How to Write a Resume for a Non Profit Agency
Non-profit employment can be a competitive and rewarding goal. Many people commit their lives to providing a non-profit agency with volunteers, funding and purpose. However, despite the fact that non-profit jobs can be lower paying and require tireless commitment, they are highly coveted. Non-profit agencies often rely on fewer paid staff, so they hire people who embody their organization's core values and who have all the necessary qualifications. To find a job in this competitive market, make sure that each resume is tailor made for the non-profit agency. Find out how to write a resume for a non-profit agency.
Non-Profit Job Research
Review the job posting.Spend a half an hour reading the job posting and underlining all of the qualifications you need to address in your resume. Highlight keywords and action verbs that are frequently used so that you can incorporate them into your resume.
Research the non-profit.After you have reviewed the job posting, you should delve deeper into the mission and goals of the agency. Read their website, blogs, press releases and take notes next to the job posting.
- Save this research. It will be valuable to you if you interview with the agency.
Non-Profit Resume Formatting
Consider placing a summary at the top of your resume.This 3 to 4 sentence paragraph is your elevator pitch, your chance to summarize your experience, passion and success. A well written summary can distinguish your resume, if there is heavy competition for the job.
- An example of an executive summary would be, "Results-driven non-profit communications manager with 9 years of experience writing press releases, planning conferences and leading summer educational programs. Passionate about helping low-income families to bridge educational gaps caused by lack of financial support. Expertise in improving team performance, obtaining funding and improving press coverage. Proven leader who can develop volunteer bases and foster enduring community support."
Format your resume according to modern conventions.Choose a common font, such as Times New Roman or Sans Serif, and don't use a size under 11-point font. Try to fit your resume on 1 page, or 2 if you cannot condense your experience and education into a 1-page resume.
Choose an experience-based resume format.You can choose either a functional resume, that provides experience based on skills, or a chronological resume, that shows a chronological list of all your non-profit jobs.
- Choose a functional resume if you have worked in and out of the non-profit sector. You may also choose this format if the job description asks for a lot of diverse skills, such as grant-writing, donor development, management, communications, public speaking and more. Separate the resume into sections for each skill and list specific experience and accomplishments you have gained, followed by the job titled and agency name.
- Choose a chronological format if you have many years of experience in the non-profit sector. With an impressive list of your past jobs, you can detail the skills you have gained underneath each job title. Include the agency and dates of each job.
- If you have just graduated from college and you want to break into the non-profit sector, you may want to choose a functional format. Non-profits often value both formal and non-formal experience, so include volunteering, event planning and any skills gained with an organization under the skill sections. With both formats you can list your education in a short section at the end.
Non-Profit Resume Content
Focus on your accomplishments.Many job seekers focus on skills and ignore their achievements. If possible, quantify the funding, increase in membership, donor involvement, community impact and more.
- Revise your chronological or functional descriptions to include any time you were singled out for your success, given a promotion or even given more responsibility.
Use action verbs.Make sure each bulleted skill or accomplishment leads with an action verb, so revise each section of your resume to include the verbs with the most meaning. Action verbs qualify your experience in a positive, results-oriented way.
- Consider using these verbs, if they apply to your experience: initiated, created, developed, organized, coordinated, inspired, established, planned, standardized, collaborated, negotiated, raised, volunteered, evaluated, optimized, solved, tested, built, invented, decreased, enhanced, increased and maximized.
Add important keywords.Return to your organization and job description research. Insert stressed or frequently used words into your resume in appropriate places, such as descriptions of your skills, experience, education or accomplishments.
Include a volunteer section.Many non-profits rely heavily on volunteer workers, so they value this experience more than other sectors. Include any board or committee positions, responsibilities and programs you may have started.
- If you are just graduating from college, and you don't have much volunteer experience, then you should apply for volunteer positions or internships. This is a wonderful way to gain the necessary skills to be a standout applicant for a non-profit job. When you volunteer, ask to take on more responsibility.
Place an education component on the bottom of your resume.The more experience you have, the shorter this section can be. Highlight your majors, GPA and any volunteer or organizational accomplishments you gained.
Attach a list of references from non-profit agencies.Include people who are able to attest to your value to an organization. Choose non-profit leaders over for-profit leaders, although managers from any company should be able to provide this kind of analysis.
Proofread your resume very closely.After you have settled on a good draft, also ask professional friends and family members to inspect the resume and suggest changes. Keep your final draft in both electronic format, rich text, word or portable document format (PDF), and paper copies.
- Remember that the cover letter is also important. Spend plenty of time writing about how your for-profit and non-profit experience makes you an excellent fit. Use the 1 page typed letter to give a more in-depth description about your accomplishments and skills gained from previous jobs and experiences.
- Submit your resume in a timely manner. Many non-profits will set dates by which a resume must be received. Follow up on your resume, but respect any requests to avoid calling or dropping by the agency's office.
Video: How to Write a Good Resume
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