Category Archives: Internships

Where should I look for a Job?

One of the most common questions I get from students around this time of year is “Where should I look for a job?”

The question they actually are asking is “where ONLINE should I look for a job?”, and it’s the wrong question.  The vast majority of jobs for students are filled informally, without a search.

I always have extra work, and when I manage to have money + work that needs to be done, I usually tend to hire people I know–either a good past student, or someone recommended by a friend.

For full-time jobs, the question is a bit more relevant, but still, applying online doesn’t yield the results that using your network of contacts will.  If I happen to know someone involved in a search, and I send them a copy of your recommendation letter directly….yeah, that immediately moves your resume up to the top of the pile.

So, before I give you my list of places online to look at:  Let me ask, what is the ratio of time you are spending pasting your resume online to the amount of time spent chatting with your friends and professional contacts about where you want to go?

My favorite places to look for Ecological/Environmental type jobs:

Two other things to try:

  1. There are a lot of new job indexes that basically work by harvesting other websites. Indeed.com is a good example of that type of service.
  2. Don’t forget to look at local university and state websites! While the funding may be shaky long term, for those starting out in the job market, there are usually lots of opportunities.

Have I missed an important resource? Please suggest it in the comments!
[Note: I will be especially harsh on spammers for this post–if you are suggesting a link, it needs to relate specifically to finding job postings in environmental science/conservation]

Career Tip: REU Applications

Do not print your cover letter for an NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates on Hello Kitty paper.

Seriously.

Had it not also come with transcripts attached, I’d think some of you were just messing with me.

Other things you should not do when applying:

  • Don’t have an email that is something along the lines of asss69@yahoo.com for your primary contact
  • Don’t email me DAILY with questions about your application, the process, and if we’ve made a decision yet
  • Don’t start your letter with “Dear Sir” if I am NOT a SIR.
  • Don’t use Babelfish to translate your emails. I’m pretty sure that’s how this sentence was created:  “If there is any information I can render you with, please ask.”

References–a hint

If you are applying for an internship, you should probably apply for the internship FIRST, before you have a reference letter sent.

Especially if we didn’t request reference letters, but names of references.

And you should also give your references enough information that they can say what you are applying for in their letter.

That way, I don’t have to send your reference letter to everyone, asking “Do you know who this kid is? Are you hiring them?

It’s not a good first impression.