If you’re ready to leave the corporate world behind and look for a job with a non-profit, you may think it’s a great shift. But the needs of a non-profit are very different from that corporate job you’ve been working. Before you send out your resume, there are a few roadblocks that may keep you from getting hired.
Here’s what you need to consider before applying for a non-profit job:
Thinking the Job Will Be Easy
Maybe one of the reasons you want to leave the corporate world is because you’re feeling overworked and underappreciated. While the non-profit world will probably appreciate you more, you don’t know the meaning of overworked yet.
Most people take a job with a non-profit because they’re passionate about the cause. This usually translates to working as much and as often as they possibly can to support their non-profit organization. Weekends and 12-15-hour days are pretty normal.
If you’re applying for a non-profit position without ever volunteering your time, hiring managers are going to question your commitment to the organization’s mission.
If you say you care deeply about an issue but you don’t have any volunteer experience, that’s a red flag. If you truly care about the mission, volunteer first and prove you’re committed to their mission.
Assume It’s Not a “Real” Business
While non-profits are deeply committed to their cause, they also want to hire people who can manage their staff and volunteers, cut costs, and raise money. If they’re going to spend the money to hire someone, they want someone with management and financial skills.
Thinking Too Highly of Your Skills and Experience
You may think that because you earned your skills in the corporate world that they are superior to the skills you would’ve earned in the non-profit world. Most people who work for non-profits are professionals who have worked their way up and have strong experience.
While it’s important to be confident about your skills during your interview, it’s also important that you not underestimate the skills of the other people already working at the non-profit.
Being Seen as a Stand-Out
In the corporate world, your successes are usually your own. But in the non-profit world, successes are about the team. It’s important to be seen as a team player in your interview, otherwise, you can kiss that non-profit job good-bye.
Highlight your experiences with people you worked with in the past and share successes that the whole team enjoyed.
Non Profit Tips
To ensure a successful interview for a non-profit position take these tips to heart:
- Use a chronological resume to highlight your job growth from one position to the next.
- Customize your resume to the position you’re applying for instead of submitting a generic resume.
- Show that you understand and connect with the non-profit’s mission by doing some research on them before going to your interview.
- Share how you have the ability to work with others to resolve a problem and find a solution.
- Show that you care about their mission by volunteering for their group or another similar group before submitting your resume.
Working in the non-profit world is not for the person who wants a Monday-Friday, 9-5 job. It requires a lot of hard work and commitment. Know what you’re signing up for before wasting both your time and that of the interviewer.
If working for a non-profit still sounds like a good fit for you, consider working with me, your Career Coach, Rachel Schneider, at Career Find. We can schedule a meeting to create a resume that will differentiate you from other non-profit job seekers and develop a job search strategy to help you feel confident as you meet with various non-profits.