Is desire and passion enough? Or do employers only care about direct experience?

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008 - CV Writing

Robert asks: Even in the relatively new world of sustainable building and clean energy, employers consistently require extensive and focused experience in their specific fields. Particularly in a field that elicits such a strong emotional draw, why don’t more employers place a higher value on passion and a desire to make a difference?

In Answer:
In the majority of markets, there are enough people who are qualified to do the job, that employers can raise the bar sufficiently and just take the cream. After that they shop for enthusiasm – it called reducing the risk of delivery

In other markets, even when skills are rare and employers find it tough filling positions, employers like to think they are getting the best beyond their competitors. Its called pride in the company

My view is that, in the area of sustainable building and clean energy, that the technology is still developing fast; and that secondly its a tough sale convincing developers to take an greatly over-regulation product which reduces their margin over a regulation product. On both counts, companies would therefore seek well educated and experienced individuals to keep their own technology moving forward and those who can explain the resultant benefits to gain more sales.

Can I guess that your question is brought about Robert by the pile of rejection letters on your own desk, from applying for such positions where you are technically under qualified? Personally, if I was you and I was WHOLLY that enthusiastic about sustainable building and clean energy (two areas, so pick the one you are most enthusiastic about – if I was neutral, I would pick buildings over energy: more of a long term career on easier financed projects), I would pick out the five top companies I really wanted to work for, and having done some research write direct to the President/CEO in a clear letter stating why I wanted to come work for them and what excited me about them/their product. I would include a focused CV/Resume, citations and letters of recommendation from both senior co-workers and customers on projects I had delivered, and may even include a short personal statement/paper on why I was so enthusiastic on this area, where I saw it going in the future, the problems and how to address them.

My only question – if you are that enthusiastic, what have you got to lose?

If you need any help, just drop me a line. I normally place at least one really enthusiastic but clearly under qualified person in that method a quarter – you just need to be enthusiastic enough.

Good Luck!

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