Environmental health and safety (EHS) is a growing field with many opportunities across industries. If you're looking to start or further your career in EHS, you need to make sure your resume includes all of the skills that hiring managers and recruiters look for fill the open jobs. Here are some skills and keywords you should highlight on your resume to help you land the EHS job of your dreams.
Soft Skills for an EHS Resume
EHS work requires a unique combination of hard skills (technical knowledge and specific certifications) and soft skills (interpersonal abilities and communication skills). While your hard skills will vary depending on the specific job you're applying for, there are some soft skills that are essential for all EHS professionals. These include:
- Analytical: safety work often requires identifying and solving complex problems. You need to be able to collect data, identify trends, and develop solutions that address the root cause of problems.
- Verbal Communication: EHS work involves interacting with people at all levels of an organization, from front-line workers to senior executives. You need to be able to communicate complex technical information in a clear, concise way.
- Written Communication: Many SHE professionals will document the programs and policies before they are rolled out to the operations. They will also prepare written reports or responses for OSHA, DOT, or other government agencies. Showcase your written communication skills on your resume to make it clear that you have what it takes to do this kind of work.
- Interpersonal skills: environmental and safety professionals must maintain effective working relationships with every level of their organization. This means that hiring managers are looking for people with strong interpersonal skills to influence and educate people on regulatory requirements.
- Leadership skills: As an EHS professional, you often need to influence people who are not directly under your control. You need to be able to motivate others and get them buy in on safety initiatives.
- Time management: safety and environmental regulations often apply strict deadlines and they can often overlap. Missing these deadlines can result in fines or even people getting hurt. So, make sure to show that you have what it takes by including this important soft skill on your resume.
- Project management: the ability to set timelines, coordinate stakeholders, manage budgets, and to lead teams in the delivery of EHS initiatives requires strong project management skills. If you like doing this, then make sure to include your project management skills on your EHS resume.
Now that you have a good start for the soft skills, you can start to add substantive skills to your resume that reflect your knowledge and experience as an environmental health and safety professional.
Substantive Skills for an EHS Resume
In addition to soft skills, you also need to showcase certain substantive skills on your resume. The specific hard skills you'll need will depend on the job you're applying for, but some common ones include:
- OSHA compliance knowledge: OSHA is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a government agency that sets and enforces safety standards in the workplace. Many EHS jobs require knowledge of OSHA standards and how to comply with them.
- Safety training experience: Many EHS jobs require the ability to develop and deliver safety training programs. You should highlight any experience you have designing and conducting training sessions on your resume.
- Emergency response experience: Many EHS jobs require managing emergency responses, so experience doing this is a valuable asset. If you have experience coordinating with first responders or leading evacuation drills, be sure to mention it on your resume.
- Hazard identification and assessment experience: As an EHS professional, one of your key responsibilities is identifying hazards in the workplace and assessing their risks. Any experience you have doing this—for example, conducting safety audits or investigating accidents—should be highlighted on your resume.
- Audits and Investigations: Performing audits or reviews of policies, programs, or compliance requirements is common for many EHS jobs. The ability to gather facts, interview people, and prepare reports with the findings is an important substantive skill for many environmental health and safety jobs.
- Workers Compensation: Managing risks before and after injuries happen is a big part of EHS jobs. Your experience reducing risk ratings likely includes processes, creative thinking, a process-driven approach, and lots of communication. This is true for many safety jobs - even if you aren't officially in charge of workers' compensation programs. So, make sure to include your experience with workers comp on your resume.
These are just a few examples of the substantive skills you might want to include on your EHS resume. The specific skills you'll need will vary depending on the type of EHS job that you are applying for. Keep reading to find some of the top specialty skills that are also key to a strong EHS resume.
Specialty Skills for an EHS Resume
There are many different types of environmental health and safety jobs, so the specific skills you'll need will vary depending on the job you're applying for. The following are some of the top specialty skills that can make your EHS resume stand out:
- Regulatory knowledge: This could be OSHA, DOT, EPA, or any number of state, county, or other governmental body. If you have experience interpreting and complying with these regulations, be sure to mention it on your resume.
- Environmental assessments: Many EHS jobs involve conducting environmental assessments to identify potential risks and hazards. If you have experience doing this, highlight it on your resume. This could be sampling, testing, or reporting related to the environmental impacts or sites of the company.
- Industrial hygiene: Industrial hygiene often falls under EHS roles. There are people that focus on IH for their entire career, but many EHS professionals will also perform these functions. Include this information on your resume to add the details of your IH experience if relevant to the jobs you are applying for.
- Ergonomics: This could include workstations in an office or the way that work is performed in the field or at a plant. Include your experience with ergonomics and the context where you gained that knowledge to provide hiring managers with the key details for this specialty skill.
- Automation safety: in a rapidly growing field for EHS professionals as employers add robots to their operations. The standards and technology are evolving rapidly and this experience will become increasingly valuable to any employer.
- Hazardous waste: This could be the documentation, handling, storage, or transit of the hazardous waste. Make sure to include the details of your experience as an EHS professional with hazardous waste on your resume.
- Nuclear waste & storage: Nuclear materials and facilities are unique and regulated unlike any other for the safety of the people there. This specialty skill can be highly valuable for some jobs and you'll want to put this experience on your resume in such cases.
- Functional safety: covers the overall safety of a system or piece of equipment that depends on automatic protections operating correctly. As employers add more automation to their operations it will only make your functional safety skills more valuable.
- Clean rooms: Workplaces with clean-room environments require a unique set of safety policies and training to maintain compliance. Include your experience with clean rooms from policy to inspections on your resume to stand out.
These are just a few examples of specialty skills that are often required for EHS jobs. The specific skills you'll need will vary depending on the type of job you're applying for, so be sure to tailor your resume to the specific position you're interested in.
If you're looking for an environmental health and safety job, make sure your resume includes soft, substantive, and specialty skills to tell the people reviewing it that you are qualified for the jobs you are pursuing. Including these keywords will get you through the applicant tracking systems and provide the talking points for your interview.
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