Thursday, December 22, 2011

Jobless Claims Fall As Job Market Gains Momentum

The job maket continues to gain momentum as we inch closer to 2012, with Reuters reporting that jobless claims have hit a 3 1/2 year low.

The Labor Department said the number of Americans who have filed for unemployment benefits dropped 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 364,000, the lowest number since April 2008.  This comes on the heels of a report last week that claims had fell to 366,000, the lowest since May 2008.  It's certainly great to see the economy gaining momentum as the New Year approaches.

The question now is whether this trend of good news will continue when we hit 2012.  Fighting in Washington over a payroll tax cut and extension of unemployment benefits loom large, and job market prospects will likely hinge on the outcome of those battles.  In the mean time, enjoy the good news and keep up the job search!  Here's a new featured job we posted today to help out:

  • Director for Development (FEATURED JOB): Serve as the Chief Development Officer (CDO) leading the college’s fundraising efforts. The Director will be responsible for generating new revenue, achieving annual fundraising goals, and developing relationships and partnerships with internal and external constituencies. In addition, s/he will be responsible for overseeing and directing the College's Foundation, and will work collaboratively with the Foundation’s Board to strategize and orchestrate methods of approach in the development of corporate, employee, private, and other charitable giving.

Fighting Career Roadblocks

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to discover that the job search is a tough road to travel.  You don't have to get very far into your search before you encounter some serious career roadblocks.  Some of these are out of your control; a lack of jobs available at your level of expertise, for example.  But there are other roadblocks that you can conquer with the proper preparation.  The key is to identify the obstacles before you reach them.

Here are some of the common roadblocks you will encounter:
  • Planning.  Too many job seekers don't have a good idea of what their goals are before they start their search.  It's one thing to know what kind of job you want.  It's a totally different story to know how you want to go about getting it.
  • Skills.  It's not enough to have only one or two career skills in this job market.  Start your job hunt by finding some avenues for continued professional development.  This could be through continuing education courses or, if money is an issue, volunteering to gain experience.
  • Networks.  Finding the right career network contacts can prove difficult.  The thing to remember is quality over quantity.  It's better to have only a handful of reliable contacts than countless references who don't help you.
  • Money.  You might come to a point where you have to choose between a job that pays you more but doesn't completely satisfy your needs, and one that pays less but is more in line with what you want to do.  It's easy to say to pick the job that makes you most happy, but this can be difficult depending on your situation.  Make a conscious effort to decide what is most important to you before you get to this point.
  • Paralysis by analysis.  It's easy to over think when looking for work.  You don't need to completely overhaul your efforts if your first few job applications are not successful.  You should only think about what might be holding you back if you are consistently unsuccessful over a long period (say, a month).

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

COPD Foundation Jobs

We just posted a number of jobs from the COPD Foundation, located in Washington, DC.  Here's one of them, plus a couple of other listings:

  • Campaign Director: The Campaign Director will be in charge of the COPD Foundation's Drive4COPD Campaign.  The chosen applicant will work with NASCAR, the Country Music Association, and many others to promote the work of the COPD Foundation during this multi-year national branding and awareness campaign.  Will be responsible for directing staff, partners, and consultants to organize events and programs to tie in new and existing Foundation efforts, that increase COPD awareness, health screening and Foundation support. Report directly to Executive Director in new DC office space (Metro-access Union Station location). Expected salary range $100k+, commensurate with experience.
  • President & CEO (FEATURED JOB): The Bridge Street Development Corporation is looking for a new President & CEO.  Responsibilities include: Working with the Board of Directors, Senior Staff, and community stakeholders to fund programs and partnerships that build community strengths; promoting the organization's values and vision; leading senior team to develop strategic plans.
  • Area Director of Development: With the Area Director of Health Initiatives, and in consultation with peers in Communications and Government Relations and Advocacy and the office Administrative Specialist, manage the operations of office location(s), including direct or indirect supervision of support staff and oversight of the facility, as well as direct supervision of Community Executives, Development. As a team, effectively represent the Society and its mission in the community. Hire, train, and manage location Community Executives, Development to ensure the achievement of fundraising goals. Supervisory responsibilities include recruitment and hiring, orienting and training of new staff members in their roles, goal-setting and performance management utilizing the Society’s Performance Management Process and including employee development planning, and employee relations and dispute resolution (with assistance from Division Human Resources staff as appropriate).

Leaving An Effective Phone Message

Even with all the different ways to contact employers, the telephone is still one of the most effective methods available.  Nothing can replace the certainty that comes with hearing the inflection of a person's voice.  It helps eliminate those "What do they mean by that?" questions.  But what happens if nobody picks up the phone?

Leaving a phone message for an employer remains one of the most difficult things for a job seeker.  It's all too easy to stumble on your words or go off on long tangents.  The key to a successful voicemail is to leave it short and sweet.  Recruiters are very busy people, and they don't have the time or patience to listen to long-winded messages.  Here are the only things you need to include in a voicemail:
  • Your name (twice-once at the beginning and once at the end).
  • Your phone number (repeated twice at the end, slowly).
  • A reminder of your previous interaction with the individual.
  • A reiteration of your interest in the job.
  • A pleasant closing.
You also need to make sure to keep an upbeat tone throughout the message.  Practice it beforehand to make sure you don't drift into a monotone.  Trust me, there's no better way to bore a listener then sounding bored yourself.  When the recruiter comes back to your name as a possible candidate, you want them to remember you in a positive light.

Have any other tips for a great voicemail?  Let us know in the comments section.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Nonprofit Jobs Of The Day

Here are today's top nonprofit jobs:

  • Area Director of Development: With the Area Director of Health Initiatives, and in consultation with peers in Communications and Government Relations and Advocacy and the office Administrative Specialist, manage the operations of office location(s), including direct or indirect supervision of support staff and oversight of the facility, as well as direct supervision of Community Executives, Development. As a team, effectively represent the Society and its mission in the community. Hire, train, and manage location Community Executives, Development to ensure the achievement of fundraising goals.
  • Managing Director: The Managing Director of The Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Greensburg is responsible to direct, manage, and oversee major gifts, planned giving, capital campaigns, endowment development programs, and supervise the areas of the Diocesan Lenten Appeal and stewardship education. The Managing Director is a member of the Bishop’s Cabinet, and supervises the staff of The Catholic Foundation.
  • President & CEO: Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia, Inc. (HOME), a 40-year old nonprofit advocacy organization serving the Commonwealth of Virginia, seeks a talented President & CEO. With central offices in Richmond, HOME works closely with local and state governments, citizens, corporate and philanthropic partners to make America’s promise of equal treatment in housing a reality, ensuring that every person has the opportunity to live in the housing and neighborhood of their choice.

Accepting A Job Offer: What Now?

You've finally done it: You got a job offer from the nonprofit you always wanted to work for, and you'll be starting any day now.  Surely all your work is over, right?  Wrong.

Once you've accepted a job offer from an organization, you have a couple of more things you need to do.  First off, you should send a thank-you letter to the organization.  The next step to take will be to inform other nonprofits that were considering you that you have accepted a job elsewhere.  But is there any scenario that exists where you don't have to let them know?

Depending on how far along you were in the process you were with an organization, it isn't totally necessary to let them know you have taken another job.  If you haven't yet been chosen as a finalist in the interview process, there is no need to contact them after you've accepted another job.  Once you get beyond that point, you must let them know.  You have to leave a positive impression so that you have a potential landing spot should your new job not work out.  Here are some other things to keep in mind when letting an employer know your taking another job:

  • You don't need to share why you are accepting the job offer.  Simply tell them you have made your final decision, thank them for their consideration, and ask them to withdraw you from the interview process.
  • Even though your decision is firm, let the employer know you look forward to possibly doing business with them at some point in the future.  Say something like this: "Your company is top notch and I do hope that our paths will cross sometime in the future."
  • Don't get involved in a bidding war.  This will leave both organizations feeling manipulated.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Just In Time For The Holidays: Featured Nonprofit Jobs!

We have an early Christmas present for all of you job seekers out there: Two new featured nonprofit jobs!  Both of them are high level executive jobs at very well known organizations.  Let's start with the first one, shall we?
  • Director of Business and Operations (FEATURED JOB): The Salvation Army of Salem Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center of Salem, OR is looking for a director of business operations.  This individual will lead the overall operations of the center and will play a central role in improving the quality of life of members.  He/she will lead the management team in development and execution of programs, rentals, operations, and marketing.  The chosen candidate must understand facility and plant management, have high standards of professionalism, and should be comfortable working in a Christian work environment.
  • Chief Executive Officer (FEATURED JOB): The YWCA of the City of New York is seeking a new Chief Executive Officer to lead the organization.  The CEO will provide strategic leadership for the organization, improve and extend popular programs, and ensure the organization's fiscal viability and growth.  Ideal candidate will have proven success leading a nonprofit organization, the ability to work efficiently with other people (especially with a volunteer board of directors), and an established record of fundraising success.
  • Senior Director of Development for Colleges and Programs: Live in the Delaware area?  The University of Delaware is looking for a highly motivated individual to be their next Senior Director of Development for Colleges and Programs.  This position is responsible for managing fundraising activity, especially major gifts.  This activity includes identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of major gift donors.  The chosen candidate will report to the Associate Vice President of University Development.  Must have a strong background in fundraising.

Personal Branding Techniques

Here's a question for the job seekers: How strong is your personal brand?

Personal Branding is a description of the process that job hunters go through to brand themselves and their careers.  If an employer reads your resume and immediately associates your name with a set of career skills, you will have accomplished your goal.  To get the most out of your branding efforts, you are going to have to make extensive use of social media.  Here are some techniques to help you increase your virtual visibility:

  • Tweet, Tweet, Tweet: Twitter is going to be your best friend during your branding efforts.  The ability to send out quick, and to-the-point messages to your followers will help solidify your expertise.  You can also use it to link to any articles or blogs you have written.  Make sure to use sites like to track how many clicks you get.
  • Write Articles: There are a lot of article writing sites out there, so take advantage of them.  These sites can help improve your visibility on search engines.  This will be a great help if employers Google your name during the screening process.  You should also consider starting a blog in addition to writing articles.
  • Track Your Efforts: The Internet contains plenty of tools to help track your efforts.  I already mentioned as way to see how many people are clicking your links, but you can also use programs like TweetBeep to track who is mentioning you on Twitter.   You should also sign up for Google Alerts for your name.  Google Alerts send you e-mails when your name shows up in search engines.  It's a great way to see what people are saying about you.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Writing A Great Nonprofit Job Description

Cross-Posted From The NonProfit Times Blog

Is your nonprofit interested in posting a job with our online career center?  Great!  But before you get started, you must know how to write a nonprofit job description that will attract potential candidates.

Some employers make the mistake of believing that describing a job is as simple as saying what the position entails.  That's part of the equation, but the best job descriptions offer a lot more than that.  If you are going to attract the top job seekers, you are going to have to get way more in-depth about your job.  Before you start writing, gather some employees in the organization who are familiar with the position in question.  They will be able to best tell you the kinds of characteristics that an ideal candidate should possess.  The biggest mistake you can make is assuming the applicant knows the kind of personality they need to possess for the job.  Information like this should go in the "requirements" section of your job posting.

Finally, there is the issue of length.  How long is too long?  It's a hard question to answer, but it's a balance you are going to have to strike.  If you submit a job posting that is too long, you run the risk of job seekers missing important information.  Your description must be concise and easy to read.  Consider using bullet points to highlight the most important information, or bolding important words.  Whatever you do, avoid what I like to call "walls of text."  You've probably seen what I'm referring to: It's those really long paragraphs that never seem to have any breaks.  Make sure you are including paragraph breaks in your posting!

To view samples of typical nonprofit job posting, visit our job search page and see what other organizations have done.

Resume Editing Tips

There comes a point in the life of every job seeker when they need to re-write their resume.  Maybe you aren't getting sufficient responses to your job applications or maybe you just feel like it's time to change things up.  Whatever the reason, you should make sure you follow proper resume editing guidelines before you get started.

Spelling and grammar are two of the most important things to check over when re-doing your resume, but you should also pay attention to stylistic issues.  What kind of font are you using?  It should be something readable and eye-catching.  That's why sticking with your word processor's default font (usually Times New Roman) is not the best of ideas.  There's only so many times a hiring manager can see that style before the words start to blur together.  Try using a font like Arial, which is easy to read and comes out cleanly in a fax or photocopy.  Feel free to be even more creative, but avoid crazy fonts.  Apologies to fans of Comic Sans.

You should next look at the layout of your resume content.  How are you listing your job descriptions?  You should make sure they are listed with the job title first.  For example:

Director of Marketing: Generic Marketing Organization, Inc, April 2007-Present

Some variation of that style is likely to get you the most success.  Remember, it's most important that recruiters know what kind of work you did before everything else.  When writing the descriptions of each job, you should use active verbs to describe your accomplishments.  So instead of saying "Responsible for developing marketing strategies" you should say "Developed marketing strategies."  Using an active verb format makes gives the reader a stronger sense of what you achieved.

Here are some final tips:
  • If you don't have a lot of nonprofit work experience, lead with your education.
  • List your contact information in large, bold font at the top of your resume.  Don't assume the employer will get your information from your cover letter.
  • List all your skills that apply to nonprofit work.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Report: Unemployment Benefit Applications Fall

In a sign that layoffs are declining, the number of people applying for unemployment benefits fell to 366,000 according to a report in The Washington Post.  This marks the lowest it has been since May 2008. But will this good news translate into stronger hiring numbers?

There is no question that there have been some improvement in hiring, as the November Jobs Report showed, but it remains to be seen whether this latest news will bring an even greater boost to the job market.  We certainly hope that will happen in the coming weeks.  In the mean time, you can look at these recent nonprofit jobs to speed up your job search:
  • Aministrative Analyst II at East Bay Regional Park District: East Bay Regional Park District seeks candidate with knowledge of non-profit accounting activities, grant proposals, budget monitoring & administration, along with contract management to work with our Regional Parks Foundation. The candidate will routinely perform financial analysis, preparing written reports and recommendations to management. Strong analytical, writing and editing skills are desirable.
  • Service Manager at Values Into Action: A start up organization supporting people with intellectual disabilities is seeking competent and confident leaders with proven track records in providing exceptional customer service through the effective supervision of staff and the comprehensive coordination of resources designed to help people live safely and happily in their own homes and communities.
  • Fund Development Director at Prima Civitas Foundation: The Prima Civitas Foundation (PCF) based in East Lansing, Michigan seeks an experienced, highly motivated Fund Development Director to create, lead, and implement a comprehensive relationship-based funding sustainability program. A successful candidate will use innovative, nontraditional methods of increasing the organization’s financial portfolio while expanding its programming and ensuring all foundation efforts are aligned with its mission.

Signs Of Job Search Anxiety

The job search is a great test for your self-esteem.  After a number of rejections, even the strongest willed person is bound to feel some doubt.  Questions like "Am I doing this right?" or "What's wrong with me?" start to fill your mind.  If you don't learn to fight back against these feelings, you'll find it very hard to continue applying for jobs.  In order to properly fight back against feelings of anxiety and depression, it's important to recognize the signs:
  • Avoidance of favorite activities
  • Increasing feelings of irritability
  • Lack of motivation
  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Trouble getting out of bed in the morning
  • Extended periods of sadness or anger
  • Assuming the worst in any situation
If you are starting to feel some or all of these symptoms while looking for work, you need to take a step back and fight them before continuing any further.  Here are some helpful tips to keep yourself positive:
  • As long as you are doing your best, there is no reason to beat yourself about the process.  Remind yourself that most everybody is going through the same thing these days.
  • If the job hunt is getting too stressful, consider taking a day off from it.  Spend that day doing things that make you feel better about yourself.  This will help refresh you when you start up again.
  • As bad as things seem, feeling sorry for yourself won't help your situation.  As The Boston Globe wrote, companies are actually hiring.  Just because you have not had success yet doesn't mean it won't come.  Maybe you'll look back on those rejections someday and realize that it was for the best.
  • Remember that it's not as personal as it seems.  It may feel like a job reaction is a personal assault against your character.  It could just be that there was someone just a little more qualified than you.  I am a firm believer that good things will come if you have ultimate confidence in your talents.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

More Museum Jobs

It seems like we've had a number of museum jobs recently.  Last week, one of our featured nonprofit jobs was a museum developer position in Islamorada, Florida.  And this week, another museum position has opened up.  This one is being recruited by The National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, PA.  Let's take a look at the details of this job and others:

  • Executive Director at The National Civil War Museum: This is the position mentioned above.  The Executive Director will report to the museum's Board of Directors, and will be responsible for overall development of the museum.  The accepted candidate will also be in charge of planning activities and operations through museum staff.  Must have a Bachelor's Degree in a related field, and a minimum of 8 years of progressive management experience.  I've been to this museum in the past, and it's pretty amazing.  It would seem to be a great opportunity for anybody who has a passion for management and the Civil War.
  • Manager of Development/Planned Giving at American Diabetes Association: Do you have a passion for fundraising and want to have a career that impacts people in your community?  Then this position is perfect for you.  The American Diabetes Association, located in Alexandria, VA, is looking for an experienced planned giving/fundraising professional.  The ideal candidate will have 5 to 7 years of gift planning experience, as well as comparable experience in legal or financial fields.  Must be able to identify, cultivate, and solicit new deferred and life income gifts through a variety of means, including face-to-face visits.
  • Executive Director at OneAmerica: One of the largest immigration advocacy organizations, OneAmerica is searching for a new Executive Director.  Working with staff and the Board of Directors, this individual will act as lead fundraiser for the Seattle, WA-based organization.  In addition, the accepted candidate will serve as chief spokesperson and strategist, so having excellent communication skills is a must.  Follow the link for this job to find out more details, including compensation.

Choosing A Phone Interview Time

Have you ever been asked to do a phone interview?  It's important to prepare for this type of job interview even if they don't happen all the time.  The concept sounds easy enough: Instead of having your every one of your body and facial expressions judged in a place you've never been before, you can be relaxed in the comfort of your own home.  How hard can it be?

There are many potential pitfalls that come with a telephone interview.  One of those issues is time.  When an employer first brings up the possibility of a phone interview, they will ask you the following question: "What time is good for you?"  The instinct for most job seekers would be to schedule it as soon as possible.  Some people would even agree to do it that same day.  There's nothing wrong with this if you are already prepared, but don't be afraid to ask for more time if you need it.

This can be easier said than done.  While some employers will be willing to give you the time you need to prepare, there are times when delaying the interview can cost you the job.  If you get this sense, ask if they can call you back in a few minutes so you have time to get all of your prep materials together.  Just make sure you are prepared as possible.

Do you have any experiences with phone interviews you'd like to share?  Feel free to post them in the comments section.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Important Hiring Tips

Cross Posted From The Nonprofit Job Seeker

Although jobs may be scarce in this economy, this doesn't mean that job candidates are going to take the first position that is offered to them. This economy could make people more picky than normal. Because times are tough, they are going to not only want a position that pays well, but also one in which they feel comfortable. If you are going to attract the best candidates for your nonprofit job, you would do well to follow these five hiring tips:

  • As I have mentioned in the past, make sure the description in your job listing is informative yet concise. This is a hard balance to strike, but it can be done. The key to reaching this balance is to use specifics. The more the applicant knows about the position, the less chance you will get resumes from unqualified candidates.
  • When you conduct an interview, make sure you allow time for the person to say what they want out of the position. It's all well and good to explain what you are looking for in an ideal employee, but you should make sure that the candidate can express their expectations as well. This is helpful because it establishes that this will be a job where the employee's views are important. And that is an important factor when people decide where they want to work.
  • Just because someone performs well in an interview doesn't mean they will be the right fit for your organization. Test your applicant's skills to see if they are up to the task. How you do this depends on the type of job you are looking to fill. If you are looking to hire a web content editor, for example, you can have them take a writing test after the interview. If you mention that you will be performing writing tests in your application, this has the added benefit of weeding out less serious candidates.
  • Your office should be tidy at all times, but make sure it is especially presentable during the interview. And I'm not just referring to your desk; the entire office should look as impressive as possible. A relaxing workplace makes for a better working environment, and that will be on the top of the list of things top candidates will be looking for.
Interviews can be very tiresome, especially if you have already been through many that day. Still, you are going to have to find some way to remain engaging to your prospective employee. There is no bigger turn off than an interviewer who seems uninterested. So even if you have to take an extra shot of coffee, make sure you are friendly and lively when you interview a job candidate.

Evaluating Résumé Length

Put yourself in the shoes of a hiring manager for a second.  You receive countless résumés every single day, and need to read every single one carefully.  Now think about what you might feel if you came across a resume of more than three pages.

There was a time when it was not unusual for resume length to be very long, but those days have passed.  A modern résumé should be no longer than three pages.  Any more than that and you risk getting placed in the "rejected" pile.  Although boring an employer is part of the problem, a long résumé will also make you seem long-winded.  And if you are applying for a job like a grant writer, it's even more important to show you can be concise.

You need to be concise, but that doesn't mean you can simply shorten your résumé and call it a day.  You are going about this the wrong way if all you do is list your previous work experience.  In a previous blog post, I wrote about things you need to include in your nonprofit résumé.  You should look over that post to see what you absolutely need to include before you start cutting things left and right.  The most important thing to remember is to tailor your resume to the job you are applying.  Cut out anything that holds no relevance to the position.

As for the final length of your résumé, it all depends on your level of experience.  Use the following guidelines to help you:
  • College graduate: No more than one page.
  • Moderately experienced worker (5+ years): No more than two pages.
  • Extremely experienced worker (15+ years): No more than three pages.
If you want even more résumé advice, be sure to check out the career resources section on The Nonprofit Jobseeker.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Want A Nonprofit Technology Job?

Technology has a permanent place in our society.  It seems like everyday brings us some new device that is going to totally change our lives.  So it should come as no surprise that nonprofits are constantly looking for employees that are technology-savvy.  Today's list of nonprofit jobs is highlighted by a job that involves the web.  Interested?  Then read on:

  • Director, Web Strategy and Operations: Are you passionate about digital media and live in the DC area?  Then The American Council on Education (ACE) wants you!  The Director of Web Strategy and Operations collaborates with ACE decision makers to plan, implement, measure, and evolve the Council’s web and digital communications strategies; as well as leads the team responsible for day-to-day operational support of web content, branding/design, analytics, and customer service.  Must have a wealth of online experience, including 10 years of experience overseeing a web strategy and operations team, an established online network (LinkedIn, etc), and a strong understanding of social media in general.
  • Development Officer: The Development Officer is responsible for planning and implementing a variety of fundraising strategies to secure financial support for Doctors Community Hospital. You’ll be supporting fundraising programs at Doctors Community Hospital Foundation by developing acquisition programs to cultivate and solicit potential donors, as well as recognize and retain current contributors.
  • Manager, Major Donor Communications: The Wildlife Conservation Society, located in Bronx, NY, is looking for an experienced development professional to help write, develop, and edit Major Gift and Planned Giving materials.  Must have a B.S./B.S./B.B.A in Communications, Marketing, Public Affairs, Literature, or a related field, and minimum three years experience in a development, communications or marketing role.

The "Tell Me About Yourself" Interview Question

"So, tell me about yourself."

If you just sat down for a job interview, chances are this is the first question you will be asked.  Not that it's unique to job interviews.  You hear it asked all the time in many different situations, whether it's a first date, or just meeting someone for the first time.  And it's a difficult question to answer in any of these situations.

This is such a hard question because it presents you with an unstructured situation.  You have to be confident enough in yourself to articulately explain the best qualities about yourself.  In short, it's the best way for an employer to get a first impression.  And we all know that first impressions are everything.  Now that you know why it's asked, you're probably wondering about the best ways to answer it.

To be honest, there are a lot of right ways to answer the "tell me about yourself" question.  I want to focus on the wrong way to answer it.  The worst thing you can do with this question is respond with something like this: "What do you want to know?"  This will show the interviewer that you are not prepared for the interview or, even worse, that you aren't confident in what you have to say.  You should spend a lot of your interview preparation time developing an answer that best explains what it is that makes you a good candidate for the job.  If you can do that successfully, you will have no problem answering this question.

If you want to learn more about interview questions, be sure to check out this article from The Nonprofit Jobseeker.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Busy Employees Are Happy Employees

Cross Posted From The NPTimes Blog

If you sat a few employees down in a room and told them that they would be doing less work but receiving the same pay, what do you think their reaction would be?  Jumping for joy, right?  Wrong.

In an article on The Nonprofit Jobseeker, NPT's home for nonprofit jobs, we learn that employees are most happy when they are busy.  This is according to a recent report by Sirota Survey Intelligence, a Purchase, N.Y.-based research company.  This flies in the face of what some bosses might think.  Wouldn't employees like having less stress on a daily basis?  It turns out that most workers would prefer to accomplish as much as possible during a given day, rather than just getting by on their job.

This makes all the sense in the world, especially when you apply it to nonprofit organizations.  One of the big attractions of working at an NPO is getting the chance to do work that can make a difference for a cause.  Why wouldn't a nonprofit employee want to be accomplishing more for a cause they presumably care about?  The survey results indicate that "Overworked people, in a sense, are getting feedback from the organization that their contributions are important.”

The results also make sense from a practical standpoint.  What would you rather be doing during a long workday?  Having a lot to do, or sitting on your hands doing nothing?  Make sure to read the full article on the Nonprofit Jobseeker.

E-Mail Etiquette For Your Job Search

E-mail has become the dominant form of communication for the job search.  Although there are times when making a phone call is more appropriate, most employers prefer to receive e-mails from job seekers.  As simple as it is to send a job application e-mail, there are some pitfalls.  All of these can be avoided by following e-mail etiquette.

I've already gone over in a previous blog post that you should never send an e-mail from your personal account.  You should create a separate e-mail address so that it is easier to keep track of your correspondences.  But beyond that suggestion, there are some other things you should keep in mind.  One of the most common problems that I have seen is creating an acceptable e-mail subject line.  Job seekers will too often write something like "regarding your job posting."  That is not nearly specific enough.  An example of a good subject line would include the exact name of the position.  For example:

  • Fundraising Director Position, OR
  • Fundraising Director Position, [your name here]
Another suggestion is to include an e-mail signature at the end of your message.  Most programs--whether it's Outlook or Gmail--give you the option to include your name and contact information at the end of all your communications.  This is a much better solution than putting your contact information somewhere in the e-mail body.  Remember to include all methods of contact in your signature.  This includes your cell and home phone number.  You should also consider including a link to your LinkedIn profile.

Finally, you should pay close attention to your salutation.  If you don't know the name of the person, write "To whom it may concern" instead of something like "Hello."  Use Mr. or Ms. if you know their name.  Do not under any circumstances use their first name.  Have any more suggestions that I missed?  Leave them in the comments section.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Museum Developer Highlights Today's Top Nonprofit Jobs

If you missed today's webinar by Zurich and The NonProfit Times, stay tuned to our online library for the full slides and audio.  And while you are waiting for that, check out today's top nonprofit jobs from our career center:

  • Museum Developer (FEATURED JOB): The Historical Trust, located in Islamorada, Florida, is looking for a museum developer to help with the development of their upcoming History of the Florida Keys museum, which is scheduled to be completed in July of 2012.  This will be an 8 month contract, and applicants should have a strong background in museum curation.  Apply on our career center, and e-mail for more information.
  • Director of Individual and Major Gifts: Here's a great job for anybody that has an extensive background in fundraising.  This position is being offered by Give Kids The World, located in Kissimmee, Florida.  The chosen candidate will be responsible for developing new relations with individuals and families throughout the world.  They will meet with donors to cultivate and solicit for annual fund and capital campaign, emphasizing $10,000+, cultivates and solicits planned gifts. More than 50% of time will be spent visiting with and cultivating prospects in-person. Apply today to start advancing your career in fundraising!

Online Reputation: How Does It Affect Your Job Search?

We live in an age where nearly everything we do is done online.  Want to talk to some old friends?  Log in to Facebook and get caught up.  Don't feel like going out for food?  You can order pizza on the Internet.  And nothing is more online-centric these days than the job search.

Employers also use the Internet for their research of candidates.  By simply Googling a prospective employee, they can find out almost everything they need to know.  What they see can speak volumes and, whether it's fair or not, you will be judged based on your online reputation.  Reputation management has become a big thing these days, but there's no need to pay money present a cleaner image of yourself.  You can do it all on your own.  Here are some tips:
  • Do a Google search of your name.  If you ever made any "unfortunate" comments on Internet message boards, they will likely come up in the results.  This is your chance to get rid of them.
  • Delete all embarrassing photos of yourself on Facebook.  If they are simply too good to get rid of, you can adjust your privacy settings so that only people in your network can see certain aspects of your profile.  Then again, that could raise suspicion...
  • On a similar note, get rid of Tweets on your Twitter account that could be considered offensive.
  • Make sure that whatever picture you use on your social media pages is presentable.  You obviously aren't going to use one of those embarrassing pictures we talked about, but it shouldn't be a low quality picture either.  If you don't have a really good one, have someone take a new one.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

New Jersey Nonprofit To Create 800 New Jobs

On the heels of the good job news from last month, one New Jersey nonprofit expects to create twice the number of jobs as originally envisioned.

According to a report in The Asbury Park Press, the New Jersey Technology Solutions Center estimates it will be able to create 800 to 1,000 new jobs over the next five years.  That's a far cry from the 200 to 300 positions the center was originally expected to create when it launched last year.  It's also a dose of good news for an organization that had an uncertain future after earmarks--a major source of funding for the center--were discontinued by Congress earlier this year.

The new jobs are expected to arrive once the nonprofit receives contracts in a number of areas, including engineering, software development, management, and business development.  If all of these new jobs are created as predicted, it will go along way towards making up for the loss of 5,000 high-technology jobs when Fort Monmouth, one of the army's installations in Monmouth County, closed earlier this fall. These jobs will not only get people much needed employment, but are also expected to pour millions of dollars into the local economy by 2017.

Read The Asbury Park Press story for more information.  You should also be sure to check out our career center for other New Jersey nonprofit jobs.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Nonprofit Career Round-Up: 12/06/2011

Christmas is fast approaching, which also means we are heading closer to 2012.  January has traditionally been the strongest month for hiring, though you never know what will happen with the current state of the economy.  Share your holiday job search plans with us!  And in the mean time, check out these great jobs to start (or continue) your nonprofit career:

  • Grants Systems Administrator: Located at South Carolina Edison (SCE), this position is ideal for those interested in taking a more automated approach to grant requests.  Applicants should have some experience as an administrator of a grant making system, in addition to plenty of technical experience.  Must also have a Bachelor’s degree in Information Systems or related field or an equivalent combination of formal education, training, and experience.
  • Director, Strategic Development and Partnerships: BoardSource is actively searching for a new director of strategic development and partnerships.  This position works with  the vice president of Strategic Development & Partnerships and others to identify, cultivate, and steward relationships with funders, clients, and other partners in support of BoardSource’s mission to advance the public good by building exceptional nonprofit boards and inspiring board service.  Ideal candidates will have a Bachelor’s degree with seven or more years of experience including at least five years of experience in direct revenue generation, fundraising, or new business development.  You should note that you may be required to travel 6-10 times a year.
  • Director, Development: Reporting to the CEO, the Director of Development provides leadership, management and coordination for fundraising efforts including donor marketing and communications. Working closely with the Executive Team and the Board of Directors, the Director of Development is responsible for implementing and improving a comprehensive development program, leading staff, and optimizing structures and systems. To be successful, the Director will collaborate with all constituents, organize systems and projects, and communicate the agency's mission, values and brand.

Things Your Nonprofit Resume Doesn't Need

When preparing your nonprofit resume, you probably already have a good idea of what you need to include.  But do you know what you should leave out?

You need to include a lot of information in your resume.  You simply can't risk including unnecessary information or you will risk losing your reader.  Being able to present information in a concise manner is one of the many things an employer will look for when deciding which candidate they want to learn more about.  That's where knowing what information to leave out comes in handy.   Consider leaving the following items out of your resume:
  • References: If you suspect an employer will want references, leave a note at the end of your resume saying that they will be provided upon request.  Employers conduct thorough background checks these days, so references are not always needed.  Read our article on getting references if you are asked for them.
  • A Photograph: It may seem like a nice touch, but including a picture of yourself is really just a waste of space.  You're going to be hired based on your abilities, not your physical appearance.
  • An Objective Statement: Most job seekers still feel the need to include this, but it's not necessary anymore.  Instead of writing a paragraph on why you should be hired, list off a few of your traits that will make you desirable for the position.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Time Management And Your Job Search

If you were to take a poll of job seekers, chances are they would tell you that the hardest thing to deal with in a job search is time.  There just never seems to be enough of it in the day to get everything done.  There's a solution to this problem: Time management.  If you can master this skill, you will find it a lot easier to get all of your job search activities done. 

The first thing you should do to manage your time better is to create a schedule of what you are going to accomplish each day.  This should include both the time you plan to start the activity, and how long you want to spend doing it.  Here's an example:

9:00 AM-10:30 AM: Apply to jobs via online job boards.

10:30 AM-11:30 AM: Go on LinkedIn to develop new networking contacts.

12:00 PM-12:30 PM: Lunch!

12:30 PM-1:30 PM: Apply to more jobs.

You get the idea.  The goal here is to make your search more like a full-time job.  Most job search experts will tell you this is one of the keys to being successful.  After you have created your schedule, the real challenge is sticking to it.  How difficult this is will depend on your level of discipline.  One helpful tip is to set a timer to go off after the allotted time has passed.  I don't think there's anything wrong with spending an extra five minutes or so past your schedule, but don't go overboard.  If you discover that your schedule isn't giving you enough time to complete everything, change it up the next time.  There's nothing wrong with being flexible with your time management.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Nonprofit Career Round-Up: 12/02/2011

Here are today's top nonprofit jobs.

  • Director of Resource Development: This is a featured job, so be sure to act quickly!  This position is at McHenry County College in Crystal Lake, Illinois.  The director of resource development is responsible for leading the process through which the College pursues public and private grants. Position supports the Vice President for Institutional Advancement in reaching the resource development goals of the College.  The ideal candidate will have at least five years of experience writing grant proposals.  Must be comfortable doing this either alone or in a group setting. 
  • Assistant Director, Development Operations: Like animals, zoos, and fundraising?  Then this is the job for you!  The Wildlife Conservation Society, located in Bronx, NY, is looking for an assistant director for their development operations.  The candidate must have a B.A./B.S. and a minimum of 7 years experience in development department operations and management, or fundraising department or other relevant experience.  You must also have excellent organizational, project management, and budgeting skills.
  • Senior Manager of Communications & Marketing: The American Pharmacists Association, located in Washington, DC, is looking to fill a position in communications and marketing.  If you have a Bachelor's degree in these fields, along with 3-5 years of relevant experience, this could be the perfect nonprofit job for you.  This position will be responsible for developing written and web based materials and strategy for other communication methods.

The November Jobs Report

The economy got some unexpected good news today with the release of the Labor Department's November jobs report.  Here are some highlights:

  • The unemployment rate fell to 8.6%, the lowest since March 2009.
  • Employers added 120,000 jobs in November.
  • An additional 72,000 jobs were added during September and October, more than was originally thought.
This is all great news but there are some things to keep in mind.  One of the reasons the unemployment rate declined is because a lot of people gave up the job search all together.  A closer look at the report shows that roughly 315,000 Americans dropped out of the labor market.  So while the drop in unemployment does reflect more Americans getting work, it's not the only reason.

Economists had expected the unemployment rate to remain unchanged from the previous month, so this is a welcome surprise.  And we have to take the good news when it comes.  We just have to remember that the job market still has a long way to go before it is fully recovered.  But this is definitely a step in the right direction. 

In the mean time, use this news as a way to re-energize your job hunt.

The Toughest Job Interview Question

We've gone over countless job interview questions on this blog.  I want to go over one question today that, despite it's simple appearance, can give job seeker's a lot of trouble: "Why should we hire you?"  This is one of those questions that almost every employer will ask.  Even though you know it's coming, it's still hard to prepare.

Answering this question successfully is one of the keys to getting that job.  But before we delve into how to answer it, let's go over why interviewers are so in love with this question.  It all boils down to this: It gives the employer a good idea of your self-confidence.  This is key because it shows them that you know exactly what you are good at, and how you plan to put those talents to work for their organization.

Now that you know why this question is asked, it's time to figure out a way to answer it.  The first thing you need to do is embrace it as an opportunity to sell yourself.  Don't be afraid of sounding too overconfident or bragging: This is one of the few chances in life where it's OK to do that!  As a matter of fact, it's critical that your answer sounds as confident as possible.  That's why you should take a lot of time in developing a strong answer to the question.  If there is too much hesitation, your answer won't be as convincing.  Come up with a list of the things you do best, and then determine how those skills will help the organization.  Then, develop those ideas into cohesive statements.

Do you have any examples of a good "Why should we hire you?" answer?  Post them in the comments below.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Future Of Volunteerism And National Service

Cross-Posted From The NonProfit Times Blog

As you are probably aware, the Dec. 1 issue of The NonProfit Times was just released the other day.  Included in that issue was a special report entitled "2012: The End Of The World Or Nonprofit Renaissance?"  This report features six columns by major nonprofit personalities like Adrian Sargeant of the Center on Philanthropy and Ben Duda of AmeriCorps Alums. 

Duda, who works as executive director at the organization, wrote a piece about national service and volunteerism.  And sticking with the end of the world theme, he discussed what place they have in America in the future.  He argues that they will endure as long as citizens demand that they do.

AmeriCorps was kind enough to blog about the piece he wrote for us, which we are very grateful for.  You can read the entire article in his blog post, but here's an excerpt from it to whet your appetite:

I’m not buying the “end-of-days” hype. I’m fully confident the Mayan Calendar will join the list of dubious doom predictions, alongside Harold Camping’s end of the world timing in 1994 or May 21, 2011, no, wait, Oct. 21, 2011, the hysteria of the Y2K computer failures, and those classic National Enquirer cover stories from the supermarket checkout line. But since we’re talking predictions, here’s where I think we’re going as a sector and as a country.

There’s a new wave of critics on the value of national service, as the (Mayan) calendar turns to 2012, with some in the House of Representatives advancing a zero budget going forward for AmeriCorps. That is not a very good idea. Its not very good for our country, especially for a generation of young Americans who want to serve their nation, and who will one day lead this country.

Is it the end of the world? No, although it certainly feels like a re-run of a bad sitcom. National service will endure and we’ll be thankful it does as a generation of nonprofit leaders, elected officials, and entrepreneurs ascend with a common career arc that is rooted in volunteerism and defined by national service.

More than 700,000 Americans have served in AmeriCorps since 1994. For 1,700 hours in service to the country this year, a member gets $5,550 toward loan repayment or future education. That’s a good investment in our future workforce and future leaders. Best of all, it represents a $2.01 return in essential services for every federal dollar, nearly unmatched when analyzing government spending.

Nonprofit Job Titles

It always helps to know what you want.  This is especially true when looking for a job.  Before you start your job search, you should have a good idea of the kind of work you want to do.  There are countless positions in the nonprofit sector.  Knowing the various nonprofit job titles, and the roles they play, is a good first step to landing a quality job.

Let's get one thing clear: It's going to be next to impossible to memorize the descriptions for every job title you are interested in.  That's why you need to narrow it down to the possibilities that make the most sense for you.  You may be interested in a fundraising job, but it's highly unlikely you will land a high level position in that line of work if you are just graduating college.  What title would you hunt for this kind of position?  Here are some examples:

  • Major Gifts Officer-Will identify and cultivate major gift opportunities.  Often times will be responsible for writing donor briefings, special correspondence, and proposals.
  • Planned Giving Officer: This position is responsible for designing and implementing fundraising programs for planned giving.  They will also be in charge of handling deferred and insurance gifts.
Typically, any fundraising title below "director" is considered entry level.  You can do a Google search for "nonprofit job titles" to discover even more positions.  If you want to know even more about these jobs, such as how much they pay, I would recommend taking a look at The NonProfit Times' Salary and Benefits Report.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Facts About Fundraising Staff

Cross-Posted From The Nonprofit Jobseeker

Staff turnover is a fact of life for any nonprofit manager. A very costly fact of life. This is even more of an issue when it comes to fundraising staff. Not only is the work they do very valuable, but finding a replacement can be very difficult and expensive. And to add insult to injury, the time spent finding a replacement can be a prime period for fundraising opportunities. That's why it's so important to improve the retention of your fundraisers.

The NonProfit Times attended this year's Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) International Conference on Fundraising where Penelope Burk, president of Cygnus Applied Research, Inc., spoke on the topic of staff turnover. She said the key to retaining great fundraisers lies in knowing more about them. She shared some facts gathered through a survey of fundraising employees of nonprofits:
  • Why they chose a fundraising career. Most fundraisers entered the profession “accidentally” (i.e., through other work they were hired to do), rather than intentionally. Some take an opportunistic view, coming into the field as leverage to other jobs in the sector.
  • The profile of a loyal fundraiser (one who intends to stay). Key characteristics include a belief in the mission, having personal/family needs accommodated, being included/respected as an active participant in planning, creative discussion, working with a team.
  • Why fundraisers left their last position. Salary or increase in salary is always the primary reason why fundraisers left their last jobs or intend to leave the current one. Flexibility on salary plus offering benefits that fit the times is a first practical step to lengthening their tenure.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Nonprofit Career Round-Up: 11/28/2011

Hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend!  I certainly did (though I hate much less than I thought I would).  Now that the holiday is over, it's time to get back to the job search.  Hopefully you've already found some good nonprofit jobs to apply to.  If not, here are some, directly from our career center:
  • Placement Specialist: This position, at Cultural Vistas, is located in Columbia, MD.  It's a part-time/entry level position, making it ideal for individuals just graduating college.  Among the accepted candidate's responsibilities are generating new leads for internship placement services using internet market research, managing a database of employers, and providing weekly status reports.  You should be willing to seek out educational workshops or other activities to develop your knowledge of of cultural exchange and administration.
  • Sr. Manager, Development Operations: Are you an expert in development with a strong passion for animals?  Then this position is right for you.  This job is for Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, UT.  This is a full-time job and the ideal candidate will have an extensive background in development, including an advanced knowledge of fundraising and grant seeking processes, procedures, and requirements.  This is NOT a position for someone just starting out in fundraising.
  • Medical Education Project Manager: The American Pharmacists Association in Washington, DC has an immediate need for a senior project manager.  To qualify for this position, you must have 4-6 years of experience in healthcare education.  In addition, you must have significant experience with online education.  Any accreditation experience is a plus.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Nonprofit Career Round-Up: Thanksgiving Edition

Happy pre-Thanksgiving!  Hope that everybody has a great dinner.  We will be back next week with new posts on nonprofit jobs.  Until then, here are a couple of jobs to apply to before the festivities begin:

  • Social Worker/Bereavement Coordinator: Under the supervision of the Clinical Supervisor, the Bereavement Services Coordinator provides counseling and support to individuals, couples, families affected by loss of a loved-one. Conducts a biopsychosocial evaluation of the client, formulates a treatment plan and enlists the client's participation in the planning of treatment goals consistent with the client's needs and capacity.
  • Grant Development Specialist: WestCare Foundation seeks full time Grant Writer and Development Specialist. Person in this position is responsible for developing, preparing and submitting local, county, state, federal and private grants related to WestCare, a national behavioral health care organization, and all related entities. Person in this position will also perform written special projects as needed. Essential job functions include; research, grant development, proposal writing and grant team coordination; submission and compilation of grant proposals.

Writing A Nonprofit Resume

Nonprofits and for-profits seem like they couldn't be more different.  In reality, they are more similar than you think.  The current trend in the sector is for organizations to be run more like a traditional business.  That's why you are seeing more colleges offer degrees in nonprofit management

Differences do still remain, especially when it comes to the hiring process.  This is clearly illustrated when it comes to resume writing.  Although the basic idea is the same, nonprofits will be looking for slightly different attributes than a for-profit company.  If you really want to catch the eye of your favorite organization, you are going to need to know how to write the ideal nonprofit resume.

  • If you have previously worked in the for-profit sector, make sure you identify how your skills in that field can be adapted to the nonprofit world.  A great example of this can be found in this sample resume posted by Bridgestar.  Notice how the applicant emphasizes skills like marketing, management, and leadership?  These are all things that are useful for nonprofits.
  • Also note that the above resume separates the applicants nonprofit experience from her for-profit work.
  • Volunteer work is usually considered irrelevant when writing a resume for a standard corporation.  This is hardly the case for nonprofits.  If you have any experience volunteering, make sure you list it in your employment history.
  • The above applies if you have ever served on a board or committee before.
  • Make sure you remove any jargon that might be unfamiliar to those outside of the corporate bubble.  Your language should be professional, but you shouldn't use language that is only relevant to those in your previous field.  You will be dealing with many different backgrounds if you work in the nonprofit sector, so there is no need to try and impress people with your vocabulary.
  • You should emphasize your ability to do many different jobs.  Though it's not always the case, most nonprofits will not fill their employees into specialized roles.  This is especially true the smaller the organization is.
  • As I mentioned in the opening, you shouldn't hesitate to emphasize any business management experience you have. 
This might seem a little overwhelming, but you will soon find it's not a big deal to re-work your resume for the nonprofit sector.  They might be very different from for-profits, but they aren't so different that none of your previous skills won't be transferrable.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Nonprofit Career Round-Up: 11/22/2011

Here are today's top nonprofit jobs, including a new featured position:

  • Director of Development (FEATURED JOB): Supervise and train all Development Department personnel. Plan and manage all fund-raising campaigns and activities. Develop calendar and action plans for individual/corporate giving, grants, membership, direct mail and special events. Be responsible for overseeing the organization’s website and social media campaigns. Be responsible for overseeing use of Raisers Edge fundraising database.
  • Client Relations and Stewardship Manager: Uses judgment and acquired knowledge to determine appropriate action to take in response to all customer service requests related to subscriptions, donations and magazine distribution.  Manages the donor acknowledgement program, ensuring that all donors are properly acknowledged in a timely manner.  Manages the magazine’s relationship with several vendors and works within budgetary constraints to ensure that “thank you” gifts are ordered, packaged properly and distributed in a timely manner to donors.
  • Managing Director: The Managing Director will lead the efforts and work for the west coast out of the San Francisco office. He/ She will drive presence in the Bay Area to increase the impact of this growing firm. In addition to managing client relationships, he/she will lead business development, marketing, and operations. The successful candidate will develop local office culture and oversee a group of talented advisers and staff committed to Arabella’s entrepreneurial management style.

Nonprofit Jobs By State

There are so many factors that go into finding great nonprofit jobs.  Aside from the starting salary and relevance to your career skills, one of the most important of those factors is proximity to your current residence.  Most job seekers would have a lot of hesitation working for an organization that requires them to travel long distances; even if it's the job of their dreams.  Using The Nonprofit Jobseeker's Jobs By State Page, users can see the latest jobs in their area with only a click of their mouse.

Let's say you want to find a New York nonprofit job.  All you have to do is go to our dedicated NY nonprofit job page and you will see all of the most recent positions posted in that state.  The page is automatically updated with the latest jobs, so you can be sure you will be seeing a new job the second it is posted.

If our jobs by state page doesn't offer enough customization for you, the Nonprofit Jobseeker also allows users to filter search results by state.  This will show you all jobs in that area, including ones that might not be as recent.  Job hunters can also enter their zip code to make their search more specific.

We hope that you will enjoy using these features.  Feel free to leave any feedback.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Improving Fundraiser Retention

Cross-Posted From The Nonprofit Jobseeker

It's increasingly rare these days to find people who are not only successful at fundraising, but also have enthusiasm for it. That's why, if you hired someone with those traits, it's so important to do everything in your power to keep them. How do you go about improving fundraiser retention? It's a difficult task, no doubt, but it can be done.

The NonProfit Times attended this year's AFP International Conference on Fundraising. Speaking at that conference was Penelope Burke, president of Cygnus Applied Research, Inc. She had some ideas on how you can best go about keeping your most valuable fundraisers:
  • Be flexible on your salary and benefits. If they are that good at what they do, they deserve to be rewarded. Doing this also means you can be even more insistent on bottom-line results.
  • Allow your fundraisers to work independently. You should check in on them from time to time get updates on their progress, but make sure you are not breathing down their necks.
  • Value their input. Taking a suggestion to heart is one of the best things a nonprofit manager can do to show your employees that they are being listened to. It's also a great way to make them want to continue to work for you.
  • On a related note, make sure to publicly credit staff when they come up with a good idea.
  • Looking for a new senior fundraiser? Consider promoting from within rather than hiring a brand new employee. This will improve employee morale and eliminates the need for extensive orientation periods.

Nonprofit Career Round-Up: 11/21/2011

We're only a few days away from Thanksgiving, so I thought I would put this out there: What are you thankful for this year?  Hopefully you will be able to add "finding a job" to your list by the time the holiday is over but until then, feel free to share what you are thankful for this Thanksgiving.

Oh, and don't forget to check out these great nonprofit jobs:

  • Vice President, Client Services at SCA Direct, Inc. (FEATURED JOB): SCA Direct is looking for an experienced Vice President, Client Services to join our team in Fairfax, Virginia. This position is responsible for developing and managing teams that deliver superior account management and service to the client for the development of strong partnerships. The position will also manage and build this service area to include creating and articulating functional roles and expectations, hiring, training and managing staff, management of account profitability, staff allocation by client and developing management tools and standards.
  • Fundraising and Sponsorship Account Manager at Odell Simms & Lynch: A mid-sized consulting firm in Tysons Corner is seeking a full-time Account Manager to join the Fundraising and Sponsorship (F&S) Team, which works with a wide spectrum of national and local clients to raise critical funding for capital campaigns, programs, and general operating expenses. The ideal candidate for this position is a self-starter with solid experience in fundraising and sales. The Account Manager will work closely with other members of the F&S team and company executives to manage clients. The firm offers tremendous growth potential for the right candidate.
  • Associate Director at Global Impact: Global Impact, the campaign management organization for the Combined Federal Campaign of the National Capital Area (CFCNCA) is seeking an exceptional leader to serve as the Associate Director, CFCNCA. The CFCNCA reaches out to over 300,000 federal employees in the Washington, DC area, raises more funds for local charities than any other fundraising drive, and is the nation's largest CFC campaign.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Nonprofit Career Round-Up: 11/18/2011

Here are today's top nonprofit jobs:

  • Chief Executive Officer at Monadnock Family Services: The scope of responsibility of this CEO position includes: •Promoting high performance expectations in order to achieve the organization’s goals and objectives; •Directing and overseeing financial stewardship with an emphasis on providing efficient utilization of resources.
  • Care Manager/Foster Care at JFCS: The Care Manager provides direct service to foster children, their biological family and supervises the foster home placement. The social work associate provides service to maintain and improve the quality of life of clients and their families by providing supportive casework services, therapy (if needed) and referral to appropriate community resources. This position is located at the Progress Plaza office.
  • Director of Development at Confidential (FEATURED JOB): •Supervise and train all Development Department personnel. •Plan and manage all fund-raising campaigns and activities. •Develop calendar and action plans for individual/corporate giving, grants, membership, direct mail and special events. •Be responsible for overseeing the organization’s website and social media campaigns. •Be responsible for overseeing use of Raisers Edge fundraising database. •Be responsible for developing all marketing materials. •Assist development staff in identifying and cultivating prospective donors.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Can You Really Find The Perfect Job?

I often hear people talk about finding their "dream job" or the "perfect job," but do they really exist?  There are some jobs that appeal to our skills more than others, but it's a mistake to believe there's one job out there that is absolutely perfect for you.  Job seekers often make the mistake of devoting all of their time and effort to one job.  There's nothing wrong with putting a little more effort into the jobs that make the most sense to you, but you shouldn't be turning off other potential options for the sake of one job that you might not get. 

In most other decision making processes you have a plan B, so why should your job search be any different?  I speak from experience when I say that it can be very hard convincing yourself of this.  During my first job search after college, I came across a job that looked "perfect" to me in every possible way: It was relevant to my major, I had worked there before, it paid well, and it was a very short commute.  I thought there was no way I would not get that job, so I put little to no effort into the rest of my job search.  That left me at a huge disadvantage when I eventually learned I didn't get the job.  I could have had a number of potential back-up plans, but instead I had to start from scratch.

So do perfect jobs exist?  It really depends on who you talk to, but I'd argue they don't.  Every job is going to have its flaws.  You shouldn't just apply to jobs that are 100% of what you want; you'll never get anywhere with that attitude.  Apply for the jobs that suit your job skills the best, while keeping in mind that it may involve job functions you don't like as much.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Nonprofit Career Round-Up: 11/16/2011

Here are today's top nonprofit jobs, including a new featured job, for your job searching pleasure:

  • Church and Community Relations Manager at San Diego Rescue Mission (FEATURED JOB): Under the supervision of the Vice President of Development, responsible for the creation, management, presentation, association, and overall relationship between the Mission, churches, colleges, youth groups, and other groups, including coordinating and planning special events. Develops, coordinates and monitors overall fundraising strategy for solicitation and cultivation of these donor sub-groups.
  • Donor Communications Coordinator at World Wildlife Fund: World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the world’s leading conservation organization, seeks a Donor Communications Coordinator to help steward the organization’s annual giving donors ($1,000-$25,000). The Donor Communications Coordinator coordinates the implementation of the donor benefits programs (including products such as conference calls, and annual report and calendar mailings), manages acknowledgements for annual giving donors, coordinates the Development Resource Center, leads project tracking for the donor communications team, and provides administrative and communications support to the donor communications team.
  • Senior Director, Major Gifts and Planning at Saint Luke's Episcopal Health System: The Senior Director, Major Gifts and Gift Planning position offers a unique opportunity to join a “startup” development program at a major hospital system. This position requires an outcomes-driven, motivated self-starter and collaborator with an entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to build a major-gift and planned-giving program from the ground up. A passion for and experience in healthcare philanthropy will provide the foundation to work in collaboration with the senior development team to create a unique and transformational grateful patient program, maximizing strategic partnerships with medical staff and developing engagement opportunities for donor prospects.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Job Board Tips

Online job boards are a job seeker's main destination for finding high quality positions.  While wanted ads in the local paper still have their place, most people find it much easier to browse for work on the Internet.  But ease of use can often lead to careless mistakes that will set you back in your job search.  In order to get the most out of job boards, you should follow these tips:
  • Don't apply for jobs that are more than a couple of weeks old.  Employers can sometimes forget to take down jobs that have already been filled.  Besides, you have a better chance of hearing back about a job that has just recently been posted.
  • Ignore nationwide listings.  It's hard enough to get a job when everyone in your city is scrambling for it.  Think about how hard it will be when the whole country wants it.
  • Don't forget to post your resume to the board.  Sometimes job seekers wonder why this is necessary. After all, aren't you already attaching it to every job application you fill out?  Posting your resume allows employers who are members of the site to see your qualifications.  There's nothing wrong with having more exposure.
  • Update your profile weekly.  More activity equals better results.  Even if you don't have any new information to add, you can update your resume with new job keywords that will attract employers.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Nonprofit Career Round-Up: 11/14/2011

After a nice, long weekend, it's time to get back to the job search.  Here are today's top nonprofit jobs to help you get back into your routine:

  • Membership Associate at Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (FEATURED JOB): Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) is a nonprofit, 501c3 membership organization whose mission is to build safe, healthy, drug-free communities.  (CADCA) trains and supports local grassroots groups, known as community  coalitions, in effective community problem-solving strategies, teaching them how to assess their local substance abuse-related problems and develop a comprehensive plan to address them.
  • Grant Project Director at South Orange County CCD: Under direction from the Vice President for Instruction or other administrator assigned by the President, the responsibility of this position is to plan, develop, organize, coordinate and direct the programs, services, operations and activities of the federally-funded grant project, according to the terms of the SOCCCD Board-approved federal grant program operating at the assigned college; manage project budget; prepare and distribute invoices and periodic and annual reports as required; ensure compliance with District and College policies and procedures and applicable State and federal laws and regulations; train, assign, supervise and evaluate the work of assigned staff; coordinate federal grant activities with the Orange County business community and education partners.
  • National Walk Manager at National Kidney Foundation: Individuals should have a Bachelor’s Degree and a minimum of 5 years job related experience in Walk Fund Raising including at least a $300,000+ walk event. Proven fund raising ability and excellent knowledge of walk fund raising industry and practices. Strong customer service skills and organizational skills. Must be flexible for overnight business travel which may include weekends (estimate 5-8 trips annually).

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Nonprofit Career Round-Up: 11/10/2011

Just so you know, our offices will be closed tomorrow for Veteran's Day.  As such, there will be no blog posts until next Monday.  Until then, enjoy today's top nonprofit jobs.  Have a safe holiday weekend everybody!

  • Director of Major Gifts at Action for Boston Community Development, Inc: Establish and lead a high-performing major gift and planned giving program in order to develop effective strategies for donor engagement and solicitation of top prospects with a goal of raising one million dollars. Work closely with other development team members including the Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Event Coordinator. Research, identify, and cultivate individual, corporate and foundation donors.
  • Programs Manager at USO: The Programs Manager will manage the daily center operations and programs for the USO in the San Francisco/Bay Area, CA, which includes the locations at San Francisco Airport, San Jose Airport and Travis Air Force Base; act as Deputy during absence of the Director (Note: We have three other positions in the USO posted as well.  Make sure to check them out.)
  • National Walk Manager at National Kidney Foundation: Individuals should have a Bachelor’s Degree and a minimum of 5 years job related experience in Walk Fund Raising including at least a $300,000+ walk event. Proven fund raising ability and excellent knowledge of walk fund raising industry and practices. Strong customer service skills and organizational skills. Must be flexible for overnight business travel which may include weekends (estimate 5-8 trips annually).

Dealing With Salary Requirements

iIt's the sentence that most job seekers dread seeing on a job posting: "Please include salary requirements in your cover letter."  Generally speaking, people have a pretty good idea of what they think they should be paid.  But that doesn't mean they are comfortable asking for what they think is a fair salary.  They would much rather get into that at a later date.  Unfortunately, there's no way to avoid the topic when it's required you include it in your cover letter.  If you are one of those individuals who is having cold feet about listing their desired salary, you'll be glad to know that there are ways to comply with the employer's request without providing a specific answer.

The biggest reason that job seekers are hesitant to list the salary they want is the fear of pricing themselves out of the job.  That's why it's important to do research about the type of salary someone typically earns in the position for which you are applying.  You can do this by reading salary surveys or asking your networking contacts.  If you have this information, it should be a lot less nerve-wracking to say what you really want.

It's still important to remain flexible when it comes to your salary requirements.  For example, you could say the following: "I have earned anywhere from $30,000 and $50,000 throughout my career.  Any salary within this range would be an acceptable starting point, though I am more than willing to negotiate this further with you."  See?  You've answered the employee's question honestly while leaving room for negotiation.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Nonprofit Career Round-Up: 11/09/2011

Can you believe we are only a few weeks away from Thanksgiving?  Hopefully you will all be able to list getting a job as something to be thankful for.  These three recent job postings to our career center will be a good start to making that a reality:

  • Manager, Public Health Communications at Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (FEATURED JOB): Manager in Public Health Communications to be an integral member of CADCA’s communications team, working to develop, document, implement and improve processes and tools that further CADCA’s communications goals. A primary project will be to manage CADCA’s work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on a National Networks Dissemination grant, part of the Community Transformation Grants program. This job will require strong public health communications skills, public relations acumen and the ability to deliver results in a highly visible project working with federal, state and local partners. This position reports to the Vice President, Communications, Membership and IT.
  • VC for Development at Montana Tech: The VC/President establishes strong linkages with Tech’s faculty, staff, alumni, and students; generates meaningful relationships between the Butte community and Tech; discovers new contributors willing to form long-term partnerships with Tech; nurtures existing relationships between current contributors and Tech; and promotes appropriate recognition and appreciation of Tech’s supporters.
  • Assistant Director of Accounts Receivable at Bay Cove Human Services, Inc: Bay Cove Human Services is a private, not-for-profit corporation that provides a wide variety of services to individuals and their families who face the life-long challenges of developmental disabilities, aging, mental illness and drug and alcohol addiction. We have a wide variety of programs available to our clients including residential services, employment support, and day habilitation programs. Bay Cove's 1,400 highly trained employees serve more than 12,000 individuals and their families each year at more than 100 different program sites throughout Greater Boston and southeastern Massachusetts.

Evaluating A Job Offer

Just because you get a job offer from an organization doesn't mean you have to take it.  I know what you're thinking: How can you possibly say no to a job in this economy?  Shouldn't you just take what you can get?  These are all good points, but you don't want to immediately say yes before carefully evaluating the pros and cons of the offer.  The last thing you want to do is make a hasty decision that you will later regret.  Here are some of the key issues you should consider before making your decision.

Money Talks

It would be foolish to accept a job solely on the amount you are paid, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be a factor.  Weighing the money you will be paid doesn't make you greedy, it makes you smart.  Does the salary you are being offered match up with what other individuals in your field are being paid?  Is this an offer that will be enough to help you pay your bills?  These are all things that you need to keep in mind when considering a salary offer.  If you feel you are being given a raw deal, make sure to read my post about salary negotiations to help you get what you deserve.

Comfort Matters

Consider the culture of the organization you will potentially join.  Does it seem like a place you would be happy working?  Nobody likes waking up in the morning, but you shouldn't dread going to work.  Nonprofit work is hard enough without the stress of a bad work environment.  Ask if you can be shown around the office, and talk to some of the employees.

Perks and Benefits

Money isn't the only thing that can entice you towards accepting a job.  Are you being offered and acceptable amount of sick/vacation days?  Is the health insurance being offered acceptable?  You're not necessarily going to be told all of the details by the hiring manager, so request to get information about the kind of benefits you would get.  Too many employees don't know about this information until they've actually made the decision to join the organization.  Remember, it pays to be prepared.


These are just three of the things you should evaluate before deciding to accept or decline a job offer.  There are other issues you might want to consider, such as work hours or the commute, but these are the topics that carry the most weight.