Six mistakes to avoid in your conservation job hunt

Six mistakes to avoid in your conservation job hunt

We’ve helped hundreds of people from across the globe to find their dream conservation job, and wanted to share with you the six biggest rookie mistakes people make in their conservation job hunt.

Thinking conservation is all about being outside studying things like sharks, turtles and lions.

WRONG! The conservation sector is a growing professional industry and has an overwhelming number of different roles available, with something to suit everyone. The vast majority of conservationists work inside, behind desks, and are not scientists. They are programme managers, fundraisers, communicators, website designers, ecotourism operators and much more…

Spending hundreds of hours (and thousands of ££$$) to get experienced.

WRONG! Getting the right experience is really important, so you can provide evidence of your skills and showcase that you’re ready to do a job. However, quality beats quantity every time when it comes to experience. You need to focus on getting the right experiences and training for your chosen roles. 

Worrying that there are not many conservation jobs available.

WRONG! The conservation industry is a booming sector, with more jobs available than ever before. We’ve listed over 15,000 conservation jobs in the past few years alone from across the globe on Conservation Careers, and this is still the tip of the iceberg. Why do people think there aren’t many jobs out there? Because many employers (often small charities) don’t have big budgets for advertising, and their opportunities therefore don’t get promoted widely online. We don’t wait for employers to pay on our site, we find and share as many as we can with our members and have turned the industry upside down (in a good way).

Thinking if you put in enough applications, you’ll get an interview.

WRONG! Playing the numbers game doesn’t guarantee success, and the likelihood is if you’re firing out applications quicker than bullets from Arnie’s Uzi 9mm then chances are you’re (i) not spending much time on each application to ensure it’s perfectly suited to the job in hand, and (ii) you’re not very focused and applying for lots of different types of roles. Either way, there’s nearly always going to be someone putting in a better application and have a more focused background to each role in hand.

Re-using your CV many times.

WRONG! Every application needs to be carefully crafted to fit the role in question. This means totally reshaping your CV (and cover letter) each time to ensure the best possible fit against their criteria. Using the same CV each time means asking the employer to work too hard to find the evidence of your skills, and a higher likelihood they’ll miss how good you are…

Thinking you need to have a PhD (or Masters) to get a conservation job.

WRONG! Yes conservationists are very clever bunch – they are saving the planet after all – however, the truth is the education you need depends on the role(s) you’re targeting. Some have a higher entry requirement than others. The key is finding the right job for you, being clear what they need, and ensuring you have what they need.

Want to avoid all these mistakes are more? Sign up for our Kick-starter for Early Career Conservationists and let us walk you through our step-by-step process for how to get a conservation job. Together we’ll help you avoid all these mistakes and more.

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