Devex's top career advice from 2018

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From job search basics to knowing the skills you’ll need to land that next development job, Devex’s careers coverage throughout 2018 has offered members exclusive insights into the latest hiring trends, career tips, and advice from development experts.

Whether you've just started looking to break into the development sector, are a seasoned professional searching for your next position, or simply searching for new ways to grow and expand your skills, here is a round-up of some of the top career articles and events for Devex Career Account members from 2018.

1. Your guide to a killer online profile 

Online profiles are critical for marketing yourself to employers. Recruiters don’t always post job openings — if positions are tied to proposal bids or are part of disaster response, there may be no time for the full application process. Even when they do, recruiters often proactively search for “passive” candidates who are not actively applying to jobs. From including relevant keywords to managing search filters, this webinar offers key tips and insights on how to maintain a strong online presence to help recruiters find you.

2. How to talk about your soft skills

Soft skills can be hard to showcase because they are difficult to quantify. But equally, they are crucial to succeeding in many development roles and a key determining factor in landing a job, many recruiters have said. Devex speaks to recruitment specialists from Tetra Tech to find out how to identify your soft skills, when and where to highlight them, and what to avoid when talking about your soft skills.

3. Networking 101

Networking can stir up negative feelings or connotations, but it’s also critical in advancing your career. In this webinar, executive career coach Shana Montesol Johnson offers her best tips on not letting these feelings impact your results and shares alternative ways to network that could play to your natural strengths. Networking doesn’t have to just be swapping business cards at receptions and happy hours — it can take on many forms that feel comfortable to you.

4. The do’s and dont’s of salary negotiations

Many people fear salary negotiations and women, in particular, can find them intimidating so may avoid them altogether. Here, Devex takes a closer look at salary negotiations: when to bring them up, how to frame your approach, and what information to equip yourself with; and offers additional advice specifically for women in the sector.

5. Cover letters 101

A good cover letter can seal the deal for an employer during the application process and land you that all-important interview. As part of this year’s job search bootcamp, Devex’s own Executive Vice President Kate Warren talks through the five key ingredients of a standout cover letter in this webinar. She also touches on some of the most common challenges of writing outstanding cover letters for online applications, such as addressing an unknown hiring manager and striking the right tone.

6. Keeping up with global development: Skills in demand

As the development sector evolves with the engagement of new players and new technologies, development professionals need to adapt and learn new skills to keep up and stay competitive. Mobile phone technologies, programming, and private sector skills are just some of the areas professionals should look to gain experience.

7. Development professionals of the future

Following the Next Generation Professional report, Devex partnered with USAID and DAI to discuss what skills future development professionals will need and the roles they will fill. Soft skills, integrator roles, and an understanding of technology are some of the topics covered, while the speakers also provide insight into how these changes are playing out within their organizations and what they value most in a candidate. Watch the webinar to find out more.

8. 6 tips for aspiring development professionals 

Landing your first development job can be a challenging feat as just knowing where to begin may prove difficult. Devex speaks with Anne Clinton, career consultant at the London School of Economics, who reveals six key tips aspiring professionals should know. From how to build a network to demonstrating your passion and understanding your degree may not be the most important thing, find out what advice Clinton has to offer.

9. E-volunteering: Contribute to global development from home

In the digital age, remote work has become commonplace and volunteer work no longer remains bound to the field. Many organizations look to e-volunteers for a variety of skills, from translation to mentoring and even technological development. As an e-volunteer, you can contribute to the sector when it fits your schedule and without overseas travel. Find out how to seek out e-volunteer opportunities and what sectors and organizations are offering them.

About the author

  • Lottie Watters

    Lottie Watters formerly covered career and hiring trends, tips, and insights. Lottie has a background in geography and journalism, taking a particular interest in grassroots international development projects. She has worked with organizations delivering clean water and sanitation projects globally.