Part of what makes a job search really challenging is one where the ‘net is cast too wide.’ Most of us know intuitively that if you try to be all things to all people, you are not recognized as being good at any of them. When you conduct a job search that is too general, you may appear to lack the ability to solve an organization’s most immediate problems. People who showcase their expertise will get preference as being able to contribute immediately. Because the economy is difficult, most job seekers try to open themselves us to almost any job with the hope that someone will believe they are a good fit for a variety of different roles. I think the reverse is usually a better strategy so my advice is to establish a target and stay focused. The more candidates out in the market place that you are competing against, the more you need to position yourself as being an expert in a particular field.
For instance, let’s say you are an environmental engineer. Learn what type of firms are winning contracts and in what specific lines of business. Typical services offered by engineering firms can range into many different areas including Regeneration Services, Water Engineering/Management, Contaminated Land, Development Planning, Renewable Power & Energy Services, Environmental Appraisal, Waste Management, Risk & Safety Management, Environmental Management & Compliance. Find the firms landing contracts in your area of knowledge.
The more specific you are about the areas of expertise that you offer related to these diverse lines of business, the more targeted your job search can be. Naturally you want to align your skills with the highest growth areas so if that means getting additional training or certifications, it may be a wise strategy. Recruiters want to see PE, LEED, PMP and other additional qualifications amongst your credentials. It makes you seem serious about your profession.
Again, focus on several key areas of expertise and you will likely have a better response from others in your job search.
If you aren’t an expert yet then begin to educate yourself to become one in the topics where you believe jobs exist or are expected to emerge. For a look at the top 10 most popular green jobs: http://www.fastcompany.com/articles/2009/01/best-green-jobs.html?page=0%2C1 - According to the article, some of the job titles where you can expect to see growth are Green MBA/Entrepreneurs, Recycler, Sustainability Systems Planner, Urban Planner, Conservation Biologist, Farmer, Forester, Solar Power Installer, Energy Efficiency Builder, Wind Turbine Fabricator.