The greening of your job search


An extended job search doesn’t just take its toll on your confidence and your psyche. It can also have a harmful effect on the environment.

As if advancing your career — or rebuilding it after being unemployed or underemploymed — wasn’t stressful enough in today’s sluggish economy, taking responsibility for the planet can seem like a little too much pressure to add to your plate.

Don’t stress out — saving the planet doesn’t just mean helping coastal wildlife after an oil spill or planting trees in the Amazon. For the modern job seeker, being a responsible member of the “earth community” can start on a much smaller scale — it can be as simple as making a slight tweak to your daily job-search routine. This Earth Day, take a few minutes to assess how your methods (combing job boards, e-mailing hiring managers, driving to networking events) affect the greater scheme of things. It all might seem harmless enough, but the effects can add up. Ian Aronovich, CEO of, advocates using a paperless resume. “A great way to stay ‘green’ while job seeking is instead of bringing all your job search-related materials on paper to the interviews, you can create a dedicated online digital profile with links to your work and job experience,” he said. But don’t forget your goal is still to get the job. Going to an interview without a hard copy of your resume is almost like going naked — at least it is in many non-tech industries. “You should still bring a resume along with you that is limited to a single sheet to save on paper,” Aronovich said. “With your resume in hand, you can also point job recruiters to your online profile … and see examples of your work like writing samples and recommendations along with your complete job history. Not only is this a very green way of going about your job search but it’s a great way to stand out and increase your presentation to potential employers.” Online resumes are becoming quite popular and fairly elaborate, often incorporating video pitches and photo galleries. It’s all well and green, but job seekers should be careful not to go overboard with all the digital bells and whistles. A recent study found that recruiters only take about six seconds to determine if the job is a good fit for a particular applicant, so you don’t want to include anything that will distract. Other green modifications to your job search can include taking public transportation to interviews and carpooling with a colleague to a networking event (which can also be a good networking opportunity in itself). There’s also the growing green jobs sector — spanning fields such as technology and eco-engineering to alternative energy and environmental law — to explore. This Earth Day could be the right time for such a consideration.