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How To Get Ahead In Ecology: Tips and Advice For Graduates

How to Get a Job in Ecology?

Tips and Advice for Graduates

So, it’s a new year and a new start. You’re refreshed and ready to make a big impact. But how can you make yourself stand out from the crowd? How can you make employers want to pick up your CV ahead of thousands of other competing graduates?

More graduates than ever have graduated with a degree in ecology or others such as environmental sciences. What with the current economic situation, it can appear like there are more candidates than jobs and finding an ecology job can seem like a struggle.

Here at Acer Ecology, we have compiled some helpful tips and advice to help you get ahead to work in ecology.

how you can get ahead in ecology to upload1. Make a list of the companies that you would like to work for. 

You can find more information about companies on their website and also social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. Social media is a very useful and powerful tool when researching and looking for employment.

2. Do some research on the people working in these organisations via LinkedIn, the CIEEM commercial directory and company websites.

3. Ring up the various organisations and explain that you have recently graduated and are looking for some work and/or voluntary work experience. Follow this up by sending them a copy of your CV and connecting with them on social media. Linkedin is a key source for connecting with employers and finding employment.

4. Within any work experience role, treat it like a long job interview and make sure you are first in, among the last to leave and putting yourself forward to help out with things as much as you can. This way an employer will remember you when paid vacancies arrive.

5. If you haven’t already, become active on LinkedIn. Start to build up a network of contacts and be active in the group’s sections.

6. Get active with your local conservation groups – local bat, amphibian & botany groups and local natural history societies. This experience will make an impressive impact on your CV.

7. You need to stand out from the crowd – explore opportunities with the local wildlife trust, get your foot in the door and offer to do something that may be initially rather menial but no less important, but you’ll be establishing a name for yourself if you do it well. And if an internal opportunity arises, you’ll get to hear about it but also, get to hear about what they are looking for – or even create an opportunity for yourself.

8. Involve yourself in extra education and training – take short training courses to enhance your CV, and provide you with the required skill set. Be diverse in your studies, the more knowledge of different areas you possess in ecology is more beneficial to you and your potential employer. Acer Ecology offers low-cost one-day training courses to help you develop and enhance your ecology and environmental skills such as Phase 1 Habitat Survey and Protected Species.

9. Don’t get despondent if things take time. It may be that you need to wait until the next recruitment drive. Alternatively, you may find a position straight away. Ecology work is very seasonal, and whilst there are numerous opportunities during the summer period from April to September, at other times of year it can be much harder to find suitable opportunities.

If you have found this article useful you may also be interested in reading How to get Ahead in Ecology Part 2 and Part 3.

We feel strongly that we should put something back into the industry that has supported our careers and consequently is happy to offer short work experience placements to support the next generation of ecologists.


Read about the experiences of Will Cooke and Amy Cole who recently undertook a week of work experience with us.


Acer Ecology can provide ecological training or Continuing Professional Development (CPD) support. For more information on our business and biodiversity services, call us on 029 2065 0331.