Tips for job seeking through the holidays

by Shannon Houde

I can’t believe that we have almost come to the end of our first group career coaching session. We certainly have covered a lot of ground. This week, we discussed the importance of personal branding and how to craft a killer elevator pitch when job seeking.

If you are working on job applications over the holiday break, here are a few helpful tips that will help you stay focused and be impactful.

Don’t forget! The next session starts 15 January 2015 and we are offering 10% off for the holidays. Book now!


Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Sign up

Week 5: Step into the market

What we cover:
Write your bio, leverage your network and practice your elevator pitch

Tip #5: Once you identify your personal brand and craft your career story, you are going to need four distinct versions of your bio –

  • Micro – Used on Twitter (140 characters)
  • Short – The profile in your CV (4 lines)
  • Full – 1/2 Word document (2000+ characters & 3rd person)
  • Long – LinkedIn Summary (max 2000 characters & 1st person)

Week 4: Map your story

What we cover:
Write you cover letter, resume and 1-page job proposal
Translate everything for LinkedIn

Tip #4: Instead of submitting a traditional CV/resume for a role you really want, consider a one-page job proposal. It has four parts, and they should all fit on one page. First, pitch to their challenge. Second, pitch what you do. Third, pitch your summary story. Finally, end by finding the name of a contact at the organization that you can apply to directly.

Week 3: Map your story

What we cover:
Map and translate your skills to the sustainability job description
Write compelling accomplishment statements

Tip #3: Your CV/resume should be written using Accomplishment Statements, not with job descriptions, responsibilities, or tasks. Each statement should start with an impressive action verb, include a quantified result if possible as well as the scope of impact. Finish the statement by highlighting the skills you used to get the job done.


Determined top sustainability priorities for Cascade Designs (Therm-a-Rest division) by effectively using whole systems and life cycle design methods; company chose to use one solution for all of their products.


Increased sustainability of Cascade Design’s Therm-a-Rest® by 32% by performing life cycle and impact assessments, researching options using whole systems thinking, and presenting 20-page strategy to client on design, consumer education and marketing strategies.

Week 2: Aim your compass

What we cover:
Decide on 1-2 tracks (function, industry, location, issues)

Tip #2: Believe me, I know the last thing you want to hear is that casting a wide net in your job search may actually harm your chances of landing your dream role. However, the fact is that keeping your options open is not your best strategy. While narrowing your scope is perhaps the hardest part of this process, the more you can focus in on the issues you are passionate about and what you are great at doing, and then matching those to the actual jobs out there in the market, the better your chances of success.

Impact jobs are competitive with 100-300 applicants per publicly posted role, and you will be applying with candidates that may already have a proven track record in a field or niche in which you are just starting. In order to have an edge on this competition, you need to weave together your job history into a coherent, compelling story that explains you have also been on this track and are taking a natural next step. Being specific will help you strengthen that narrative.

Week 1: Aim your compass

What we cover:
Articulate your top 5 values, 5 traits, 5 skills

Tip #1: A recruiter or hiring manager is only going to look at your CV for an average of 40 seconds. Therefore, being able to identify these 15 words (5 values, 5 traits and 5 skills) and highlight them at the top of your CV/resume gives them a quick snapshot of who you are, how you define yourself and what you are offering. These words get them into your story quickly.

Hint: Sustainability leadership includes many “soft skills” (collaboration, team leadership, peripheral vision), so focus on identifying these in yourself as well as more traditional technical skills.

So, what’s next?

Interested in giving group career coaching a try? The next session starts 15 January 2015 and there are still a few open spots. Receive 10% off any coaching service booked before 15 January, including group coaching. Book now!

Or, refer a friend and receive $100 in cash if they sign up for a coaching package before January 10th. Please contact us today to schedule a free 15-minute call to find out if coaching is right for you.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema, Flickr


You may also like...

What the Growing Corporate Sustainability Movement Means for Recruiting Top Talent

It wasn’t that long ago that corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability teams were shoved in back offices, miles from the core operations of a business. Even worse, responsibility for corporate sustainability would sometimes be awkwardly shoved onto an existing role with little care or attention from senior leadership. Now, the picture looks very different. A perfect storm of climate change, COVID, and conscious consumerism has forced all businesses across every sector to reevaluate their actions on social and environmental issues. One survey of

By Shannon Houde
The Big Picture: Sustainable Food And Career Choices

My Big Picture articles focus on making sensible choices in the resource-constrained Anthropocene world in which we live. Some of these articles deal with wonkier topics related to economics and resource usage; some (like the one you are reading now) concern topics related to managing our lives on a day-to-day basis in the Age of Climate Change. Executive Summary The Netflix documentary Seaspiracy offers a sobering look into the fishing industry and echoes many warnings found in the Dasgupta Report. This documentary and

By Shannon Houde
How to Find Your Dream Impact-focused Job

This is an edited extract from Good Work by Shannon Houde. Do you want an impact-focused job role? DON’T MISS OUTON MORE FREE TIPS Sign Up For Our Newsletter Sign up The range of opportunities in the impact space is quite diverse, and it helps to consider what sort of organization and role would be the best fit for you. Note that government is quite different from NGOs, which in turn are different from social enterprises and sustainable businesses. In the

By Shannon Houde
Book Launch! Good Work: How to Build a Career that makes a Difference in the World

Joel Makower interviews Good Work author, Shannon Houde, about the evolving impact economy and how to shape a career that makes a difference. DON’T MISS OUTON MORE FREE TIPS Sign Up For Our Newsletter Sign up

By Shannon Houde


Book a 30-minute trial session with Shannon