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Cover Letters for Conservation Jobs
A cover letter is a document that accompanies your resume. If you're applying for a conservation job, make sure that the cover letter specifically addresses the job you are applying for. For example, if you're trying to land a soil conservation technician position, highlight your specific experience in providing technical assistance on conservation projects as well as your familiarity with surveying tools and instruments.
Before You Begin
Before you begin writing your cover letter for a conservation job, read the job posting a few times. Note what the job entails and what skills are needed. Think about the education you've received, your job experience and your skills. Do you have what the employer is looking for? For example, if the posting entails helping conserve the ecosystem of bees, but you've never worked with bees, you might not be the kind of applicant the employer is looking for. If, however, you've had research and work experience in plant conservatism and the job description is for someone who has a research and work experience background in plant conservation, you could be who the employer is looking for.
After you've decided that you are an appropriate candidate for the conservation position, you have to create the cover letter. Begin with the name of the person you're applying to and the address. Address the employer with "Dear," tell him the conservation job you are applying for and how you found out about the job. In the next paragraph, highlight the experience you have that relates to the position and how many years of experience you have. Years are important when applying for certain conservation jobs; some positions, such as conservation technician, require that you have a background in most aspects of conservation, which you can only get through at least five years of experience. End your cover letter with a request to speak in person, your contact details, the date you will follow up and a "thank you" for posting the position.
The primary goal of your conservation cover letter is to spark the employer's interest in you. A cover letter should be one page. If it is too long, that raises a red flag that you are overcompensating for a lack of experience. However, a letter only a few sentences long shows you do not have specific technical and environmental knowledge. The cover letter also has to let the employer know that you are passionate about conservation. The conservation field can sometimes feel like an uphill battle against those who do not hold the environment in high esteem; you have to prove that you are up to this challenge.
Things to Avoid
Avoid typos or misspellings. A conservationist's job entails paying attention to detail and in some cases, writing. Errors in writing tell the employer that you don't have the skills for the position. Also avoid telling the employer what his organization can do for you. As a conservationist, you will be helping the planet, so your cover letter should be focusing on your helping spirit and what you can do for the organization. Try not to use passive language, such as "I feel" and "I believe" in your conservation job cover letter. Conservation employers want to see that you are passionate and committed to the conservation field, so leave off qualifiers or use strong qualifiers, such as "I am convinced" or "I am positive."
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Based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Jordan Whitehouse has been writing on food and drink, small business, and community development since 2004. His work has appeared in a wide range of online and print publications across Canada, including Atlantic Business Magazine, The Grid and Halifax Magazine. Whitehouse studied English literature and psychology at Queen's University, and book and magazine publishing at Centennial College.