I am still getting trickles of emails coming in from my post about how to get a solar sales job over two years ago from some very dedicated and creative people. Because of this, I felt it would be best to follow up with some very specific next steps for those of you still looking to make that career leap into the solar field. The following advice was adapted very closely from Derek Sivers’ aptly entitled, “How to get hired”. Use the following advice and get yourself that job! :
1. Look inward
Do some soul-searching to decide what you really want to do within the solar industry. There’s solar sales, system design, marketing, regulatory compliance/paperwork, customer service, support, IT, etc. Where could you fit?
2. Target and research the hell out of the company
Focus on one solar installer or manufacturer and find the one in your area you feel is doing the best. (The company needs to be near you already. If you don’t live near them, move there first, or choose a closer installer or company. Do not do this remotely.)
It doesn’t matter if they’re not hiring. Learn all about them. Read every page of their website. Get on their mailing list. Read every article about them. Study and memorize this info. Your research only takes a few hours, and is a much better use of your time than firing away resumes.
3. Make contact
Start contacting them to tell them how much you want to work for them. It doesn’t matter who you speak to first. Start with anyone. Just start.
Tell them, (in your own way), “It’s my dream to work with you. If you have any aspect that could use a little help, let me do it, and I promise you it’ll thrive. I’m that passionate about this.”
Eventually, contact different people in the company, especially the executives, not just HR.
Ideally, you could be more specific, telling them ways you could improve one of their projects, evaluations, or installation process.
4. Be persistent and succinct
Combine phone, email, and in-person. You must use all three methods, since each has its strengths.
Always be succinct. Don’t take more than two minutes of their time. But always show your passion, and how much you can help them.
5. Vary your message
Sometimes ask advice. Sometimes give advice. But always make it clear how much you want to work there.
6. Do this every week
It’s OK to be almost annoying. Polite manners don’t prove passion. Do this until hired. Eventually they will be hiring, and they’d be damn foolish not to hire you.
Especially when faced with the alternative of opening up the floodgates to help-wanted ads, they’ll much rather go with this person who has persistently proven their passion. (Could do this with a few installers at once)