Stephen Hinton provides insight into what traits green companies are looking for in candidates and what skills and traits they expect to see on their resume.  He lays out the six pieces of important information that you need on your resume to stand out and get hired.

by Stephen Hinton, Managing Director of Hinton Human Capital

Over the past few weeks, I have received a number of calls and e-mails from job seekers asking the following questions: What are green companies looking for in a candidate? What qualifications, skills and experiences should be on my resume? Here are some thoughts for job seekers to consider:

What Do They Want?

Green companies are looking to hire people who can help them meet their goals of profitability, building market share and protecting the planet. While this seems like a cut and dry ideal, it really is not. Let me explain. Most green companies are start-up businesses which must show a profit within a certain period of time. Therefore, their hiring managers are under pressure to find people with well rounded skill sets who can work in multiple roles and learn the primary aspects of their business very quickly. The key for job seekers to get the hiring manager’s attention is  a well written resume which showcases their versatility along with the following skills and traits:

1. The ability to create and manage business relationships: You might be thinking “Didn’t he mention this in a previous article?” You are right. However in this particular scenario, hiring managers are not just looking for those who can sell. They are also looking for those have relationships with banks; hedge and sovereign wealth funds; government officials; potential joint venture partners and suppliers. These types of relationships are required to maintain funding levels and facilitate delivery of products, projects and services. To get an interview, your resume should show a track record winning repeat business; procuring resources or resolving  problems through your business relationships.

2.Technical Skills: Many green companies are in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) driven industries. These companies want to hire people who can use their technical knowledge to solve problems and have a positive impact on the environment. If you are STEM professional, it will be important for your resume to communicate how your expertise has solved a problem and delivered sustainable results.

3. Financial Management: Accounting and financial regulations are evolving to reflect a company’s impact in social, economic and environmental arenas.  Therefore green companies will look for employees who possess in depth financial knowledge and management skills. The ability to manage a budget will be a minimum requirement. Green company employees will have to understand and adhere to tighter financial standards and communicate their performance using financial terms like Return on Investment (ROI) and Internal Rate of Return (IRR). If you are person who manages monetary resources, it will be important for your resume to demonstrate your performance using financial performance indicators.

4. Management:Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is the foundation of all green business practices. Green companies will look for people who are adept at managing  people, problems, processes and policy (compliance with laws and regulations) within these accepted guidelines. To get the hiring manager’s attention, it will be important for your resume to illustrate your ability to deliver measuarable results in CSR terms.

5.  Product Development & Marketing: Green companies have to create products and services which have a minimal effect or reverse environmental  impacts. People who understand the marketing research, trends, products and services needed to satisfy the “sustainability minded” consumer while adhering to CSR standards will be in especially high demand as the economy recovers. Marketing professionals will also need to highlight their ability to create campaigns which educate the consumer and build the company’s “green” brand.

6. Certifications, Credentials and Licenses: Certifications like the LEED-AP (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), PMP (Project Management Professional) and licenses like the PE (Professional Engineer) are among the most important and recognizable designations in the green industry. These credentials tell the employer that you have acquired the in depth of knowledge required for high level performance in the industry.

A Closing Thought

Green companies present exciting  job opportunities and growth  for our economic future. I hope  this article has given you some more insights to the knowledge, skills and traits that green companies are seeking in their prospective employee.  Good Luck.

Recommended Green Career Resources:

SIX STRATEGIES TO FIND YOUR GREEN CAREER – This free ebook by Carol McClelland PhD is a step-by-step process helping green career seekers use their passions, interests, experience, and training to plug into the green economy.

THE COMPLETE GREEN JOB GUIDE 2009: SECRETS FOR GETTING THE JOB YOUR WANT – Discover How To Unlock The Booming Green Economy For Your Job Search And Future Financial Security with the 10 Breakthrough Steps You Need To Know To Find And Land A Green Job Quickly.

CLEANTECHIES RESUME AND COVER LETTER WRITING SERVICE – Cleantechies help job seekers ease the transition from mainstream to Cleantech. Learn More!

UMassOnline Certificate in Sustainability Studies The UMassOnline Certificate in Sustainability Studies helps students gain an understanding of the theory and practice of sustainability. This program is available for both full time students and working professionals. Sustainability Studies looks to discover and examine humanity’s philosophies and practices, past and present, as they relate to the natural and social world, and consider what new or alternative philosophies and practices might be capable of providing a sustainable, balanced, and ethical future for the planet and its inhabitants. Click here, for more information about the UMassOnline Certificate in Sustainability Studies.

Recommended Green Career Resource:
GET STARTED WITH YOUR GREEN CAREER - If you aren't sure where to start, what steps to take, or how to figure out where your skills fit within the green economy, Green Careers for Dummies author, Carol McClelland, PhD has a FREE six-day Get Started email series is a great place to start. Each message provides guidance, insights, and direction so you can figure out your next step. Jump start your green career now! It's Free >>.

© 2009 – 2011, stephen_hinton. All rights reserved. Do not republish.

Line Break

Author: stephen_hinton (4 Articles)

Stephen Hinton is the Managing Director of Hinton Human Capital, an executive search firm that specializes in the Climate Change, Environmental and Infrastructure Engineering markets. Hinton Human Capital also provides resume writing services that are uniquely focused toward the technical professional. His Hinton Human Capital Blog articles on green and infrastructure jobs, the job market and job search strategy have been featured across the internet on the following web sites:, Green Economy Post, Linked In, Business Week Exchange, The Examiner and many more. He has also been featured internet radio shows and quoted in articles on the AOL web site, the Wall Street Journal, CareerJournal and Minority MBA Magazine.

  • Dr. Cameron Davies

    As a green energy pro of many years standing I found your advice for young professionals excellent.

  • Joey Castillo

    From an IT professionals perspective, I feel its time for us to focus on what’s right for the future in regards to technology hardware that consumes excessive amounts of energy. Many companies including Intel, HP and Dell are developing technology that consumes less power, yet maintains its dependablilty. A very good certification for advanced IT professionals which I recently obtained is the “Green IT” certification. This website link gives some information on it:

    Best Regards,

    Joey Castillo
    MSIT, MBA, ITIL v2, Green IT

    • Stephen Hinton


      Thanks for the comment. We will research this new certification.


  • M farhan saif

    Great tips Stephen, every job requires you to be responsible for something. Employers don’t really want to know about your responsibilities, they want to know about your accomplishments. Tell an employer how carrying out your daily responsibilities actually benefited the company (i.e., saved time, saved money, made money, etc.) instead of just giving them your job description.
    Resume Writing Expert