Crafting CVs and Resumes for Conservation Jobs: Secrets for Success

It’s that heart-sinking, soul-crushing, bewildered feeling. You’ve just realised that you didn’t get the dream job you applied for – the one that you were SO well qualified for.

How did it happen? What went wrong? Who managed to outshine you? How did they do it?

Who wants to stick with this conservation field anyways when it’s so tough to get a job!

Maybe because it’s so universal, it’s so common, we don’t invest the time and energy into learning the art of how to apply for jobs. We assume it’s natural, straightforward, easy.

Fellow conservation biologists, it’s time for a gentle lesson in biology:

Applying for a conservation job is not an innate human ability.

Just like personal banking or riding a bike, we aren’t born with the skills or knowledge to apply for jobs. And, unfortunately, we rarely graduate with them, either.

Just like summiting a peak, successfully applying for a conservation job takes motivation, commitment and time.

Unfortunately, the truth is most applications in the conservation sector are poorly put together, and therefore fail to generate an interview. It’s not for lack of passion or effort on behalf of the applicant – or in many cases even skill. It’s because many don’t know the steps to take which will make their application stand out from the crowd… Well, no longer.

To help you scale the peak of job applications, we’ve poured decades of experience, lessons and proven advice into a single step-by-step guide: ‘How to apply for a conservation job’.

Job applications in numbers

If you’re not convinced yet, let’s look at a couple examples of job application stats:

Every year, Save the Rhino International offers a 1-year PAID Michael Hearn internship, one of the most popular and competitive internships for early career conservationists. In 2018, the conservation charity received a staggering 299 applications, from which they offered 7 interviews and hired 1 intern.

Of those 299 applications, 66 (22%!) were immediately excluded! Why? They failed to follow the application instructions properly or had errors like misspelling ‘Save the Rhino’ or sending in a job application for another organisation. The majority of remaining applications hadn’t tailored their CVs and cover letters to the job application, addressed the charity’s requirements or shown they had done their research.

Meet the new guide

Written by conservationists for conservationists, our new step-by-step guide ‘How to apply for a conservation job’ will help you write a killer application designed to get you an interview. Drawing on experience in communications, recruitment and the conservation sector, it focuses on crafting unique, compelling career stories that showcase you as the best candidate for the role you want.

In the guide you’ll learn:

  • The 10 key steps to the application process. From deciding to apply through to submitting your application.
  • How to create stand-out applications. With real-life examples of before and after applications.
  • Which CV, resume and cover letter style is right for you. Using a series of templates and examples as inspiration to help you choose.

Throughout the guide, you’ll find exercises, tips and links to extra resources. You can work through from beginning to end, or jump straight to the sections you need most.

So whether you’re applying for your first professional experience or seeking to shift careers into conservation from something unrelated, this step-by-step guide will help you write a killer application designed to get you an interview.

Don’t let your next dream job slip through your fingers.

Follow the guide to make your next application a successful one and get back to the business of protecting nature. And guess what? You might just enjoy the process.

Careers Advice, Top Tips