At Solar Energy International (SEI) we train around 2,000 students per season, many of them looking to break into the solar industry as a new career path. One question we get asked all the time is, how do I format my resume with past experience in a different industry in a way that appeals to solar employers? We sat down with the SEI Student Services Team to provide some quick tips you can use to improve your resume today.  

Create a targeted resume objective:  Formulating your objective is a crucial first step in writing your resume. It is often the first thing hiring committee members read.  Be sure to make it clear and relevant to the position in which you are applying. A starting point to craft the perfect objective is asking yourself questions like: What are the specific reasons you want to work in the solar industry? What can you offer a potential employer? What transferable skills, if new to the industry, or current skill sets do you have? Often times hiring committees get hundreds of resumes and they do an initial scan of resumes.  Be clear, concise and intentional with your objective. 

Use the correct industry lingo: Take take the time to really read what the job description says, and be sure to note the specific wording used by the employer. Don’t make the hiring committee search your resume to find ways in which your skills match what they are looking for, make it obviously stated in the words you choose to write your resume. Creating a resume that speaks to the needs of the what the company is looking for, and clearly itemizing how your specific experience can meet those needs, is the key to selling yourself as the best fit for the job. Think about how your skill sets match the keywords in the job description and what the company is looking for. If you are new to the industry, you will need to be able to specifically identify how your skill set will transfer effectively to a solar-focused role. Don’t be discouraged if you lack experience in solar, many skill sets transcend industries, and your unique experience can make you an asset to a company.   

Make sure to include a well-crafted, personalized cover letter: Cover letters are your chance to set yourself apart. Hiring committees really appreciate a cover letter that not only address the skills and ways in which someone can be an asset to their team, but also clearly shows the applicant has thoroughly researched the position and the company. Think about things like: Why do you want to work for this specific company? What in their mission speaks to you?

Try out Solar Energy International’s Solar Professional Certificate Program (SPCP): SEI’s SPCP is the industry’s most rigorous training program to prepare professionals for the highly technical clean energy workforce. Certificate paths include: Residential and Commercial Photovoltaic Systems Certificate, Battery-Based Photovoltaic Systems Certificate, Battery-Based Photovoltaic Systems Certificate, Battery-Based Photovoltaic Systems Certificate, Renewable Energy Applications Certificate, and the Solar Professionals Trainer Certificate. Certificate paths offer the recommended trainings for a focused area of study in the solar industry.

Not sure what path you’d like to take in the solar industry? No problem! Our PV101: Solar Training- Solar Electric Design and Installation is a great place to start! For more tips, training information, and personalized resume help, contact our Student Services Team at 970-527-7657 x1 or email [email protected]