For many companies, the process of hiring an environmental health and safety (EHS) professional can be expensive. Therefore, these companies need to make sure that the person they hire for the job will positively impact their business.
Applicants for an EHS professional job must polish their resumes well enough to be shortlisted for an interview. You need to include just the right amount of information to prove you are the right candidate for the job.
How can you tell if your resume has what hiring managers are looking for while hiring? This article lists the best and worst practices to help you create that perfect EHS professional resume.
EHS Professional Resume Best Practices
Not all resumes get a top-to-bottom reading from an employer. To ensure that your resume does not get tossed aside after only one glance by the employer, you may want to abide by the following practices.
Keep It Brief
Your EHS professional resume should ideally be only one page long. It should include no more than three sections (objective statement, employment history, and education) for someone with less than ten years of experience. If you have more than ten years of experience in the EHS field or if your experience includes extensive volunteer work or other activities, you may want to add one more page to your EHS resume.
Include the Most Relevant Sections at the Right Location
Here are some must-have sections to include in your EHS resume:
- Education. Include your education in the first section of your resume. Education is essential because it shows potential employers that you have developed skills and knowledge that apply to their business.
- Experience. List all your relevant experiences first. Include any skills listed in the job description and add any other relevant experience you have. For example, if one of the job requirements is three years of experience as an EHS officer and you have five years of relevant experience, put that down first under this section.
- Core Competencies. Highlight the most critical information about yourself, including your core competencies and how you have demonstrated them in past jobs. For example, if the job description requires you to have the knowledge of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations or the ability to work independently, include those skills in your resume under a section titled “Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities.”
- Certifications. Mentioning all your EHS-related certifications will take you several steps closer to getting the job. You can include these certifications under a “Skills” section in your resume — or under the “Education” section if they are from learning institutions. Certifications from organizations like OSHA are especially valuable because they demonstrate that you have at least some knowledge of environmental health and safety management.
Focus on Relevant Skills
While you want to highlight all of your qualifications, do not list every skill you have ever had as an EHS officer over the last ten years. Instead, focus on the skills most relevant to your current application.
Many companies use software programs to scan resumes for specific and relevant keywords. By doing so, these companies can narrow down their applicant pool based on specific skills or experience.
Therefore, the more keywords you have in your resume, the better your chances of getting noticed by these automated systems. Here are some of the keywords you may want to include in your EHS professional resume:
- EHS audit
- Occupational health
- Construction safety
- Industrial safety
Explain Your Career Gaps
Some hiring managers may assume the worst about gaps or periods of unemployment in your work history, making them less likely to consider your application. Therefore, always explain why you have them (e.g., sabbatical, maternity, or sickness).
Create a Great LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is an excellent place to create a profile that complements your EHS professional resume. If you have sufficient time before applying for a job, start building up your connections by connecting with people in the EHS industry. You can also use LinkedIn Groups, where people share ideas and collaborate on EHS projects. Such an initiative will boost your chances when employers perform a background check.
Include an EHS Resume Summary Statement
A summary statement is essential if you have gaps in employment or do not have much experience as an EHS officer. A summary statement will help you highlight your relevant skills, achievements, and experiences, even if they are not reflected in the rest of your resume.
EHS Professional Resume Bad Practices
Here are some of the bad practices that can seriously damage your resume and hurt your chances of getting the interview.
Not Listing Education
Education is one of the most important parts of an EHS professional resume, particularly when the job is health-related. If you do not include the schools you attended, the employer would not know how long it took you to complete your education or how many degrees you have.
Using an Unorganized Layout
The first thing that a hiring manager notices about your resume is the layout. If you are not careful, this can decide whether you get the job. The most important thing to remember when it comes to an EHS professional resume layout is that it should be easy to read.
Submitting a Very Long Resume
A good rule of thumb is limiting the maximum length to two pages. If it is longer than that, you have probably included unnecessary information or details irrelevant to the job of an EHS professional. The goal is to make your resume concise and easy to read so that an employer can understand the trajectory of your career within one skim through.
Using Too Many Fonts and Colors
Using multiple fonts and colors will make your EHS professional resume appear unprofessional. If you want to highlight certain sections, use bold or italics instead of different fonts. A well-designed resume uses a single font (usually Times New Roman) and one color. Otherwise, it may be distracting and hard to read.
Not Proofreading the Resume
Always proofread your resume before sending it to an employer. A well-written resume with no grammatical errors or typos will demonstrate that you are a detail-oriented EHS professional with a keen eye for detail — this is always a plus point when getting hired.
Ready for the Next Steps?
If an employer is left to scan endless lists of irrelevant entries on your resume, they are more than likely to disqualify you. All you need is a professionally written EHS resume to be shortlisted for an interview.
When you are ready for the next steps, join the Yellowbird network by signing up as a professional today and get matched with the most relevant EHS job opportunities.