Customising Your Profile To Help Land a Job

You are a highly skilled renewable energy professional with so much to offer in terms of your experience and expertise but, you tend to ask yourself: “Why are recruiters not reaching out to me?” or “Why does everyone else seem to be getting headhunted but me?”. Well, the answer is simple. There could be a few simple items you may be forgetting to mention on your CV, LinkedIn profile and or job application which could very well change how successful you are in being found or perceived.

We as recruiters have a few tricks up our sleeve when it comes to finding great talent, and if you are out of the loop, you could be out of a new and exciting career opportunity too.

So, we decided to ask our recruiters for some nuggets of insight that they often feel candidates fail to mention when looking for a new opportunity. We suggest that when you are updating your CV or LinkedIn profile that you take into consideration that highlighting these points (where applicable) – could help you get your foot in the door when planning to land your next job!

This is what our team had to say…

Sean Gibson, Managing Director:

“Never say your reason for leaving is “conflict with management”, or similar. Always move on to something bigger and better, never present yourself in a negative light.”

Wiehahn De Jager, Recruitment Consultant:

“Your CV shouldn’t just explain to a recruiter what you do, but also speak to how well you do it. A CV should not define a candidate, but rather distinguish them.”

Robert Veith, Sales Director:

“Explain how you have reacted in difficult situations on power plants. What are your achievements that set you apart (provide at least four bullet points)? But more importantly, highlight how you have rectified issues on site, turned a project around or even saved money for your employers.”

JP Roos, Operations Manager:

“Do not copy and paste content from your job description. Recruiters want the nitty-gritty details of a day in your work-life. Let the passion for what you do shine through and boast about what makes you great at your profession. We want to be able to see the value you can bring and the first selling point for this is your CV or LinkedIn profile.”

Lindy Taylor, Innovation & Business Development Lead:

“Be searchable and consider that the terms you use to describe yourself may not necessarily be the terms recruiters are using. What other synonyms that are relative to your renewable energy technology experience can you use that you could be found for? For example, “rural electrification,” “mini-grids,” “energy storage” and “off-grid”. Mix it up!”

Lisa De Sousa, Recruitment Administrator:

“Show that you are well connected. Whether it be at university or past experiences, you will have met a multitude of different people – show that! Having influential networks shows that you have great communications skills which is always something that an organization looks for.”

Samantha Saunders, Recruitment Consultant:

“Speak more to your achievements rather than your everyday responsibilities. Be sure to highlight successful projects, sales figures where necessary and any company wins that you’ve been involved in! These highlight your value to your potential employer. And remember to make your CV look good – aesthetics do play a big part! Simple, to the point and easy to read.”

Rob Slater, Recruitment Consultant:

“Honesty is very important when putting your CV together. Take time to think and plan your CV so that it shows off who you are and what you will be able to bring to a prospective team. Don’t be shy to put your best foot forward.”

Phillip Khumalo, Recruitment Consultant

“Do not try too hard to over-sell yourself. Let your profile tell a story about your “talent”, what you are good at and enjoy doing, in essence, that is your contribution to the industry. You get hired for contribution to bottom-line goals, not for presenting the most flamboyant CV, name-dropping, or the use of complicated jargon. There is a lot of power in simplicity, honesty, and genuineness.”

It goes without saying that there are a lot of elements that you can add to your CV or LinkedIn profile to make you stand out, such as listing all the projects you have worked on or even that you have a work visa for a country that you are applying to a job for. So the next time you take the time to update your professional profile, take these points into consideration. Who knows, your phone might soon be ringing off the hook! Think outside the box. There are many people who can do what you do, but not necessarily as well as you do it!

If you have questions during your engagements with our recruiters, please speak up! If you would like to enquire about our Career Coaching services, feel free to drop us an email at

Tinder Versus Recruitment

Often in life, we limit ourselves to speaking to the pre-defined fields that we think recruiters want to see on our CVs or what they want to chat about over the phone. We cover the basics in a summary “bio” and occasionally speak to our “interests”. We don’t take enough time to think about what we really want to get out of our relationship with a future employer – who that dream employer is and why. Engagements with our recruiter, in short, are often taken at face value. It is these small nuances that can define how successful you are in a firm once a recruiter places you. Is the corporate culture built to optimize your outputs?

So, before you swipe right on a recruiter to find your new challenge, really think about what you want and how they could canvass you effectively to an employer you respect, or how they can motivate your profile for a current role they are sourcing for.

Here are a few key points that candidates often forget to mention on their CVs or bring up in discussions with their recruiter. These are the elements that can help you land your dream job or assist a recruiter to match you to the right firm.

  • First off, get the recruiter’s name and understand a bit more about them. What is their track record when placing candidates and what are their expertise? After all, you are going to want to build a strong long-lasting relationship with them if they are going to represent you.
  • Are you willing to relocate and where would you consider moving to?
    • Candidates should think carefully about this question a recruiter may pose to them. Before simply stating where you would be happy to relocate to for a dream job, check in with your spouse to see if this is a realistic move. Will your partner be able to find work there? Are there schools in the area that you would happily send your kids to? What are the living costs associated with relocating to that destination and are your salary expectations realistic in covering these costs? If you need to relocate, what is a realistic notice period? Who do you expect to cover the cost of relocation? Is this location one that you can see yourself living and working in for a while? Would you feel comfortable moving away from additional support structures that you had (e.g. parents and in-laws)
  • What are your drivers? Are you looking for career growth or is it purely based on financials?
    • If you are motivated by the experience that you can gain with your dream company then what are the minimum walk away points in terms of a salary that you would be open to negotiating on? If you are looking to expand your experience you must remember that you are not the only applicant an employer is looking at. So if you are focused on indicating a move for a salary increase from your current CTC it could affect your chances of getting the job if another candidate has the same experience but their remuneration expectations are lower than yours.
  • What is the corporate culture you are after and in what type of environment do you work best?
    • Are you an introvert that needs their own space and can happily work remotely with little external engagement or do you work better in an open planned office that is very team-based?
    • Do you prefer to work in certain gender-based environments? Maybe you prefer a culturally diverse team or working with internationals.
    • Are slacks and slops more your style or do you like to suit up to work? Perhaps a more unstructured environment is your thing while others may opt for a corporate environment with strict processes and procedures in place (less grey matter)?
    • Are you concerned about the company staff turnover and or how many of their employees are promoted internally? Talk about it.
  • Which companies do you respect and why?
    • If you want a recruiter to successfully match you to relevant companies on your wish list, they need to know why they are on the wish list. Is it the types of projects they have been involved in, the geos they are expanding into, an innovative offering you want to gain experience in, or is it something to do with the brand culture they embody. Are there companies that you do not respect and why? All these questions will better aid your recruiter to apply your preferences to mapping out opportunities for you through their networks.

In summary, never assume a recruiter can speak (or assume) for your unspoken motivations or needs. Considering a career change should be seen much like going into a relationship, you need to think about what you want out of it and what will keep you happy in order to excel in that environment. What is your “hierarchy of needs”? If you are not moving for the right reasons the employment relationship will simply, not last.

If you have questions during your engagements with our recruiters, please speak up! If you would like to enquire about our Career Coaching services, feel free to drop us an email at

“Scrubbing CV’s” – it is ILLEGAL

You, the client, email 3 – 5 recruitment agencies. The “TO” field is blank, or you have addressed it to yourself, but in BCC are your most “dependable recruiters.

The email is received by your trusty recruiter and the first thing she or he does is jump onto a job board and conduct a keyword search. “Accountant” + “Cape Town” + “500k” + “available immediately”. That same trusty recruiter then puts a CV onto a company letterhead and emails it back to you. In many cases, the trusty recruiter has not even contacted the candidate.

You see, there is just enough information on the job board for the recruiter to know that it is likely that the candidate would be interested in the job. And who would not be, in this job scarce environment.

Now you might be thinking, “super, I have CVs delivered to my inbox, same day! Great service….”

This is what we in the executive search industry like to call “scrubbing”. It is worse than washing week-old dirty dishes under lockdown. And unlike washing dishes, it is illegal. ILLEGAL. Do not pass begin, do not collect R200.00, go straight to jail (or maybe just pay a little fine Mzanzi).

But, in South Africa (and globally) there is the small matter of the POPI Act – Protection of Personal Information Act, which eruditely states: “personal information may only be processed with consent”. With consent being the operative word here. It is like a marriage, or a friendship, or any relationship – it’s consensual. Get it? Consent! The Act also provides for inter alia, the following:

1. Processing Limitation:
  • Information about a client and/or candidate must be processed lawfully.
  • The information must be processed in a manner that does not intrude on the privacy of the client and/or candidate.
  • Personal information may only be processed if the client and/or candidate provide their consent, except where we (AltGen) are required to do so by law.
2. Purpose Specific:
  • Candidates and/or client’s information must be collected for a specific purpose, which is properly defined and for legitimate reasons.
  • Clients and/or candidates must be made aware of the purpose of the collection of the information in accordance with point 5 – “Transparency / Openness”.
  • Personal information may not be retained any longer than is necessary for achieving the purpose for which the information was collected unless the client and/or candidate has consented to the retention of the personal information.
3. Limitation on Further Processing:
  • Personal information may not be processed further in a way that is incompatible with the purpose for which the information was collected initially.
  • AltGen collects personal information for recruitment and will only use collected personal information for this purpose unless written consent is obtained from the client and/or candidate should the need arise for it to be used for another purpose.
4. Information Quality:
  • Employees collecting personal information from clients and/or candidates must take proper steps to ensure that the information is complete, accurate, current, and not misleading in any way.
5. Transparency / Openness:
  • Personal information may only be collected if the client and/or candidate have been made aware of the information being collected, where the information is not being collected from the client and/or candidate the source from which it is collected must be made known to the client and/or candidate.
  • The purpose for which the information is being collected must be disclosed to the client and/or candidate.
  • Clients and/or candidates whose personal information we (AltGen) are collecting either directly or through other sources must be informed of who we are and be provided with our details.
6. Security Safeguards:
  • Technical and organisational measures must be in place to secure the integrity of personal information and to guard against the risk of loss, damage, or destruction thereof.
  • Personal information must also be protected against any unauthorised or unlawful access or processing.
  • Clients and/or candidates must be made aware as soon as reasonably possible after the discovery of a compromise of their personal information being accessed or acquired by any unauthorized person.
7. Participation of Individuals:
  • Clients and/or candidates, upon providing adequate proof of identity, are entitled to know particulars of their personal information held by us and are also entitled to know all third parties, or categories of third parties, who have, or have had, access to their information.
  • They are also entitled to correct any information held by us or request that it is disregarded after using the information for the initial purpose.
8. Accountability:
  • Employees will be held accountable for the management/implementation of the points listed above.

So, at the end of the day, it comes down to ethics, respect, and accountability. It is up to the recruitment agency to ensure best practices are adhered to, but it is up to you as the direct employer to ensure that your chosen service provider is legally compliant, after all – it’s a matter of association!

Tech-Talent Exchange & Graduate Connect Platforms

It is our collective responsibility to turn COVID-19, tragic as it is, into an opportunity. An opportunity to recalibrate our energy system into one that is fit-for-purpose. The energy storage assembly and manufacturing market in South Africa is a quiet but very notable success story. DG installations continue to grow. And if the mythical, artificial, unnecessary, and protectionist 1MW cap could be lifted to 10MW, RE could generate 1000’s more jobs and our electricity system could be, fit-for-purpose.


To this end, AltGen will be doing its part by creating the AltGen “Tech-Talent Exchange”. The service will be FREE OF CHARGE, where we will offer renewable energy project developers and installers free access to a rapidly growing database of technicians and sales staff. The reality is that we are receiving hundreds of applications from unemployed technical skills as the economic bite of COVID-19 takes hold, and we need to assist where we can.

Salary Cap (TBC):

But we are also not going to let you eat our lunch, so there will have to be limited to access and levels of staff that we are able to accommodate requests for, and to this end, we will have to put a salary cap on the roles that we enable.

Technical Work:

As we develop the offering it will become automated and eventually move online, but for now, it’s going to be a bespoke service, so if you are a PV project installer who has installations or maintenance work or needs technical skills or if know anyone who may, please email Phillip ( and he will try and help you find the skills you need through a manual search.

Again, this service is offered willingly and freely, and we are covering the overheads internally, so there will be a (yet to be determined) wage/salary cap on the roles that we can assist with.


If you are someone with some RE experience, technical sales experience, a PV technician, or a qualified installer, please send your CV to Phillip, you can do this by completing the form by click here. Note that we are just launching this free service and we are in a job-starved environment right now, so please do not expect fireworks! And please do not necessarily expect a reply from us. We would love to connect with each and every one of you, this may just not be possible.


If there are any RE IPP’s or developers who would like to advertise for graduates or interns on the AltGen jobs page, you are welcome to do so FREE OF CHARGE, with your own logo/contact details, as you prefer.

The AltGen WWW jobs page receives 1000’s of hits every month and pulls through to a number of job aggregators and job boards so we can guarantee that you will receive plenty of traction from a job advert placed with AltGen.

We will also post your advert on our social media sites, specifically on LinkedIn, where we have close to 9,000 mostly RE-specific followers.

We have also added a “Recruit Grads and Interns” page on our website where employers can submit any openings. All advert responses will go directly to the employer, and while we will assist where we can, and will do background checks for a small fee, we will not be filtering responses on your behalf. Again, we are hoping to make this an (automated) online service in the mid-term.


We do not have any graduate or internship roles at the moment but if you load your CV as a graduate, if we get one, you will be on our list, and we will email you. To apply, follow this link!


Covid-19 has and will continue to have a devastating effect on the global and African economies. In the two primary geos within which AltGen operates, South Africa and Kenya, the fallout will be with us for years to come. Energy drives economic growth, but without economic growth, there is reduced demand for all forms of energy. But this is not a condition that will continue indefinitely.

As we deal with this existential crisis a recalibrated system will emerge, and there can be no doubt that this will be very different from the previous state of play. The oil price, for the first time in history, discovered negative territory as tankers sailing the high seas could not offload their cargo. Oil majors have slashed CAPEX expenditure. This is not a world where producers are cooperatively reducing production any longer, this is a place where oil production is grinding to a halt.

And in this, is an opportunity. We have already had glimpses of a better future. Cities that have been covered in smog for decades, can now breathe. Wildlife that was banished from the human landscape is making a tentative comeback. And this is a future powered by renewable energy. Besides the obvious health and environmental benefits, renewables are cheap, easily deployed, and reliable, especially with the addition of storage. It’s a no-brainer.

Areas of Specialisation – A Shift In Emphasis

A road sign with arrows pointing both right and left with the Altgen logo in the bottom right corner

Over the past 7 years AltGen has built up an enviable track record in initially identifying transferable skills and then placing Project Managers, Project Engineers, Developers, Wind Engineers and other specialist skills in the wind and solar energy market in South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, and Ethiopia.

But lately, we have started to perceive a shift in demand from traditional RE mainstream to a new type of client, most of which are involving themselves in activities behind the meter.

Tech 1: Water Manufacture. This client makes water from air. How, we can’t tell since that would be, well, telling. But we can confirm that they have a pilot project set up somewhere in Africa – and are bullish about the future of water. From the air. No boreholes, no expensive drilling, no desalination, and no need for grid power. And no more power-hungry and expensive municipal purification and pumping infrastructure to maintain.

Tech 2: Internet of Things. For the first time, we are working in the IT – Energy-Water nexus, where assets are connected, monitored, and controlled digitally, real-time.

Tech 3: Energy Storage. Batteries, batteries, and more batteries. Manufacture, sales, distribution.

Tech 4: Electrical components. We are coming across more and more SMME sized electrical equipment manufacturing and assembly companies. This is where the real value is added, in the small and medium business space.

Tech 5: 3/4PL Clients. As the component supply chains deepen so we are starting to come across a need for a one-stop-shop, for companies that provide wholesale and distribution of solar and solar associated products including panels, inverters, storage racks, cabinets, communications modules, charge controllers, and mounting systems.

This change in emphasis is a real indication of a fundamental shift in the structure of the economy in South Africa, there can be no doubt, the 4th Industrial Revolution is here.

AltGen opens an office in Mauritius

An long shot of an island on a cloudy day surrounded by waves with the Altgen logo in the bottom right corner

AltGen has just opened a representative office in Mauritius which caters to our clients who are interested in running our payroll services throughout Africa. The newly formed entity in Africa’s business hub is registered under the name “Altgen Energy Services LTD”.

As Africa continues to be a destination of choice for renewable energy developments, the need to offer unique payroll services which enable the development, construction, operations and maintenance of energy projects is vital. Since 2012, AltGen has made a robust name for itself in the industry, offering our clients a boutique set of services within the sector. This niche service offering in a growing market has enabled us to have a privileged depth of insight and offer clients unsurpassed value in terms of recruitment, consulting, advisory, training and employment services. We understand that businesses, like individuals are unique – they have a brand, a persona – something that makes them… them – and that is why we ensure our solutions are perfectly suited and customized to their needs and their corporate vision.

We are the people who understand people, the ones who make businesses operate, the people who create organizational cultures. We provide employment assistance to allow you to do what you do best, while we cover the rest.

To find out more about AltGen Energy Services and how we can help you, contact us today!

Call us or drop us a mail!

GMG Facility Kenya announces the addition of €3.9 million

altgen logo and satellite banner

“The Green Mini-Grid (GMG) Facility Kenya announces the addition of €3.9 million from the European Union – Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund to provide output-based connection and investment grants to renewable energy mini-grids projects. Funding for technical assistance to mini-grid developers will also be available. AFD has secured the funding and combined with the DFID funds, this will enable the Managing Entity to support additional connections by issuing another call for proposals for green mini-grid projects in the third quarter of 2018 and extend the programme until 2020.

With the addition of the EU-AITF financing, over 100,000 Kenyans will benefit from upwards of 20,000 connections providing access to electricity in off-grid communities.

To date, the GMG Facility Kenya has provided grant funding to Powerhive, PowerGen, and RVE.Sol projects and provided technical assistance to Powerhive, RVE.Sol, and African Solar Designs. In addition, the GMG Facility has supported the sector on mini-grid market opportunities and policy framework. For information, see the report “Mapping the barriers of GMG market development / Impact of GMG on Base of the Pyramid (BoP) Markets and Social Inclusion”. The GMG Facility team of experts is currently working on additional sector assistance – 1. Partnering with financing organizations to develop financial vehicles to improve the Access to Finance in the mini-grid sector, and 2. developing Productive Use of Energy Toolkits. Reports to be published later this year.

Check back at for the announcement of the next call for proposals in the coming months. For more details about the GMG Facility, you may register at “GMG On-Line Platform”. We welcome your questions at”

Implemented by AFD
AFD Logo

Co-funded by European Union Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund


AltGen site visits in Kenya and Rwanda with PAUWES graduates

altgen logo and satellite banner

As part of the conclusion to the Pan-African University of Water and Energy Sciences engagement, our Kenyan-based team met with some of the MSc Energy graduates at two significant renewable energy facilities in Kenya and Rwanda.

Ngong Hills Wind Farm, Nairobi, Kenya

One of the students, Lilies Kathumbi, accompanied AltGen to the impressive Ngong Hills Wind Farm in Kenya. This 25.5 MW farm is located 20km outside Nairobi and is currently the only operational wind power station in the country that is connected to Kenya’s national power grid. The facility is owned by KenGen, which is the largest power-producing utility in Kenya. The farm, which is currently made up of 850 KW turbines, has plans to expand by an additional 10 MW by erecting five 2 MW turbines in the coming months.

It was a wonderful opportunity for Lilies to visit the beautiful Ngong Hills Wind Farm with the AltGen team and she was fortunate enough to be able to meet Kennedy Kamoni, David Magut, and David Waini to discuss their roles and activities as technicians. (see picture below).

Rwanda’s Africa-Shaped Solar Plant

Clementine Ushizimpumu and Devotha Nshimiyimana had the chance to visit Rwanda’s eye-catching 8.5 MW solar power facility. With a lush green field stacked with 28,360 panels, Rwanda’s Africa-shaped solar farm has a significant role to play as one of the first major solar facilities in East Africa. The site visit, which was facilitated by Scatec Solar, was a visual illustration of the benefits that this project has bestowed on the country, both economically and politically. The plant, which was constructed in 2014 in just 6 months, has brought power to over 15000 homes and private households are not the only ones benefiting from the project. The farm is situated on a leased land from Agahozo Shalom Youth Village, just 60km from Rwanda’s capital, Kigali.

Green Mini Grid (GMG) Facility Provides Power to Rural Kenya.

The Green Mini-Grid (GMG) Facility in Kenya provides technical assistance, output-based connection grants, and investment grants to mini-grid developers providing renewable energy to off-grid communities in Kenya. This facility is part of the GMG Africa Program which aims to transform the Green Mini-Grid sector in Africa into a thriving industry to deliver the IEA’s estimate that over 40% of universal access to electricity by 2030 will be most economically delivered by mini-grids. Read more about this by clicking here.

AltGen Kenya was appointed by AFD (Agence Française de Développement) to provide Supervisory Consulting services for the £26 million Green Mini-Grid Program as funded by the Department of International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom. After the program is completed and all funds are disbursed, the aim is to have 10 – 15 Green Mini-Grid projects fully funded, which would provide five hundred thousand Kenyans with access to reliable and sustainable ‘green’ electricity

The footage in the video below showcases the GMG’s field visit to Powerhive in January this year and it highlights the remarkable benefits of their facility to the local Kenyan community.

The GMG distributed this video stating the following: “The Green Mini-Grid (GMG) Facility Kenya is grateful to the Powerhive families of Kisii and Nyamira Counties in Western Kenya for their participation in demonstrating the value of electrification to their community…We are looking for additional mini-grid developers and projects in Kenya. Check out for the announcement of the next call for proposals in the coming months”.

We look forward to seeing more of these life-changing projects within the renewable energy sector!

SAWEP Engages on Skills Development in Wind Energy

After a very successful workshop held in Pretoria on 17 Jan 2018, and subsequent meetings, the SAWEP program is moving ahead with identifying training and skills needs in wind energy, with a few interventions being shortlisted as possible program beneficiaries, namely:

  • Technical training and support to semi-skilled and locally located beneficiaries, especially in the context of Bid Window Round 4 (BWR4)
  • SED: Support for living costs and internship support
  • ED: Supplier development and SMME support in BWR4 communities
  • And Support and training for Trusts / Trustees

The final report to the program is due in March of 2018, and we look forward to rolling out this program in partnership with SANEDI, the Department of Energy and the UNDP.