When EHS professionals are looking for a job, they should make sure their resume reflects their accomplishments and not simply provide a list of jobs, a leading recruiter told an audience at the American Industrial Hygiene Conference & Exposition in New Orleans.
"You are a brand. You have skills," said Dan Brockman of Brockman & Associates, Barrington, Ill. But he said he sees resumes every day that are "mostly a replication of duties and responsibilities. Very rarely do I see a list of achievements and accomplishments and results." However, Brockman said a long list of assignments "does not show my client you can accomplish anything. You have to have some results. Show you cut some costs, reduced citations, implemented engineering controls, cut down on workers'' comp costs. These are metrics that need to be in your resume."
Other tips that Brockman had for industrial hygienists who were entering the job market:
- Contact consulting firms and offer to be on call for them. Put together a list of 10-20 firms and you will have a full-time practice, Brockman noted.
- Market in your own backyard. Brockman said the internet had created the belief among employers that "they can find someone local" through city-oriented job Web sites and avoid the problems with moving families. "Start looking at local industrial parks and factories and see if they need industrial hygiene services, he suggested. "Go in and ask to speak to the safety and industrial hygiene director," he said. "If they don''t have one, you just found yourself a job. You can go in one day a week, three days a week, one day a month. It doesn''t matter. Those people need some help."
- Put your resume in an electronic document and have it ready at all times. "I still have a post office box, but I hope I never see another resume there again, because it is useless. A folded up resume in an envelope does me no good, because I''m not going to scan it and I can''t e-mail it." He added: "Written communications using a cover letter and a folded up resume are a sign you do not know what is going on in the marketplace."
If you are laid off, Brockman advised, the first step is to survey your employer and find out if there are activities still going on that you can help with. You can go back in as a contractor and handle continuing activities such as sampling. Safety suppliers are another possible employment opportunity, he said. "Often, you can work for them because you are a good resource. You know what is going on in the market."
What about going back to school and getting a Ph.D. to bolster your job opportunities? Brockman said most companies don''t want people with advanced degrees because they figure "it is too expensive." Certification, on the other hand, is "well worth the time and effort," he said.
by Steve Minter