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Looking for a Nonprofit Job? 4 Tips Hiring Managers Want You to Know

Posted: 04/29/2013 4:28 pm

Is the nonprofit sector stable or stagnant? And how does this affect job seekers?

For the third straight year, we reached out to the nonprofit organizations in the Idealist community and asked them about their funding situations, recruitment plans, and compensation projections. You can see the entire report here, which also includes data breakdowns of organizations in different cities and fields. In the meantime, here are tips nonprofit job seekers should keep in mind, straight from hiring managers in the report.

  • Follow the directions. Within the recruitment cycle, organizations overwhelmingly report that the attracting the right pool of candidates and getting them to follow instructions is the toughest challenge of the process. We know from last year's survey that for many hiring managers, they hold multiple roles in their organizations so their time is a bit limited. Following directions makes it easier for them to review your cover letter and resume.
  • Think beyond salary. We know that working in the nonprofit sector might not yield a bounty or anything close to a $400,000 salary. Nonprofits are aware of this as well and try to compensate by offering insurance, flextime, and other benefits. In fact, 40 percent think flextime is one of their most attractive benefits. So keep these things in mind when looking for your next opportunity.
  • Consider fundraising. It's tough to write about this one because we know that half of fundraisers want to leave the field. This is a demanding role and we totally understand how hard it can be retain talent in this profession. However, fundraising professionals continue to be some of the most sought after candidates as well as the most challenging positions to fill. Increase your chances of landing a gig in the sector by seeking opportunities where you can build these skills.
  • Experience still matters. 76 percent of respondents said nonprofit experience (working, volunteering, or interning) is important. So, if you are looking to switch from the for-profit sector, spend some time volunteering to gain nonprofit experience. Also, when applying be sure to explain in your cover letter why you are making the switch and how your skills will benefit the organization.
  • Questions? Want more interesting stats? Check out the report.

     

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