Few tips for freshers in the water sector


Looking for a job is a full-time job!

Right after graduating and starting the job hunt, you might have the feeling that most jobs advertised, even entry-level positions require some skills or experience that you would obviously not have as you are new in the market.

This may be disappointing especially for fresh graduates, inexperienced professionals and career changers. Often, employers include unrealistically demanding qualifications in order to attract the most qualified candidates and discourage non-desired applications. In fact, some jobseekers tend to apply to every job that is more or less related to their field of work by doing copy-paste of CV or cover letters. Unfortunately, job lotteries do not exist yet.
Today, the best chance to find a job is through your network and connections. Networking has become a key skill that one needs to master, not only to be successful in a job search, but it might also be a critical asset to be successful in your job functions. From the really beginning of your studies and career, particular importance should be given to developing a good network. Here are some good ways to build a network, but also to be identified by key employers in the water sector:

1. Identify potential employers

Depending on your career objectives and field of specialisation, you might focus your search on a specific set of companies or organisations. However, there is a myriad of employers in the water sector and you might be missing some of them, particularly if you are looking for jobs overseas. The image below intends to classify the different employers and provide examples. Of course, this illustration is just for guidance, and some organisations may belong to more than one category.

Make a list of your preferred companies and organisations. Visit their website regularly and try to understand the structure (who is who, and who does what), and stay informed about new projects and activities. This will allow you identifying their needs and anticipate job opportunities. This would also be useful in an interview to show that you are familiar with what they do.


2. Apply to graduate  programs

The “Big ones” generally use university networks to source candidates for internships or entry-level positions, but they often also have internal programs aimed at young professionals or graduates. The bigger the company is, the higher the competition will be. However, this is a great opportunity to join a large multinational firm or an international organisation and start a career with long-term prospects. We have compiled some of them here.
Consulting Firms:

Development organisations:

3. Participate in events

Conferences and other meetings are also great ways of networking with specialists from your discipline and meet potential employers

It is also an opportunity to share your knowledge or any research you have produced on a specific topic. Make sure to plan ahead and select events according to your location and budget. Sometimes, the organisers offer discounted registration fees for young professionals.

At Global Water Jobs, we have been developing an exhaustive calendar with events worldwide in different areas. Check out the Water E-Calendar

Before the event, you may do some research about the participants and key-speakers. Social media sites are great tools for that. Look for the most relevant hashtag on Twitter and start engaging with other followers. You may even make friends before arriving. You can also consult the conference directory on the event website and make a list of the companies or organisations you would like to meet. Identify key industry leaders and experts that you should try to meet. Setting objectives is important to assess the success of your participation. Think of specific questions to attract their attention and create the opportunity to introduce yourself. Have your business cards ready. For introverted people, this requires some efforts, but good networking eventually pays off.


4. Share your knowledge

There are different ways to show a community of Experts that you are knowledgeable about a specific issue, and be noticed by potential employers. If you have expertise in an area and valuable knowledge on a topic, you may consider publishing a paper. If you do not consider that your paper is worth doing an official publication, you can certainly find blogs or forums where you can post as a guest. Here is a list of our favourite and open blogs and networks in the sector:

SuSanA Forum Sanitation Updates
WASH Advocates Saniblog.org
Circle of Blue The Water Network
*in Spanish
You can also use groups in social media to write about the topic of your interest. You may also just comment (intelligently) on blogs and groups and engage with other experts. Contributing positively to the debates and discussions on a specific topic can give you some visibility. LinkedIn has dozens of groups related to the water sector. Select the groups according to the theme but also to the number of members

Finally, if you have not done so, register on Global Water Jobs to stay informed of jobs and other career opportunities in the sector.

We wish you good luck!

By Pascal Garde, Founder of Global Water Jobs



Published on 2015-04-07 12:02:13

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