A helpful guide to resume writing
With competition for non profit jobs being as strong as ever it is vital that you make a great first impression with your CV. Here are Charity Careers Canada’s top ten tips:
Use a strong, clear, professional font. Do NOT use Times New Roman, it is the default font for Microsoft products and is much overused.
2. Work History
Start with your present or most recent employment and work backwards. Make sure you put all months and years and expand on the most relevant positions. Make sure there are no gaps. If you have been out of work for any reason, for example, travelling, then say so.
Length – it should be no more than 2 pages unless you are advanced in your career, and only then in exceptional cases.
4. Write a new resume for each job
The Job Description and Person Specification are where the charity tells you exactly what skills and experience they are looking for. You should ensure that your resume demonstrates that you have exactly these skills and experiences, so be sure to include information about your ability to match each of the areas that they have highlighted as “Essential”. If there are any areas where you don’t have what they are looking for, try to show them that you have transferrable skills, or the capacity to learn these new skills.
5. Be yourself
Write in the first person not the third… “I am”… rather than; “Richard is”.
6. Give them figures
If you have managed staff, say how many. If you have raised funds, tell them how much.
7. Show commitment
If you are looking for your first non profit role, it is vital you show empathy for the aims of the organization you are applying to together with a demonstrable passion and commitment for working in this environment. Any volunteering experience will be warmly welcomed.
8. Avoid Jargon
One mistake people trying to transfer from another sector to the non profit world make is to fill their resume with language from their current career. A recruiter reading this will start to wonder if they are able to change sectors.
9. Get someone else to proof read it
It goes without saying that your resume should be free of mistakes, but we all know how hard it is to proof your own writing. Show it to a friend and invite them to nitpick!
10. Get a professional to help
If you are not getting the interviews you should then perhaps it’s time to get some expert advice. When you think of how important a resume is in terms of your future career prospects perhaps it’s not surprising that more and more job seekers are turning to professional resume writers for help.