Quick wins to boost your search for a career in the charity sector
July 24, 2018
If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve been trying to enhance your career in the charity sector for some time and need some inspiration. Well, standing out from the competition is difficult because the industry is so competitive these days. To be noticed, you have to know how to present yourself as a must-have employee.
So here are a few tips to help you do just that…
Update your CV and LinkedIn profile
You should constantly update online information about you and your experience to be ready when a great opportunity comes up. There are multiple ways in which potential employers may find you, so let’s consider both your CV and your LinkedIn profile.
Tips to Improve Your CV
Make sure you start by tailoring your CV to a specific position and organisation.
Each non-profit organisation is unique and looking for people who can fit into their culture. This means that you should research each position you want to apply for and review each organisation’s mission and values before sending them your resume.
Highlight your work
Experience is undoubtedly the most important thing that potential employers look at in CVs. To make yours stand out from the pack, update the “experience” section. Begin with the most impressive jobs and include statistics to demonstrate your skills such as “helped to increase fundraising revenue from x to y.”
Also, emphasize your ability to perform multiple roles. Many non-profit organisations are looking for people with diverse skills because of the sheer volume of work they have to deal with.
Non-profits are non-profits, so they want to hear from people who well, sound like real down to earth people, not machines. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t write something that sounds like a professional essay because simple, natural language will do just fine.
Tips to Improve your LinkedIn Profile
Fill out as many sections as you can to provide recruiters with a complete picture of your experience and career aspirations. The profile will serve as an online CV, so place the link to it in your traditional CV. Who knows, maybe some recruiters will find it easier to connect with you there.
Be Active on Social Media
Charity organisations, recruiters, CEOs, and other people involved in the industry typically use social media. So, using it yourself is an opportunity to connect with them and get yourself noticed.
Here’s what you should do:
Share great industry-related content. News, opinion articles, and sites of organizations – everything related to the charity sector will do. However, don’t share too much content on a daily basis or people may just think you’re flooding their timeline with spam.
Connect with people. For example, go to LinkedIn, type the name of the organization you want to work for and see the list of employees. Select their page in the search results and then click on “See all x employees on LinkedIn” link located on the right side from their logo (shown on the image from Sightsavers LinkedIn page below). There, you’ll see people who can potentially help you to get a job there.
Take a Training Course
To boost your career, you need as many skills and competencies as you can master. They would be a great addition to your skill set and CV, therefore they will improve your position in the market. The list of the most common and widely used skills in the charity sector includes fundraising, management, finance, social care, governance, training, promotion, and others.
You can take a look at our selection of courses designed specifically to improve your skill set to advance your career in the charity sector.
Get Your Interview Answers Right
If you’re on the hunt for better career opportunities now, it’s safe to say that sooner or later you’ll be going to an interview. To make sure that your answers are great, here’s what you should say when asked these most common charity sector questions.
Question: why do you want to work with us?
How to answer: avoid generic answers like “it’s a great opportunity for me” and “your organisation offers many opportunities for development.” It’s better to think about it and give a more meaningful answer. For example, maybe the reason you want to work there is your passion to help great people to help those in need? Or maybe you want to find out how you can bring a different perspective to the organization.
Question: why do you think you’re the right fit for this role?
How to answer: think of two or three specific examples of situations where you were a person who made the difference in the lives of others.
Question: How do you assess your decision-making skills?
How to answer: if you have some experience in decision making, don’t forget to describe why you think it’s important to delegate and involve other people in the process.
The charity sector is highly competitive these days, so getting a really good position requires you to use a research-driven, comprehensive approach as well as a bit of perseverance. Hope these tips are helpful to boost your career and feel free to let us know which ones worked the best!