Monday, October 31, 2011

Nonprofit Career Round-Up: Halloween Edition

Happy Halloween everybody!  And for those living on the northeast, Happy Snowy Halloween!  Can you believe that we had a snowstorm before it even hit Novemeber?  A ton of people are still without power in the northeast, so hopefully that gets fixed.  For those of you that do have power, here are today's top nonprofit jobs:

  • PARRI Regional Director at The Kendal Corporation: Kendal Outreach , LLC, is seeking a dynamic and innovative person who is interested in care of the elderly across the health care continuum to serve as PARRI Regional Director for the Pennsylvania Restraint Reduction Initiative (PARRI). Kendal Outreach (a subsidiary of The Kendal Corporation located in Kennett Square, PA) is a not-for-profit, values-based leader in providing creative solutions in health care—advocacy, education and resources. Kendal Outreach operates in accordance with the principles of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), which embrace the principles of diversity and inclusion, and offers competitive wage and benefits.
  • Nurse Practitioner at Quad Graphics: QuadMed, Quad/Graphics' employer-sponsored healthcare model that operates and manages medical clinics at Quad/Graphics' sites and other businesses, is seeking a Nurse Practitioner for our new health center located in The Rock, GA. This primary health care and wellness center is scheduled to open in the Fall of 2011, and will provide health care to all employees and dependents. QuadMed is the leader in employer-sponsored healthcare, dedicated to providing employees with comprehensive, accessible care and superior evidence-based medicine. Our innovative practices, values, and focus on wellness and prevention have earned us recognition nationwide.
  • Director, Development and Community Initiatives at American Diabetes Association: Our employees like working at the American Diabetes Association because of our opportunities, inclusive environment, work-life balance, benefits and culture. When you join our dedicated team you will experience the gratification of knowing your work impacts the well-being of millions of people, both directly and indirectly, affected by diabetes. The American Diabetes Association, the nation's leading health organization focused on diabetes is seeking a Director of Development & Community Initiatives to work directly with the Executive Director in support of the leadership in the New Jersey market. Deliver nearly 1M in income from various development vehicles. Manage a staff of four (4). Deliver programming to nearly 100,000 New Jersey residents. Manage website and social media.

Job Search Mondays

Getting a job changes every aspect of your life, but there's one thing that won't change from your job search days: Sometimes you are going to have a case of the Mondays.  Those are the days when it seems like an absolute chore just to lift your head off the pillow.  If you have already been treating your job hunt like a full-time job, you have probably already had quite a few days like this.  Instead of taking those "five more minutes" in bed, here are some motivation tips you can use to get yourself on task:

  • The more time you spend looking for work, the more free time you will have at the end of the day.
  • Your dream job is waiting for you.  If you spend too much time slacking off, you will be wasting time you could be using to craft your best cover letter.
  • Getting in the routine of waking up at normal hours will better prepare you when you finally get that job.  You're going to have to get back on a work schedule eventually, you might as well start now.
Mondays can be rough, but we have to deal with them.  It's one of those unfortunate facts of life.  Following these tips will help you shake off those Monday blues and help you accomplish big things.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Two Important Job Interview Questions (And How To Answer Them)

Are you worried about what questions you will be asked during your job interview?  Don't worry, you're not alone.  Most job seekers will tell you that much of their anxiety about interviews stems from not knowing what they will be asked.  Unfortunately, there's no way of knowing every single question the interviewer is going to ask you.  That doesn't mean you can't prepare.  While every question won't be the same from interview to interview, many companies do stick to a couple of basic questions:

  • Why are you interested in working here?  This is a question so basic, that it's easy to take it for granted.  Do you really have to say anything more complicated than restating what attracted you to the job in the first place?  That's a big part of it, but you should also do ample research on the organization to really knock this question out of the park.  Were you impressed with any projects they undertook?  Be sure to mention that.  The more detail you give, the better.
  • Why should we hire you?  This question seems like an opportunity to brag about yourself, but it's much more than that.  The interviewer is really asking how your skills will best match up to the requirements of the position.  Cite specific examples of your experience that relate to key areas of the job.  For example, if the position requires understanding of social media, talk a lot about your experience in that field.
Interviews are a big first step in the job application process, but that's all they are.  You have to be thoroughly prepared to answer the questions put to you in a way that presents a compelling case for you to be hired.  Use the two example questions above as a starting point for your entire interview preparation.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Nonprofit Career Round-Up: 10/27/2011

When you get a chance, read the newest column from The NonProfit Times on the "Occupy Wall Street" protests.  It's a great read on a subject that has been garnering a lot of attention these days.  After you read it, check out today's top nonprofit jobs:

  • Director of Development at Midland University: Providing overall leadership, management and coordination of the University’s fund raising and alumni relations programs, the Director of Development will design, implement, and assess a comprehensive development plan to address the specific needs of the University and ensure its success.
  • Associate VP For Fundraising Support at Save The Children USA: The Associate VP for Fundraising Support reports to the VP Resource Development. This executive will manage a team comprised of four business units: Goal and Performance Management, Member Resource Coordination, Emergency Fundraising and Best Practices and Innovation.
  • Foundation Director at Cookeville Regional Medical Center: The Director of the CRMC Foundation is responsible for the comprehensive development, implementation and coordination of fund raising activities to include, but not limited to: annual support campaign, planned giving, special events, project funding, capital development as well as the recruitment of volunteers to assist in the fund raising activities.

Professional Development Ideas

Professional development is a great way to help fulfill your career goals.  Graduate programs are what first comes to mind when you think about developing your career skills, but there are many different activities you can partake in to make you a more attractive candidate.

  • Career workshops: These can be expensive, but they are a good option if you can afford them.  Some workshops can even give you certificates, so make sure to double-check before you sign up.
  • Self-education books: Don't have the time or money to take a course or attend a workshop?  Purchase some books on nonprofit management.  It may not look as good on your resume, but it will improve your knowledge.
  • Find a mentor: Find a professional to help guide you on your career path.  This can either be someone you know or a person you are introduced to via a networking contact.
  • Start volunteering: Getting involved with volunteer work will look good to nonprofits, and it can help grow your professional network.  Doing something good for the community can also make you feel better for yourself when going through unemployment.
Getting involved with some form of professional development will help you stay fresh during down times and will avoid worrisome employment gaps in your resumé.  Showing that you were busy during unemployment will look much better on your resume than doing nothing.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Nonprofit Career Round-Up: 10/26/2011

Here are today's top nonprofit jobs for your job search pleasure.  Enjoy!

  • Foundation Director at Cookeville Reigonal Medical Center: The Director of the CRMC Foundation is responsible for the comprehensive development, implementation and coordination of fund raising activities to include, but not limited to: annual support campaign, planned giving, special events, project funding, capital development as well as the recruitment of volunteers to assist in the fund raising activities.
  • Executive Assistant to the CEO at Appraisal Institute: Assist the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) on all administrative and management duties. Performs a variety of complex and routine activities in support of CEO and the Appraisal Institute, some of which may involve access to highly confidential and sensitive information. Works independently within defined schedules and maintains a position of high visibility to board members and key volunteers. Serves as Staff Liaison to projects as assigned by the CEO.
  • VP of Marketing and Devleopment at Family & Children's Agency, Inc: The Vice President of Marketing and Development will possess excellent strategic, leadership and communication skills to lead an institutional advancement program. This individual will be responsible for the planning, leadership, and implementation of all fundraising initiatives, as well as oversight of the organization’s marketing and communication efforts. The Vice President of Marketing & Development will have an extensive knowledge of fundraising principles, and experience building and maintaining relationships with donors.

Explaining Gaps In Employment

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that unemployment is a serious problem in this country.  The unemployment rate has been hovering at around 9 percent for a while now, and Americans are looking everywhere for work.  If you graduated during the height of the recession, or lost your job around that time, there will probably be large gaps in employment in your resume.  You have to find a way to cover up these gaps if you want your resume to be seen by employers.

Did you know that you don't have to list the specific months you worked at a job?  All you have to do is put the years.  If you were unemployed for 6 months after your last job, you can cover up that gap by just listing the years you worked:

Company A: 2004-2007
Company B: 2007-2010

That 6 month gap is now completely gone from your resume.  If you do feel the need to put the specific dates you worked at a company, make sure you list any relevant volunteer work you were involved in during your unemployed period.  This will prove to the nonprofit that you were doing valuable things with your time.

The most important thing to keep in mind during this process is to tell the truth.  If you put information in your resume that is not factual, I can guarantee the recruiter will find out.  Once you are exposed as being untruthful, that reputation will live with you forever.  There is a big difference between covering up gaps and making things up.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Measuring Job Search Progress

The job search can be a long and arduous process.  You will likely apply to countless jobs every day and get in touch with networking contacts, among other activities.  It can be difficult to determine how well you are actually doing with so much on your plate.  Difficult, but not impossible.  Measuring your job search progress will help you determine which of your strategies is working the best, giving you a smoother path to getting hired.

The first thing you should keep of are resumes getting the best results.  If you have been reading this blog consistently, you will already know that you should never be using the same resume for different job applications.  That doesn't mean you can't have a single that you consistently use.  Experiment with different layouts and see which ones get you the most responses.

You should also keep note of which job boards have served you best.  Using multiple job boards is essential.  There's no question it will be a hassle to keep track of multiple sites, but it's the best way to get the most results.  You should be able to tell after a few weeks which sites are worth using.  If you find there are some that are giving you little to no help, take them off your list and move onto a new one.

Remember to keep track of which networking contacts have given you the most help.  You probably contact many different people every day, so it's important to know exactly which individuals you can rely on to help you.  You don't want to be wasting your time contacting people who have consistently provided you with little assistance.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Five Tips For Nonprofit Job Interviews

Even the most prepared candidate can say the wrong thing during a job interview.  This risk can be even greater for for-profit employees looking to land a position in the nonprofit sector because it has a very distinct business language.  When preparing for a nonprofit job interview, for-profit executives must be very careful with the words they choose.

  • Don't refer to the nonprofit as a "company" or a "corporation."  Use the word organization instead.
  • Avoid the use of business jargon like "income statement" or "profit and loss statement."  Say "statement" of activities" instead.
  • Get familiar with nonprofit buzzwords, like "outputs," "outcomes," "major donors," and "development."  Make sure you use them in the proper context.
  • While you shouldn't throw around corporate language, it's just as wrong to assume that nonprofits don't know what these words mean.  You shouldn't be afraid to use common business terms just because you are applying for a nonprofit job.
  • Research the organization's website and see what kind of words they use on their pages.  This is a good way to see which business language has been embraced by the nonprofit sector.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Nonprofit Career Round-Up: 10/21/2011

Here are today's top nonprofit jobs.  Happy job hunting (and happy Friday)!

  • VP, 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.
  • Senior Program Officer at Freedom House: The Senior Program Officer will assist in developing and managing all program aspects for the Latin America portfolio to include strategic design, program design, oversight of program activities, backstopping field offices, monitoring and evaluation, financial management, fundraising, advocacy, outreach, staff supervision, and administration. The Senior Program Officer will report to the Senior Program Manager.
  • Web Graphic Designer at Cultural Vistas Designs, develops, enhances and maintains Cultural Vistas’ website content graphics, and printed marketing materials. Contributes to the organization and work in accordance with the mission, goals, values and strategic direction of Cultural Vistas.

6 Tips To Structure Your Cover Letter

Every job application includes different things, save for two: The resume and cover letter.  Both of these documents are challenging to put together, but the cover letter can prove the most difficult.  Whereas resumes have a standard form, application cover letters gives the job seeker room to be creative.  This free-reign can pose problems if you don't have guidelines to keep your letter structured.

  1. Keep it short and sweet.  Job hunters have a tendency to think they have to include every single detail about themselves in their cover letters.  Employers simply don't have the time to read your life story, make sure you stay on point.  Only include details that are relevant to the position for which you are applying.
  2. Bullet points are your friend.  They help draw the reader's eyes to the most important information.
  3. Pad your credentials.  Don't just say you are the most qualified candidate for the job: Prove it to them.  Tell specific stories from your previous jobs that drive this point home. 
  4. Include your contact information.  This seems like a no-brainer, but it doesn't always happen.  Make sure you list every way to reach you (phone, e-mail, etc) at the very top of your cover letter.
  5. End with class.  Your cover letter closing statement should express your gratitude for being considered for the position.
  6. Proofread!  Don't ever send your cover letter out without looking it over.  It is very easy to miss even the smallest mistakes.  You should also have a friend/family member read it over as well.  Outside eyes can often spot things you could miss.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Nonprofit Career Round-Up: 10/20/2011

We posted a couple of new featured jobs on our career center yesterday.  These positions are some of the best ones out there, so be sure to check them out, as well as the other two I will list here today:

  • Database Manager at The American Pharmacists Association (FEATURED JOB): The Database Manager will ensure the quality and integrity of the Association database, implement and maintain standard operating procedures and documentation for all database operations and processes, train staff on database processes and utilization, and trouble shoot individual database problems Association-wide.
  • Health Policy Analyist at The American Pharmacists Association (FEATURED JOB): Health Policy Analyst The American Pharmacists Association, the national professional society of pharmacists, has an immediate need for a Health Policy Analyst to identify, monitor, and analyze legislation and regulations for the HRSA Pharmacy Services Support Center’s (PSSC) 340B Drug program.
  • Senior Corporate and Foundation Officer at American Red Cross Manages a portfolio of corporate and foundation prospects, develops fundraising strategies for assignments and takes primary responsibility for fulfillment and stewardship. Creates customized proposals to meet both donor intention and organizational needs, including cash gifts, cause marketing campaigns and employee giving campaigns. Cooperates with chapters to take initiative in developing targeted approaches. Sets metrics and prepares reports relevant to progress, impact and stewardship.

For-Profit to Nonprofit: Making The Transition

It is common to see people from the for-profit world make jump to the nonprofit sector.  The ultimate goals of a nonprofit and a for-profit might be different, but their management styles have a lot in common.  That doesn't mean there aren't things that for-profit executives should keep in mind before switching their career paths.

Nonprofit hours aren't always the typical eight-hour workday.  "No big deal", you might be think, "I had to work overtime a lot at my last job."  We're talking about more than your normal overtime work here.  There are often special events like galas, telethons, or community service work that can extend to all hours of the day, including weekends.  Make sure to ask the kind of time commitment expected when you go in for an interview.

For-profit companies can have easy access to the things because of an abundance of money.  Nonprofits aren't the picture of poverty they are sometimes made out to be, but they do need to use the donor dollars they get effectively.  This can be a bit of an adjustment for employees who are used to having more resources at their disposal.  This might not be the case depending on the organization you choose to work for, but it's something to keep in mind.

There are other differences to consider when transitioning to the nonprofit sector, but these are the two biggest adaptations you will have to make.  Feel free to add your own experiences in the comments section below.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Nonprofit Career Round-Up: 10/19/2011

We've had a number of great nonprofit jobs posted to our career center latelty.  Here's a few of the most recent ones:

  • Director of Major Gifts at Planned Parenthood Federation of America: Reporting to the National Director, Principal & Major Gifts and managing three regional major gifts officers, the Director, Major Gifts will work collaboratively with and provide counsel and support to PPFA’s senior leadership and affiliate CEOs to effectively identify, qualify, engage, and convert a pipeline of major donor prospects into a rich portfolio of relationships, motivating them toward a higher level of support through a more purposeful and personal cultivation approach.
  • Accountant at The Lord's Place, Inc: •Prepares all journal entries. •Prepares monthly grant reimbursement invoices. •Prepares bank reconciliations. •Reviews and approves weekly accounts payable invoices report. •Reviews and approves daily Cash Receipt Posting reports. •Prepares monthly program Profit & Loss (budget vs. actual) reports. •Prepares monthly grant Profit & Loss (budget vs. actual) reports. •Reviews and approves monthly provider invoices from various grants.
  • Director of Development at University of Arizona: Working in cooperation with the director and managing director of the Institute, development personnel from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and representatives of the University of Arizona Foundation (UAF), the Director of Development will lead, direct and manage all development activities of the National Institute for Civil Discourse. This shall include, but not be limited to; cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of prospective major gift donors, including individuals, corporations, foundations, and government sources.

Do's and Don't For Job Interviews

After what seems like an eternity of waiting, you finally get that call: You've been asked in for a job interview.  That doesn't mean your work is over.  The interview is merely the first step in getting a job.  It gets you through the door, but you can be kicked right out again if you are not properly prepared.  Here is a list of things you should and shouldn't do before and during an interview:

You Should...

  • Research the employer.  How else are you going to be ready when they ask you what you know about the organization?  If there is too much hesitation in your answer, they are going to know you didn't do your homework.
  • Dress professionally.  When in doubt, lean towards a conservative dress code.  Avoid wearing perfume, cologne, or aftershave.  You want to smell nice, but you're not going on a date.
  • Request business cards.  You're going to want to know the contact information of your interviewer so you can reach them in the future.
  • Make eye contact, but don't stare.  There's a fine line between these two things.  Eye contact shows your interested, staring is just creepy.
  • Send a thank-you letter.  Do this the minute you get back from the interview.  Many job search professionals believe not sending one can cost you the job.
You shouldn't...

  • Be late.  This seems obvious but sometimes it's out of your control.  That's why you should leave as early as you can to counteract any unforeseen events (traffic, train breaking down, etc).  If something happens that sets you back, make sure you contact the employer to let them know you will be late.
  • Bring drinks or food.  Eat your breakfast before the interview, not during it.
  • Put down previous employers.  You might not think too highly of your previous jobs, but interviews are not the place to vent about them.  Keep your negative thoughts to yourself.
  • Bring notes.  You should have things you are prepared to say, but don't sound rehearsed.
  • Be modest about your accomplishments.  Let them know all the important things you have done for previous employers, and how that work made a difference.  Don't be afraid to brag!
  • Bring up money. Let the interviewer broach that topic.  If they do, be honest about how much you made in the past and what you expect to make.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Nonprofit Career Round-Up: 10/18/2011

Here are today's top nonprofit jobs.  Happy job hunting!

  • New Business Manager at Planet Aid Inc: Planet Aid seeks a USG New Business Manager (NBM) who is both entrepreneurial and a team player. The New Business Manager must have extensive experience in USG new-business development; partnership building and proposal development to build the organization’s USG portfolio. Experience in the area of Education, Agriculture, Food Security and nutrition is a plus, but not a pre-condition. The NBM must be driven, highly organized, able to juggle multiple priorities at once and manage the proposal development processes from start to finish.
  • President & CEO/Change Leader at Japanese American Cultural Career Center: The President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) will be a strategic, dynamic, forward thinking leader able to advance the organization’s impact locally and nationally. The CEO will be able to use “change leadership” skills to bring about large scale change with the sense of urgency that such direction requires.
  • Regional Executive Officer at American Red Cross: To be successful in this position, candidates must have a BS/BA in administration or related field plus five years related experience, or an equivalent combination of education/related work experience. Prior nonprofit experience strongly preferred or business experience with exposure to community/volunteer organizations. Must have experience in solving operational and procedural problems. Must have significant experience and a proven track record in fund raising, including a successful record with major gift fund raising. Must have excellent interpersonal and collaborative skills.

Top 10 Job Hunting Tips

People make top 10 lists all the time.  Whether it's the top 10 quarterbacks in the NFL, or the top 10 pizza restaurants in town, people just love to make lists.  Did you ever consider making a top 10 list for job hunting tips?  We at NPT Jobs did so, without further ado, here is our list of the top 10 best job hunting tips:

  1. Do a complete and honest assessment of all of your career skills, motivations, and capabilities.  This is the best way to truly understand the kind of job you want.
  2. Once you do this, you can decide specifically what it is you want to do.  Make sure your qualifications meet the job's requirements.
  3. Find out who the key players are at the organization you want to work and find out how to contact them.
  4. Consider an alternative path for your career.  This can come in the form of temp jobs, internships, volunteering, or consulting.
  5. Build a large personal network.  You can never have too many contacts.  Most people will want to help you, but you have to reach out to them first.
  6. Speaking of networks, make sure you create quality social networking profiles for yourself.
  7. Make connections with recruiters who are specifically involved with nonprofit job searches.
  8. Prepare thoroughly for your job interviews.  Make sure you have a list of questions you want to ask.
  9. Keep your other contacts in mind.  Let them know if you run into a situation that might be helpful for them. This will make them more likely to help you.
  10. Thank everybody who helped you when you are done with your job search.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Questions To Think About In Job Interviews

Job interviews can be the leading cause in ulcers for job seekers.  Every little aspect can be nerve wracking--from picking out the right outfit to wondering if your handshake was firm enough.  You're never going to get rid of all of the nerves, but there are ways to make sure the process is less stressful.  One way of doing this is preparing for the most common interview questions.  Here's a list of some of them, along with ways they can be answered:

  • "Why do you want to work here?"-This one shouldn't be too difficult to answer.  You did apply for the job for a reason, right?  Make sure you answer this question by emphasizing how well it gels with your interests and career skills.
  • "How do you cope with multiple assignments?"-Don't you just love questions that have only one right answer?  That's what this question is.  Most jobs require you to be great at multitasking, so there really is no need to tell any white lies.  Just make sure you speak confidently, and try to use anecdotes to enhance your answer.
  • "What experience do you have with deadlines?"-This is another question that gives you a great opportunity to tell a story.  This is a great time to let your experience shine.
  • "How do you deal with criticism?"-This is a tough question.  Let's face it, most people don't like the idea of being told that they are wrong.  Start your answer by saying that it's not your favorite thing in the world, but you've learned that it's a great way to grow.  You should also bring up an example of how criticism has helped you in the past.
  • "How do you deal with a bad supervisor?"-This question is designed to see how you deal with difficult circumstances.  If you've never had a bad supervisor, create an anecdote on how you think you would deal with one.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Nonprofit Career Round-Up: 10/14/2011

The newest edition of The NonProfit Times has just been released!  Check out our website to see what stories are included in this issue.  After you do that, you can check out today's top nonprofit jobs:

  • Executive Director at Partnership for a Secure America: Partnership for a Secure America (PSA) is seeking an Executive Director to lead all aspects of growing non-profit, including day-to-day functions while shaping and executing a strategic long term vision and plan for the organization. PSA is a nonprofit founded in 2005 by former US Representative Lee Hamilton (D-IN) and Senator Warren Rudman (R-NH) to advance bipartisanship in addressing today’s national security and foreign policy challenges.
  • Nurse Practitioner at Bernard Hodes Group: The successful candidate will have completed an approved nurse practitioner program (MSN preferred). CPR certification is required. Current GA licensure, ability to work independently and at least three years experience also required.
  • General Manager at McKesson Corporation: Reporting to the McKesson Foundation President, the GM is responsible for all aspects of a new program of the McKesson Foundation focused on improving the lives of low-income cancer patients. We are seeking a unique mix of someone with deep experience in eCommerce combined with an experienced nonprofit leader that believes in the power of individual donors to make a difference.

Top 5 Ways To Make Your Job Search More Productive

It's easy to be thrown off course on your job search when so much is going on around you.  How can a job seeker expect to get work done when there are so many distractions?  It all starts with having a structured work environment.  That's why I have developed a list of tips that will help you get the most efficient use out of your time.

NPT Jobs Top 5 Ways To Make Your Job Search More Productive

  1. Work at a library instead of at home: Doing your job search at home is not always the best option, even though it might be the most comfortable.  Working at a library will ensure that you have a quiet work environment.
  2. Set goals: Make a list of the things you want to accomplish for the day before starting the job hunt.  Having goals you have to meet can make it easier to get more work done.
  3. Create a work schedule: Lay out exactly when in the day you want to do specific job search activities.  You could, for example, set aside the morning for applying for jobs, while using the afternoon to do some networking. 
  4. Only apply for the right jobs: Don't waste your time applying for jobs for which you are over or under qualified.  More often than not, you will not even get an interview for those positions.
  5. Stay positive: Don't let the disappointments that come with the job search get you down.  If you get a rejection letter, just move on to the next job.  You can't waste valuable time stressing over a missed opportunity.
Have any additional tips?  Feel free to add them in the comments.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Nonprofit Career Round-Up: 10/12/2011

Thanks to everybody that attended today's webinar.  If you are interested in attending another, we have one coming up on November 3rd.  Check out the registration page for more information.

  • SVP of Entertainment/Programs at The USO (FEATURED JOB): The Senior Vice President of Entertainment/Programs will and direct the delivery of a diverse and high quality suite of USO entertainment and program activities supporting military members and their families, wounded warriors and their families, and families of the fallen - all in support of the USO vision, mission and strategic goals.
  • Program Manager at Indiana State Fair Commission: The purpose of this position is to direct, create, plan, oversee and execute significant projects for the Indiana State Fair and year round programs. This position must analyze the ISFC mission to develop programs which occur primarily during the annual Indiana State Fair. This position manages the budget for the programs, which may include educational and/or agriculturally focused displays.
  • Director of Grant Management at Devereux: Devereux's Corporate Development Offices has an immediate opening for a senior level Director, reporting to the Vice President of External Affairs and Development, responsible for the full process of grant and foundation funding relationships. The successful candidate will direct project teams and have exceptional interpersonal skills with passion and creativity for ongoing identification, cultivation and solicitation of grant and foundation sources, to assemble comprehensive and successful grant submissions.

The Art Of Salary Negotiation

salary negotiation
Being passionate about an organization's missions or goals is one of the most important things a job seeker should consider when deciding whether to apply for a nonprofit job.  You then need to make sure that the job fits your skill set.  Once that is decided, it's time to turn to the reason you need a job in the first place: Money.  While some companies will list their starting salary in their job descriptions, there are many that will ask candidates to provide salary requirements in their cover letters.  Should you get chosen for an interview, you will have to get well acquainted with the art of salary negotiation.

The hardest part of negotiating a salary is asking for what you truly need.  It is common for job seekers to simply say they are "flexible" when it comes to pay.  Job seekers don't want to come off as greedy or imposing, and the thought is that being flexible with pay will help you get the job.  This couldn't be further from the truth.  Recruiters know the standard pay rate for your position, and they want to see that you know it as well.  Asking for a salary that is in line with the average salary will help your chances more than just saying you are flexible.

Nonprofit salaries vary from organization to organization.  Some might fit the stereotype of a low-paying, thankless job, but you will find that many have very competitive salaries.  Before you list your salary requirements, take a look at some nonprofit salary surveys to see what the position you are applying for generally pays.

The bottom line is you have to have a good knowledge of what you want and what you need.  You may want, for example, $50,000 a year, but you might find that is unreasonable for the position in question.  Calculate your expenses and see what kind of salary you really need.  Then, compare that with the average salary for the job you want.  You will likely be able to find a happy medium upon which both you and the employer can agree.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Nonprofit Career Round-Up: 10/12/2011

The NonProfit Times and CDS Global is holding a webinar tomorrow entitled "What's Keeping You Up At Night?  Creating Systems to Deal With Nonprofit Challenges."  If you are attending, please remember that it starts at 11:00 AM EST, so be on time!  More information can be found here.

Now, onto today's top nonprofit jobs:

  • Development Officer at Doctors Community Hospital: 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.
  • Philanthropy Systems Administrator at Abington Memorial Hospital: With limited supervision from the VP, Institutional Advancement, the Philanthropy Systems Administrator is responsible for all aspects of fundraising information systems, including wealth screening, coding, design, data retrieval, reports, data/system security and application training for Philanthropy staff.
  • Director of Fund Development at The Association of Junior Leages International: Leads the Association’s comprehensive fundraising and development activities.  Develops long-range and annual development plans to support AJLI’s strategic goals, using the Case for Support and initial Plan developed by the Diversified Fund Development Task Force.

Job Research: Why It's Important

Do you know everything you should about the company for which you are applying?  If the answer is no, you need to do some more research before you send that resume.  That's probably not something most job seekers want to hear.  Browsing job boards for work is enough work as it is, why would you want to make it even more frustrating?  Here's why: Job research not only will help you get a better feel of what the organization does, it will also help enhance your qualifications.

Having a better understanding of the specifics of the organization you are applying to will give you more to write about in your cover letter.  For example, you could mention a specific event that the nonprofit was recently involved with as an example of why you are excited to join them.  This has the added benefit of showing the employer that you have done your homework.

Job research can also help you in a similar way during interview preparation.  Create a list of talking points about the company before you get into the office.  These points should show your knowledge of the organization, and how your skills could help them out further.  If you are applying for a web developer position, you could mention to the interviewer that you liked the design of their website while also pointing out some areas that you could improve.

These are just some of the ways that researching a company can help your cause.  Please refer to my previous post on job research for specific ways you should go about this process.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Nonprofit Career Round-Up: 10/11/2011

I would like to remind everybody that NPT's 2011 Nonprofit Organizations Salary and Benefits Report has recently been released!  This report contains information from 252 nonprofit jobs, from executive to entry level.  If you want to get a good idea of what a typical salary is for a particular nonprofit job, this report is just for you.  Check it out on our online store today!  Who knows, maybe it will have some of these positions listed...

  • Substance Abuse Clinical Coordinator at West Bergen Mental Healthcare (FEATURED JOB): West Bergen Mental Healthcare is currently seeking a Full Time Substance Abuse Clinical Coordinator. Responsibilities include development of specific programs, direct care, off site services and the overall practices of the specific Program. Additionally insures compliance with all regulatory bodies and completes reports and rosters for regulatory agencies and contract work for, but not limited to the County of Bergen, Division of Addiction Services and the Juvenile Justice Commission. The target population includes any child, adult or senior community organizations, self-help groups, school districts and parents/caregivers.
  • Controller at National Association of Area Agencies on Aging The Controller is responsible for directing n4a fiscal operations in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, including accounts payable and receivables, budget development and process, financial reporting, and the annual audit. This position provides support to the CEO and n4a with respect to the Association’s administrative functions, including grant management under OMB human resources/benefits and database management and payroll. Under general supervision, this position staffs the Finance Committee of the Board of Directors.
  • Director of Development at Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy: As the Academy’s chief fundraising officer, the DOD is responsible for planning, coordination, and execution of CVCA’s fundraising initiatives. The DOD oversees the development office staff in the solicitation of operational, capital, and deferred gifts, securing resources to assist CVCA in fulfilling its mission of Educating and Cultivating Servants for Christ. This position reports to the school’s president. Ideal candidates will hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and will have 3 to 5 years of development experience in a private educational (or other Christian non-profit) setting.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Nonprofit Career Round-Up: 10/10/2011

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

  • Senior Vice President at Sanford Health (FEATURED JOB): As the leader of the Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Foundation, the Senior Vice President will lead the execution of a national, grassroots-focused fundraising program that aspires to raise $100 million or more annually within 10 years. The Senior Vice President will have the resources and organizational support to build a best-in-class Foundation.
  • Director of Facilities Management at The Kendal Corporation: The Admiral at the Lake is seeking a Director of Facilities Management for its emerging retirement community in Chicago. The Admiral is located at the border of the Edgewater & Uptown neighborhoods. Founded in 1858, The Admiral is Chicago’s oldest nonprofit organization dedicated to creating senior living. After 150 years, we are beginning a new chapter in the future of senior living and building new homes in a 31-story high-rise environment, approximately 500,000 sq. ft., including 200 IL apts, 39 AL suites, 39 private memory care rooms, & 36 private skilled nursing rooms.
  • Executive Director at Canine Companions for Independence: Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) seeks nominations and applications for the position of Southwest Region (SWR) Executive Director. Since its founding in 1975, CCI has been the nation’s premier leader in enhancing the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure excellence in the quality of partnerships. Canine Companions for Independence is recognized worldwide for the excellence of its dogs, for the quality and longevity of the matches made between dogs and people, and for its profound impact in supporting a life full of increased independence and loving companionship for those it serves.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Nonprofit Career Round-Up: 10/07/2011

The September jobs report was released today, showing that the U.S. economy added 100,000 jobs, which is double the amount economists expected.  The report also indicated that more jobs were added in July and August than previously thought.

  • Communications Associate at The American Pharmacists Association: The American Pharmacists Association, the national professional society of pharmacists, has an immediate need for a Communications Associate for the HRSA Pharmacy Services Support Center (PSSC) Call/Resource center. This person play a key role in developing written and web based materials for the PSSC Website, and will research, and write occasional newsletter and policy articles on PSSC topics.
  • Senior Director of Development at University of Florida College of Medicine: As a senior member of the College of Medicine Development team, the Senior Director of Development will join an already thriving fundraising department committed to the values of collaboration, collegiality and a donor-centric approach to fundraising. This is an exceptional opportunity for the accomplished major gifts fundraiser and manager who has a passion for medicine and patient care. The successful candidate will manage a portfolio of high-level prospects and work with the college’s top-level physicians and researchers.
  • Program Director at AARP: Contributes to the development and implementation of the Hunger Impact Program’s short and long-term strategy in partnership with the VP of the Hunger Impact Program. Helps to set the research and thought leadership agenda for AARP and AARP Foundation in the Hunger Impact Area. Serves as the point-person for day-to-day implementation, oversight and management of Hunger thought leadership and research interventions, and for defining, planning, and implementing future interventions. Works collaboratively internally and externally to communicate information about the program to potential participants.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

How To Succeed At Career Fairs

Career Fairs are some of the most important events you can attend.  The best thing about them is that you know for a fact that every organization that attends is hiring.  To get the most out of a job fair you can't expect it to be enough to simply attend.  You have to do some serious work if you want to have the best chance at getting noticed.


Go to the fair's website before you attend and look up the companies that are attending.  Make a list of the ones that most interest you and research more about them.  What exactly are the positions for which they are hiring?  What kind of work does the organization do?  These are all things you can find out on their website and/or social media profiles.

After you are done researching, you should send your resume to each of the organizations you are interested in speaking to at the fair.  Mention in your e-mail that you are going to be attending the job fair, and that you would be interested in speaking to them more about the position.

Attending The Fair

Choosing when to get to the career fair is a decision that shouldn't be taken lightly.  It's best to arrive as early as you can to beat the long lines that you will encounter.  If there is something that prevents you from getting there early, plan to head there towards the end of the first day of the fair.  The lines will be shorter then, giving you more time to talk to recruiters.

Plan to bring extra copies of your resume, cover letter, and business cards; you never know when you will need them.

After The Fair

Send personalized follow-up notes to every recruiter to whom you speak.  These can be handled in the same way as a normal follow-up message.  If you don't hear back from any of them after a week, call them up and re-state your interest in the job.

Career fairs are a great opportunity to enhance your job search, but only if you do the necessary preparation.  Follow this advice, and you will walk out of the fair in very good shape.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

NPT Jobs Recommends: 10/05/2011

It's an absolutely gorgeous fall day here on the east coast.  It's a great day to take your laptop outside and do your job search in the fresh air.  And while you're doing that, you can also check out these great career advice articles:

  • '8 Ways to Subtly Connect Online'-Feeling nervous about connecting with people online?  Not to worry, has some tips on how to go about getting new connections in ways that are less harmful to the nerves.
  • 'Losing A Job With Dignity'-Losing a job is one of the worst things that can happen to anybody.  This inspiring article tells the story of a man who handled this tough situation with class.  This is a must read.
  • '3 Keys to Customizing Your Resume'-GreatResumesFast gives some tips on how to tailor your resume based on the job you are applying to.

Writing a Good Cover Letter Ending

They say first impressions are everything, but final impressions aren't chopped liver either.  That's why writing a good cover letter ending can make all the difference.

Believe it or not, a bad closing to your cover letter can ruin an otherwise great effort.  One of the most common mistakes people make when writing an ending is using passive language.  Here are a few examples:

  • "I look forward to hearing back from you in the near future."
  • "If you wish to discuss my qualifications further, get back to me."
  • "I think you will find that my qualifications really fit well with your position, and I hope to hear back from you." 
This type of writing will make the reader think that you don't have much confidence in yourself.  Even if the rest of your cover letter shows that you would be a great fit for the job, hiring managers will think twice if they think you are too passive.  This attribute is a must for nonprofit jobs, so don't give the employer any reason to doubt you.  Try using closings like these:

  • "I will contact you within the week to follow up on my application.  Meanwhile, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or requests.  Thank you for your time and your consideration."
  • "I have enclosed my resume, which will contain additional details about my qualifications.  If you have any additional questions, please contact me.  I look forward to discussing the job with you in the coming weeks."
  • "Thank you for taking the time to review my credentials.  I would be more than happy to answer any questions you might have at your convenience."
  • "I appreciate you considering me for this position.  I will contact you soon so we can discuss my qualifications further, and see if we can find a time to schedule an interview."
You will notice that all of these examples are respectful and confident.  Unlike the first samples I used, the second set of examples make it clear that you will make an effort to reach out to the hiring manager to further make your case.  It's not always guaranteed that this aggressive approach will work, but it's definitely a lot more effective than just waiting for something to happen.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Nonprofit Career Round-Up: 10/04/2011

Is there a particular career topic you want me to write about in the future?  Please leave your suggestions in the comment section, and I will try to get to them if I think it would make a good post.  Hooray for interaction!

And now, onto today's nonprofit jobs...

  • Communications Associate at Hartford Foundation for Public Giving: We need your expert knowledge of the latest social media and electronic communications, your keen interest in what’s next, and your exceptional skills in project management, writing, editing, and print/electronic material production to help accomplish the vital mission of Greater Hartford’s community foundation.
  • Corporate Outreach and Fundraising Manager at Colon Cancer Alliance: The Corporate Outreach & Fundraising Manager will be instrumental in helping the Colon Cancer Alliance, the nation’s leading colon cancer patient advocacy group, achieve its mission. The manager will have aggressive but achievable goals and the freedom and flexibility to be creative in reaching them.
  • Chief Development Officer at South County Family YMCA: Our existing team of Cause Driven Leaders is seeking an exceptional individual for the significant responsibility of leading the development effort to allow us to expand our mission and serve those in our communities. The CDO will be responsible to build individual, corporate and foundation relationships to produce new, and strengthen existing, philanthropic streams of revenue.

Improving Your Social Media Profile

social media

What would we do without sites like LinkedIn?  Thanks to these sites, job seekers are able to make their mark all over the web, making it a lot easier to get noticed.  Setting up a good social media profile is more than just entering your information, however.  You will have to put a lot of thought into design if you want to sufficiently impress employers. 

Step 1: Ditch Your "Funny" Profile Picture

That picture of you at your friend's bachelor party might be hilarious, but it probably isn't the best way to represent yourself.  The best kind of profile picture you can put up is a headshot.  Your picture is the first thing a visitor will see when visiting your page, and we all know that first impressions are everything.

Step 2: Open Up!

Privacy is a big topic in the world of social media.  Most people are not comfortable with having their profile visible to everyone, but you have to enable this option if you are going to be seen by recruiters.  Sites like Facebook and LinkedIn have a section where you can set your profile to be seen by people other than your friends.  Thankfully, you can customize what information you want people to see.

Step 3: Consistently Update Your Status

Status updates are a great way to let recruiters know more about your interests.  They also help get your name out there.  For example, updating your status on LinkedIn makes your connections aware of your recent activities.  This can be useful if you are planning to attend an event that other people in your network are going to.

Step 4: Write A Meaningful Self-Summary

Here is what your self-summary should NOT be: "My name is Zach and I like playing piano, going to movies, and long walks on the beach.  I am interested in a career in nonprofits."  That's not very helpful, is it?  It's not easy for everybody to write about themselves, but it's something you will have to master if you want to catch people's eyes.  When it comes to self-summaries, the worst thing you can do is not have enough detail.

Social media can be your best friend in the world if you handle it properly.  Make sure you get the most out of it by following these tips.

Monday, October 3, 2011

NPT Jobs Recommends: 10/03/2011

Here are some great job search articles to help get you through the rest of the day:

  • 'Utilizing Keywords to Strengthen Your Executive Resume'-If you want to write a successful resume, you have to use keywords.  This article shows you the ways to make the most effective use of them.
  • '5 Remedies to Fix Bad Career Advice'-We all get bad career advice from time to time.  Don't let those bumps in the road hinder your job search!  Mark Dyson gives some great tips on how to recover from these situations.
  • 'Keep Your E-Mail (and Resume) Out of the Spam Filters'-Many organizations install spam filters in their e-mails so they aren't overwhelmed with junk mail.  Unfortunately, these programs can filter out innocent e-mails, like your job application, if they aren't worded correctly.  No need to worry, posted this great piece on how to make sure your resume doesn't fall victim to spam filters.

Nonprofit Career Round-Up: 10/03/2011

Here are today's top nonprofit jobs.  Enjoy!

  • President & CEO at Community Health Charities of Florida (FEATURED JOB): Community Health Charities of Florida (CHC-FL Affiliate) is seeking an individual with experience in corporate philanthropy, sales management, and board development to serve as President & CEO for the statewide Affiliate. Community Health Charities is a federation of America's premier nonprofit voluntary health agencies working together to raise charitable contributions in the public and private sector workplaces.
  • Social Worker/Care Manager at Jewish Family and Children's Service: Under the supervision of the Clinical Supervisor for the Center for Special Needs, the Social Worker/Care Manager (CM) will be part of the B’SIDE Program and work as part of a team within the Center for Special Needs. The SW/CM will identify needs of B’SIDE clients and provide intensive care management services. Services will include direct service in home of clients, needs assessments, supportive counseling and help with daily life skills in order to support the client’s ability to live independently and to achieve their highest level of functioning.
  • Associate Director, Membership Retention at The Nature Conservancy: Responsible for leading the strategy to increase retention of our current member base in order to maximize revenue over the long term. This includes overseeing all campaigns oriented to retain supporters (mail, digital, phone and mobile, and any alternative media), and developing strategies and best practices for engaging members, particularly those segments where retention is a key strategy for ensuring long-term value, e.g. first-year member. Works closely with field-based Marketing and Philanthropy staff, Digital Membership, and the Annual Giving and Engagement team to optimize touchpoints for all members.

Telephone Interview Tips

Before you are called in for a face-to-face meeting, some companies like to go through a telephone interview.  This type of job interview presents many challenges.  Since you can't see the interviewers facial expressions or body language, it can be hard to determine how well you are doing.  It can also be very difficult to understand people over the phone.  If you are to take that next step toward getting a job, you must master this sometimes uncomfortable task.  Here are some tips to make it a little easier:

  • Write down a list of questions you want to ask.  Here's the bonus of interviewing over the phone: You can keep this list in front of you as you talk.  As you address each question, you can check them off your list. 
  • Conduct the interview in a place where there will be the least amount of noise.  That means staying away from the TV and other people you live with.  The nature of everyday life means it's almost impossible to avoid all noises, but you can minimize the affect they have on your interview.  If there's one place you should avoid at all costs it's the outside.  Make sure you are indoors when the call comes.
  • Avoid talking like you would to your best friend.  That means not using slang or other informal language.  Phone interviews may be casual, but this is still a professional conversation, so you have to treat it that way.
  • Make sure you are not lounging around when you speak.  Even though you can't be seen, this type of body language can affect your speech.  You have to be as enthusiastic as possible when you are talking.
  • Don't call back at the end of the interview if you realized you forgot something.  If it's something very important, make a note of it and bring it up again if you are lucky enough to get called in for a face-to-face interview.
  • Don't forgot to send a thank you note 24 hours after your interview!
Think of the telephone interview as the last barrier between you and the employer.  If you follow these tips and are sufficiently impressive, you will give yourself the best possible chance to succeed.