Which category below best describes the type of organisation you currently work for/or run?

Not applicable/Not currently employed

Areas of expertise

Species Management Research Monitoring and evaluation

Would you be willing to be approached and share your lessons learned in your area(s) of expertise with our community?

Not applicable

Influencer Of

Recent Comments

Nov 25, 2020

Thanks so much for elaborating on this more Abby. I would definitely have to agree that lessons learned would be beneficial to visit throughout the implement. It also looks like a nice way to celebrate and acknowledge the little wins along the way too.

Nov 19, 2020

I'm also happy to connect on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/reynoldssamantha/ 

Nov 19, 2020
Replying to Molly Heal

Hi Kaitlyn, yeah it's very discouraging when you put together a good application, and you don't hear anything back, but if it's any reassurance (it certainly makes me feel better), and as I'm sure you already know, competition can be fierce (200 over-qualified people applying for an unpaid internship, etc. etc.), and lack of job success is not necessarily a reflection of your skillset or suitability for the role. Always worth keeping that in mind for morale purposes (that might just be me though)!

I've never hired anyone so all of this comes from a job-seeker's perspective, but I do think application-ing (especially the restrictions of those awful Word doc forms, as opposed to the relative freedom of a cover letter) is something of a Dark Art, which like any skill takes some time to get good at, and also requires some trial and error. Not to mention! different organizations grade/mark applications using their own criteria and agenda, so it can be reassuring to remember that there's a lot going on 'behind the scenes' that we don't know about (e.g. the organization is legally obligated to advertise the position externally, but there is someone internally who is pretty much expected to get it, e.g. their current intern). 

All that to say! and forgive me if any of this is stating the obvious / repeating any of Samantha's (really great) advice, I recommend:

- if you can, always get someone else to read over the job ad. and then your materials in the context of the specific job (a friend always used to send me applications to read over without any info on the job itself - hard to give much feedback about if they were hitting any of the criteria!)  

- I like to use the criteria/specification of the job ad. as a sort of Q&A template for the structure of a cover letter. I copy and paste all the requirements of the role in a Word doc, then go through and 'answer' each one with an example of how I meet it. They might not all end up in the final letter, but it's a good way to flesh out and start to structure things at the start, and extra examples can be good to read through later as part of interview preparation.

 - as an extension of the above point, be careful not to just list things you've done or can do, but rather clearly set out how your role / actions / results etc. enable you to meet the job criteria (think it's called the STAR approach, to be honest I find it a bit awkward / unnatural, but since I started using it, I've had a lot more success getting to the interview stage)

- Some people recommend asking for feedback if unsuccessful at he application stage, but in my experience (fieldwork) very few places have the time / resources to provide that unless you get to interview (and not always then, either) but it might be better in env. education?

- look up who already works there (and people who used to) on their website and individual Linkedins. Seeing their CV and how they built up their experience can give you an idea of how your experience etc. matches up with people in the same role and where you might want to fill in a knowledge gap - but I also find it really helps remind me a 'real person' will read this application at some point (screening software aside!), vs. loosing motivation as you send another application off in to the unknown.

Only have a little experience of env. education stuff but very happy to read over any past applications and see if there's anything that jumps out! (molly.heal@gmail.com)

Thanks for the reminder about the STAR approach. Will definitely remember that while I'm applying for things now.

Nov 19, 2020
Replying to Samantha Reynolds

Hi Kaitlyn,

I don't have a huge amount of recent experience, but here are a few things I do:

- Pull out keywords and phrases from the job description and make to include them in my CV and Cover Letter, some companies now use screening software.

-I tailor my CV and Cover Letter for every job I apply for to make sure I each of the competencies I have are clear to whoever is reviewing applications.

- I research the company I am applying to and will make sure I state why I want to work for them and what I can offer them. Sometimes when you read through the job description you can think of some other skills you have that aren't stated that could help. If they don't give a name for who to address the cover letter to, I try and find one. This is easier if the job description details the line of reporting.

- Sometimes cover letters can feel a bit stuffy so I try to inject a bit of my personality into it to try and make it feel like a real person rather than just a piece of paper. 

- And lastly, "you can't win if you don't play the game". You don't have to have all the essential skills to apply, if you have most of them just apply anyway, you never know what might happen. I applied for a job completely out of my sector a few years ago because I just needed the work. One of the things that got me an interview was that I had worked in the Seychelles and the manager had just been there to celebrate a big wedding anniversary. 

- Follow up. From what I have seen there's usually a two to four-week turnaround. If you don't hear anything after two weeks send them an email reiterating your interest and ask if they would like any extra information.

I hope some of this is useful. Good luck. I'm also applying for jobs at the moment, so can understand your hesitations. I'd be happy to have a read through any application documents if that would be helpful.

No problem, you can send it to sam.m.reynolds@hotmail.com my experience has all been marine-based so happy to answer any questions too if you're interested in tropical/coral reefs etc.

Nov 18, 2020

Hi Kaitlyn,

I don't have a huge amount of recent experience, but here are a few things I do:

- Pull out keywords and phrases from the job description and make to include them in my CV and Cover Letter, some companies now use screening software.

-I tailor my CV and Cover Letter for every job I apply for to make sure I each of the competencies I have are clear to whoever is reviewing applications.

- I research the company I am applying to and will make sure I state why I want to work for them and what I can offer them. Sometimes when you read through the job description you can think of some other skills you have that aren't stated that could help. If they don't give a name for who to address the cover letter to, I try and find one. This is easier if the job description details the line of reporting.

- Sometimes cover letters can feel a bit stuffy so I try to inject a bit of my personality into it to try and make it feel like a real person rather than just a piece of paper. 

- And lastly, "you can't win if you don't play the game". You don't have to have all the essential skills to apply, if you have most of them just apply anyway, you never know what might happen. I applied for a job completely out of my sector a few years ago because I just needed the work. One of the things that got me an interview was that I had worked in the Seychelles and the manager had just been there to celebrate a big wedding anniversary. 

- Follow up. From what I have seen there's usually a two to four-week turnaround. If you don't hear anything after two weeks send them an email reiterating your interest and ask if they would like any extra information.

I hope some of this is useful. Good luck. I'm also applying for jobs at the moment, so can understand your hesitations. I'd be happy to have a read through any application documents if that would be helpful.

Comment on Hello! I'm Ellie
Nov 12, 2020

Hi Ellie, it's such a shame you had to cancel your research trip to the Maldives. The Manta Trust team out there are fantastic. Hopefully you'll get another opportunity in the future to experience the magic of Hanifaru Bay. It should be on everyones bucket list.