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How to Write a Resume for Non-Profits

Jan 20, 2008
In most instances, applying for a non-profit job is similar to the application process for positions in the non-profit sector. That is to say that both types of positions require the same core qualifications. This includes: related professional experience, academic degrees, and availability to relocate or to travel to name a few.

However, there are a few areas of expertise that are unique to non-profit. By showcasing your past work history in regards to these areas, you will be substantially enhancing your candidacy and stand out compared to similar candidates applying for the same job.

1. Grant Writing. Securing funds through grants is one of the paramount duties of a non-profit concern. Although most directors will want someone already skilled in this endeavor, if you have a graduate degree in English, and have researched successful grant proposals, you may want to create some sample grant proposals which you can submit with your resume. By doing this, you may be considered for a support role within the organization.

2. Fund Raising. An equally important aspect of the non-profit sector. Here, people skills and networking are at a premium. If you are articulate, self-composed, and easily interact with people, mention those skills in your resume and then support those claims with details from your employment history even if it is not from a related fund-raising endeavor.

For example, if you have been an outstanding sales representative and have won numerous awards, your past performance will enhance your candidacy.

Also, if you have volunteered for community events or have assisted political candidates to reach their goals, showcase this information in the opening summary of your resume.

3. Knowledge of 501(c)(3) accounting practices. 501(c)(3) refers to the tax-exempt status for non-profit organizations. Accountants or bookkeepers who are knowledgeable of this are sought out by the non-profit sector.

However, even if you do not have experience in these accounting practices, by familiarizing yourself with the requirements or by taking related courses in the subject, you will be advancing your candidacy over others without similar knowledge.

In addition to following the above guidelines, it is also wise to thoroughly research the organizations website to determine their non-profit culture. Are they conservative? Or are they on the cutting edge and considered hip? Knowing, in advance, the way the organization is structured and the types of individuals that operate it will provide key information for the format and structure of your resume, so that it is effective and gets noticed.
About the Author
Michael Fleischner is the Managing Director of ResumeEdge, the leading provider of Resume Writing Services and Cover Letters. ResumeEdge is the official resume partner of Yahoo! HotJobs and the Wall Street Journal. For Resume Samples, visit our site.
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