5 Tips for Making a Career Change to Renewable Energy
Our recent STEM Series event featured guests from different areas of the renewable energy industry, from construction to health and safety. We were joined by Mike Recktenwald, a wind energy site manager, Lashanda Gray, a HSE specialist, and Megan Condon, a recruiter for renewable energy positions across the country. Each shared valuable, tactical advice for candidates seeking entry into the renewable energy industry. Here are their five tips for making a career change to renewable energy:
1. Don't be afraid to ask questions. An inquisitive nature is a requirement.
A formal education, while necessary, can only take you so far, according to HSE Specialist Lashanda Gray. "Just because we have the degree doesn't mean we actually know everything there is to know about the industry," she adds. If you're new to the renewable energy industry, it's important that you have the drive to learn the ins and outs. Learn how components are put together. Ask why certain methods are used. Inquisitive people always ask questions and search for answers.
2. Tailor your resume to the job you're applying for.
If you see a job vacancy that you think you would make a great fit for, don't submit the same resume you've been sending to dozens of other companies. Take the time to tailor your resume for each position you're applying for. It's likely that the job advertisement has several bullet points that describe the requirements for the role. Make sure that your resume communicates that you meet the criteria. Use those bullet points from the job ad to really highlight your skill sets.
Megan Condon provides resume advice during our recent virtual event
3. Research what jobs available best match your skill sets.
During the webinar, Mike Recktenwald shared his story of how he made the transition from telecom to wind energy. He specifically targeted wind construction because he knew that he had the skills and experience that could transfer over. A job advertisement rarely provides a full picture, so it's important that you do your research. YouTube has several "A Day in the Life of..." videos where you can learn about the day to day tasks for some positions. Here's a great video following a solar design engineer. Want to learn more about being a wind technician? Then check out this video.
4. Get in touch with a staffing agency.
Whether you're ready to make the jump or just casually looking, you should still get in touch with a staffing agency. While the goal is to ultimately find you a job placement, our team of recruiters also provide consultancy. If you have questions about the industry or if you're not confident about your resume, these are all questions that our team of renewable energy consultants can help you with. Further, as Megan points out, "use staffing agencies because we are the people that can get your resume in front of our clients and open their eyes to the matching skill sets that you have."
Mike Recktenwald on using a staffing agency as an advantage
5. Be passionate.
According to Megan Condon, a recruiter at Progressive, "companies love when a candidate is really excited to be a part of green and clean energy." The work you do at a wind and solar farm ensures we reduce carbon emissions and helps keep our environment clean for future generations. If you can't show a potential employer that you're excited about this, they may not be as interested in you. So what are some ways that you can convey a passion for renewable energy? If you're a jobseeker on LinkedIn, you can add a renewable energy picture as your banner. You can write a couple sentences about why you're passionate about clean energy or sustainability in your LinkedIn profile's "About" section.
For more tips, make sure to check out our previous blog post on how to get a job in renewable energy, which covers networking and online courses available.