looking out for independent job postings by relevant companies and apply direct. After all, they will be extremely keen to find the right candidate without the recruiter fee!
Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone – most roles in the industry require not only the right professional qualifications, but also exceptional communication skills as roles involve working with a wide range of stakeholders. This takes a confident and excellent communicator. Therefore, calling a company direct and successfully engaging an employer demonstrates you are exactly that, and is more likely to get you noticed.
Don’t wait for a role to be advertised – approaching a company and expressing your interest in working for them regardless of whether they have actively posted a job is acceptable. In fact, it demonstrates a specific interest in and knowledge of the company, which could make you more attractive as a potential employee.
Persevere – Business professionals tend to be extremely busy and many of your communications may be unsuccessful in gaining a job or even in the majority of cases, a response. Be patience and persevere. Much is to do with talking to the right person at the right time. Those that persevere and reach out to more people, are far more likely to be successful. Though be polite and respect that your communications are unsolicited and may not be answered.
Consider further relevant qualifications – Environment and Health & Safety work is often integrated and managed together for a large percentage of companies. As such, many of our clients look for Health & Safety qualifications alongside environmental ones. We would recommend you consider a Health & Safety qualification such as a NEBOSH diploma if you don’t have one, as this will open a lot more doors and make it more likely that we will be able to help find you a role.
Network – Very often it comes down to who you know as much as what you know, and the more people you can meet in your chosen industry the more connections you will have, increasing your chances of hearing about and potentially being asked to interview for up and coming roles. Make sure you are attending any industry events that you can and keep extending your network.
Gain industry experience where possible – the challenge in a new or early career is that you need someone to give you experience to get the experience they need you to have. If you are able to afford to undertake an unpaid internship or volunteer in your chosen industry, this will gain you experience and bolster your chances of gaining a permanent paid position in the industry, and could in itself lead to a job opportunity.