4 Quick Improvements to Show You’re Charitable on Your CV
Looking for a new job is one of the hardest things to do; putting time and effort into your CV and covering letter, only to get radio silence from recruiters and companies or a rejection at a last stage interview is harrowing.
You need to be very good at selling yourself and illustrating why you’re the ideal candidate and better than the next person. But don’t think that soft skills, being charitable or having the right set of emotions for a job are not valuable—because they are.
Ready to show off all those amazingly altruistic characteristics that make you perfect for a charity role? Here are four quick edits you can make to your charity CV so you’ll stand out from the crowd.
1. Swap out education for experience and volunteering
Unless you’re applying for an entry-level job, experience, related closely to the job, is more important that anything—even education.
Of course, you need to show you’re academically prepared for a job. But the more experience and volunteering efforts you rack up the less important education on a CV becomes.
It should go without saying that those weekend jobs you had in your teens can be scrapped altogether. Be ruthless when chopping information for your CV—these simple changes can do wonders for proving you’re the right candidate.
Whether you have experience within the charity sector or not, volunteering is something anybody can do. Choosing to do good in your free time says a lot about you as a person and many companies look favourably to those who contribute positively to their surroundings.
A study by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations found people volunteer for a range of reasons, both for their wellbeing and career benefits. Listed benefits include to gain confidence, to feel happier and make friends along with acquiring new skills and improving their career prospects. So, whether you do it for new job or not, the benefits of volunteering are clear.
2. Be proud of your life experience
Working within the charity sector has its own set of ups and downs. You might be required to work long hours, deal with sensitive topics and vulnerable people. You also might not realise that anything that happens in your life personally impacts how equipped you are to deal with a certain situation.
If you’ve looked after a sick family member, you’re likely to have more empathy towards others. Or perhaps you studied abroad to learn a new language and can identify with feeling lonely and disconnected.
Don’t shy away from any challenges you might have faced. Good and bad happen to everyone. Show your new employer how you’ve dealt with a difficult situation, whether personally or professionally.
3. Quantify everything
One quick way to show how charitable you are, is to quantify your experience. Whether personally or professionally, it’s important to illustrate how your volunteering efforts have made a difference. It’s essential to show a potential employer that you’re not only charitable but that you understand how to measure and track performance, ensuring your efforts are focused on what can be achieved within a certain amount of time.
It’s all very well volunteering all of your time but it’s even more valuable to show that you’re able to get results, ensuring time well spent. Specific examples might include clever ways of using social media to drum up support for a local event or targeting groups on Facebook to try to get fundraising increased. Did you utilise partnerships to get flyers printed for cost price or manage to get supermarkets to donate dog food to a shelter? Show any big impact projects you were involved in.
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4. Showcase the right emotions
If you’re applying to a role that includes looking after a team of people then part of your duties will be to motivate your team, instill respect and help build up their confidence and career aspirations. You’ll also have to show how you’ve been empathetic towards colleagues and any steps you’ve taken to help harbour a happy work environment.
Charities are big on flexible working, so it’s important to prove that you can manage workload, tasks and tight deadlines while ensuring you can work around different hours.
Don’t be scared to show emotion within your CV and the real differences you’ve managed to make by being easily approachable, kind to colleagues and on-hand to assist with anything.
There are many small edits you can make to your CV. Read, re-read and re-read again. Let’s others have a look and take all comments as constructive feedback in improving your CV until it is precise and aimed directly at the job you’re after.
Need a bit of help getting started? Download one of our free charity CV and cover letter templates today.