CV Writing Tips: How to bring your charity CV to life
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Are you trying to change jobs within the charity sector, or even trying to break into it? It’s a sector with a great deal of competition so you’ll really need to really stand out to clinch that job. You can start by showing off your skills with your CV, so whether you want to update the CV you have or write a totally new one, use these tips to get the best out of it.
Before you write anything, take a look at the job and charity you want to apply to. Every charity is different, and they all various things from you in order to run smoothly. Look into their core values and culture and see where you can fit into them. You may even want to volunteer with a charity for some time before applying for a role to get a real feel for what they do. HR manager Kevin Styles says ‘It reflects well on any potential employee if they’ve shown that they’ve really dug deep into what makes a charity tick.’
Once a CV has been written, it needs to be proofread (this is a step you can’t afford to skip). Recruiters see thousands of CVs every day and the last thing you want to do is be remember for all of the wrong reasons. HR manager Timothy Rogers says, ‘If they see a CV with any kind of error, they’ll bin it right away.’ To them, if you haven’t paid attention to the details in your CV, can they trust you to do it in the role they’re advertising?
To help you proofread, try using online grammar guides to spot where you’re making mistakes in your writing. You can also use an online tool like Grammarly that will highlight your mistakes and teach you the correct way of writing.
Read over the job description that’s on offer. Recruiters aren’t just looking for the skills that you’ve already mastered – they want to know that you have the skills to truly carry out the role they’re hiring for. You could be the best fundraiser in the world but you have to prove why you’re the perfect fit for their charity. Ask yourself, what have you achieved in the past that has helped your organisation? And how can this be translated into a fact that s beneficial for the recruiter.
Pick the skills you have that match most closely with what they’re asking for. Recruiters will see that you’ve paid attention to their needs and are much more likely to pick you for an interview.
Professional resume writer Paul Glynn says “Each CV needs to be unique to the role you’re applying for. That’s because each role is different, so a boilerplate CV sent out to everyone won’t do. Instead, tailor each CV to the role you’re applying for. If you create a template and change details, it’s not very difficult to do.”
Do you rely too much on certain words? There may be certain words or phrases that are used in your industry but that doesn’t mean that they have to be sprawled all over your CV too. Once you’ve written your CV, try using a word cloud program online to catch any words that you’ve overused and find a suitable replacement for them. Professional resume writer Yvonne Bates says ‘They’re great for giving you a clear view of what words you’re using all the time. If they’re buzzwords or otherwise not useful to the recruiter, edit the CV and cut them out.’
‘If you’ve worked in a previous field, remember that you’ll have to explain what your company did to new recruiters’ says HR manager Fiona Davies. It’s your job to make your past experience relevant to the role that you’re applying to now. Don’t leave recruiters guessing how or why your last two roles are relevant to the job – make it explicitly clear from the beginning and leave a lasting impression.
Keep these tips in mind and you’ll soon find that you’re receiving more invitations to interview.
Have we missed anything? Share your top CV tips with us by commenting below!