Volunteering is essential for entering into the non-profit industry.
Organizing and participating in volunteer activities is vital for gaining your first charity job, which is convenient for people who have already signed up to volunteer. “You must distinguish yourself from the herd. This includes making time to volunteer with a charity or community-based organisation,” adds Ola Fajobi, Christian Aid’s worldwide head of human resources.
Volunteering, according to Henrietta Blyth, people director for Tearfund, can even surpass postgraduate qualifications. “Having relevant experience and abilities is more significant than having a long list of qualifications. Choose a few charities that interest you and write to the appropriate person of staff to ask if you can shadow them for a few days. If they say yes, you have an excellent opportunity to create ties in the industry.”
Working for a charity does not require you to be in London.
While it may appear that all charity employment in the UK are based in London, there are lots of opportunities available throughout the country. “Although there are fewer charities outside of London, there are also fewer candidates, so don’t regard this as a major barrier,” says Joe Marsh, Prospectus’ fundraising specialist.
Though, given to London’s large size and direct flight connections to countries where charities may run field programmes, there are probably more chances in the city. “You have to ask yourself whether you are willing to move to give yourself additional options,” Marsh continues.
Be adaptive when looking for charitable employment.
When hunting for your first employment, it is critical to be adaptable. You’re unlikely to obtain your dream job right away, so exhibiting adaptability will help you stand out. “There is much to be said for applicants who are multi-skilled or have a variety of specialties. “You can market yourself as dynamic, adaptive, and an asset to any number of departments,” says Glen Manners, TPP recruitment charity business manager.
Persist in obtaining your first charitable position.
According to Andrew Hyland, recruitment manager at Macmillan Cancer Support, “the voluntary sector is competitive, therefore part of breaking into an organisation is simply keeping going.”
Showing recruiters your passion is part of what makes candidates successful. “The idea is to flesh out your reasons for wanting to work for a charity with examples of how you relate to them. Quote an article, a statistic, or something from their website – anything to demonstrate that you’ve gone above and beyond can help you stand out,” Manners adds.
Make up your own third-sector employment.
Carla Miller, executive director of Charity People, suggests that one option for landing your first charity job or getting promoted is to establish your own role. Look for gaps in your charity that are related to your expertise and offer to fill them. “That way, I was able to build my own new employment at a couple other charities,” Miller says. If you want to advance in your career, “sit down with your manager and discuss how you need to improve in order to operate at a higher level – then work toward it.”
Make your job applications precise, targeted, and succinct.
When applying for jobs in the third sector, how you write your cover letter can make or break your chances. “You must ensure that you address the primary areas that a charity is looking for in your letter, and that you do it in a brief and well-written manner,” says Pasca Lane, Scope’s head of public relations.
“When you apply, make sure your cover letter covers all of the talents and personal abilities indicated in the job description,” says Hyland.
Similarly, it is critical to ensure that your CV is concise so that recruiters can easily recognise your skills. According to Sandra Smith, senior consultant at Charisma Charity Recruitment, “CVs should be written out properly with abilities and achievements at the beginning of the document.” “Voluntary work is crucial and should be listed on CVs as an additional skill set. This will demonstrate your enthusiasm for the charity’s work.”