What makes a conservation job attractive? Top 10 tips for employers

We’re often so tight on time and resources in the conservation sector that we don’t invest in one the most important steps in recruitment: writing a great conservation job advertisement.

A job advert is a sales document, and its purpose is to attract attention to your role and organisation.

If you want to attract the right candidates and save valuable time later in the recruitment process, it’s worth getting this step right.

That’s why we’ve pooled our top 10 tips from Conservation Careers and our employers, based on nearly 20,000 jobs posted over six years.

What makes a successful job advertisement?

  1. A killer title. Choose a clear title and make it as attractive as possible to stand out.
  2. An attractive overview. Start with a short, clear statement about the purpose of the job and its impact. Start with the ‘why’: most conservationists choose their career based on a desire to make a difference, so let them know why they should choose you.
  3. About the employer. Who will your candidates be working for? What makes your company or organisation great? Don’t be afraid to be human: use friendly, engaging and inspiring language to showcase your company culture.
  4. Duties. A clear description of the typical duties of the role. Instead of stating a list of demands, think of this as a list of opportunities. Be authentic and open about the benefits and challenges of the role to set up realistic expectations.
  5. Criteria. A clear list of the education, experience and competencies an applicant needs to have, broken down into Essential and Desirable. Keep it focussed on what is really important for people to have.
  6. Salary, benefits, location, term, etc. Give details of all the terms and benefits associated with the role. Think beyond the job to include information about the company culture, opportunities for employee growth and any extra benefits.
  7. How to apply. Give very clear details of how to apply. The more precise, the better.
  8. Deadline. Include a timeline if this is important.

The best job advertisements present clear, concise and specific information, avoiding any duplication.

Using straightforward language and avoiding excessive use of acronyms and jargon can really help save you time answering questions or sieving through poorly-suited applications.

What are the most popular conservation jobs? (Tip #9)

We looked at the top jobs on Conservation Careers since 2014 from nearly 20,000 jobs, based on unique pageviews. The top 10 are:

  1. Conservation Managers for Cousine Island
  2. Zoological Field Assistant – Antarctica (Bird Island)
  3. Research Assistant – Limpopo, South Africa (GVI)
  4. Three Field Assistant positions for Marion Island – Seals and Killer Whales (The Marion Island Marine Mammal Programme, South Africa)
  5. Wildlife Law Enforcement Program Officer – Tigers Alive (WWF, Cambodia)
  6. Red List Research Assistant (BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK)
  7. Conservation Research Coordinator, Madagascar (SEED Madagascar)
  8. Marine Scientist (Bahamas) (Cape Eleuthera Institute)
  9. Science and Conservation Officer (Nature Seychelles, Seychelles)
  10. Elephant Field Researcher Assistant (Lilongwe Wildlife, Malawi)

With just one exception, all of these jobs take place in remote, exotic locations and offer direct, hands-on research and/or conservation work in the field.

While few conservationists spend their whole careers in these expedition-style roles, for many early-career conservationists they are still a ‘rite of passage’. Highlighting remote locations, a sense of adventure and up-close-and-personal opportunities with iconic species can generate a great deal of interest in a role and organisation.

What are the most popular conservation job types? (Tip #10)

We also looked at the average number of pageviews across 15 key conservation job types on Conservation Careers to date. Drawing from nearly 20,000 jobs and over 2,000,000 visitors in six years, the most popular job types are:

  1. Marine Conservation Jobs
  2. Science and Research Conservation Jobs
  3. Ecological Consultancy Conservation Jobs
  4. Animal Welfare Conservation Jobs
  5. Photography & Film-making Conservation Jobs
  6. Warden and Ranger Conservation Jobs

More people are looking for these job types than any other, so it’s worth highlighting if your job fits one of these categories.

Take home message: Investing an extra 30 minutes up front to follow these 10 tips pays off by attracting applicants who are a great match for your role and avoiding poorly-suited applications – speeding up the overall hiring process.

Careers Advice, Top Tips