Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Things You Can Control In The Hiring Process

What gets people most nervous are the things they can't control. That's why parents get pretty antsy at their kids' sports games or other events. It's not only because they want them to do really well; they also have no control over the outcome.

It would seem there is little about the hiring process you can control. Everything seems to be out of your hands once you send in your job application. In reality, there are a number of things that you can control. It all starts with what we just mentioned: Sending in your application on time.

Most job descriptions note when resumés and cover letters must be received. Some job seekers make the mistake of either not seeing this deadline or not taking it seriously. While it's true that they are sometimes not followed, you should always err on the side of caution and get your application in as early as possible. You don't want a perfectly good resumé  to go to waste by not being seen.

Job interviews are where you really get the chance to control things. It all starts with presentation. Follow the old cliché "dress to impress" by making sure you are wearing appropriate clothing to the interview (i.e., no jeans, sneakers, or T-shirts). Looking unprofessional is one of the best ways to sink your chances of getting a job. If you're unsure about what to wear, find out the dress code of the nonprofit. Wear khakis and a button-downed shirt if you aren't able to get this information.

Finally, it's important to remember that a job interview is not a casual chat. You should come off as charming, but you aren't trying to make a new friend; you're trying to get a job. This means you need to show the hiring manager that you understand the needs of the organization and that you are the right person to fulfill them. Don't be uptight or too casual. Finding the right balance is key.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Asking For A Job Reference

One of the best ways to get a nonprofit job is to get a reference from an employee that already works there. This is obviously a lot easier if you already know that person, but what do you do when you don't have any contacts?

Without having some connection the referral, it's unwise to ask for a reference. But just because you don't know anybody at the nonprofit doesn't mean your networking contacts don't. Check your LinkedIn account to see if there is anybody in your network that has connections at the nonprofit. If there's someone that you know fairly well who has connections, send a message asking if they can help you get in touch with the person in question.

Familiarity is key with references. You need to be sure that your contact knows this person well enough to ask for a referral, so be sure to ask this. Your contact should also know you well enough to be able to accurately describe your skills and experience. The better he/she knows you, the more likely they will be able to convince the potential reference that you would be a good fit for the organization.

Here are some other things to keep in mind:

  • If you do happen to know someone at the nonprofit to which you are applying, precede your request for a reference with an explanation of why you would be a good fit at the organization. This should be no more than three or four sentences.
  • Take no for an answer. Your reputation will suffer if you try to convince the person to change their mind.
  • Offer to buy your contact lunch to discuss the situation further. This is a nice gesture and will give you an opportunity to explain anything you want he/she to know.
  • Remember to send a thank-you note to your contact if they provide you with a reference, even if you don't end up getting the job.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Featured Nonprofit Job: Associate Director Of Policy Advocacy

Do you want the chance to work for an organization that ranked #9 on our 50 Best Nonprofits to Work For in 2012? Now is your chance with this latest featured nonprofit job.

Based in Washington, D.C., the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) is looking for an Associate Director of Policy Advocacy to assist with promoting the organization's core mission of protecting the planet's natural resources. The chosen candidate will work with NRDC's Director of Policy Advocacy on various institutional matters, serve as liaison to the nonprofit's program and communications staff, interface with NRDC's executive leadership, provide budget guidance, and offer issue campaign advice for strategic priorities.

The Associate Director of Policy Advocacy will also be responsible for the following:

  • Assist in aligning NRDC's campaign efforts with organizational objectives;
  • Contribute to senior NRDC institutional committees and help in the development and implementation of overall issue campaign strategies;
  • Provide budgetary review and assistance;
  • Assist Director with staff management and preparation of materials;
  •  As needed, represent NRDC in various contexts to external stakeholders, coalition partners, the general public and the media; and,
  • Provide strategic advice to NRDC programs and departments.
Now that you know the basic responsibilities of the job, it's time to determine whether you have the correct qualifications. NRDC requires all applicants to meet the following requirements to be considered for the position:
  • Demonstrated ability to build consensus, develop effective coalitions and manage collaborative projects;
  • Strong communication/writing skills;
  • 10+ years of political, policy advocacy or issue campaign experience;
  • Broad knowledge of environmental policy a plus;
  • bility to work collegially, be a self-starter, prioritize multiple projects, and perform well under deadlines; and,
  • Advanced degree in environmental policy, public administration, non-profit management, related field or equivalent is preferred.
To read more about this job, including directions on how to apply, visit The NonProfit Times' career center. Good luck!

Want To Be A Major Gifts Officer?

Are you an experienced fundraiser ready to take on the challenges of major gifts? If the answer to that question is "yes," then Community Action Services and Food Bank could use your services.

The Provo, UT-based organization is looking to hire a Major Gifts Officer to help cultivate donors and foundations capable of high-end gifts. The chosen candidate will accomplish this by developing and managing relationships with donors, prospective donors, and private foundations. Other duties include:

  • Establish and work toward meeting specific financial goals;
  • Develop long-term philanthropic relationships with existing and potential high dollar donors;
  • Solicit individual donations in telephone and face-to-face meetings;
  • Oversee foundation outreach;
  • Represent the agency’s point of view accurately and actively to the public;
  • Willingness and ability to accept additional projects and responsibilities as necessary;
  • Complete research to identify individual prospects and donors; and,
  • Prepare regular status reports on budget projections, proposals pending, and cultivation process
Major gift cultivation is a tough task, and requires significant experience in fundraising. Below are some other qualifications that Community Action Services and Food Bank is looking for in applicants:
  • Two to four years progressive experience in fundraising development, with most recent experience in major gifts preferred.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and a demonstrated record of completing assignments.   
  • Ability to understand the needs and interests of leadership and major gift donors.
  • Minimum of Bachelor’s Degree in related field.
  • Broad knowledge of the principles of fundraising with individuals and foundations.
  • Proven expertise in taking initiative, and building and maintaining strong rapport and positive relationships with diverse audiences.
  • Personal belief in mission, vision, values and goals of the agency.
If you meet all of the above qualifications, head to our career center to read more about the job, including directions on how to apply.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Job Search Rules For The Digital Age

The job search is a lot different now that we are in the digital age. While technology has made things a lot easier for job seekers, it also has the potential to hurt your chances if you don't use it properly.

It all starts with your Facebook page. You've probably already heard people say that you need to remove inappropriate photos from your profile, but that's only the start. Go through all of your comments and delete any that contain profanity or anything else that can be construed as offensive. This also applies to what you list as your interests, favorite movies, etc. Finally, you should change your privacy settings so that only your friends can view your wall. This is a necessity if you have friends who tend to be inappropriate with their postings.

The next thing that you need to change is your voice mail. Your friends probably think your outgoing message is hilarious, but employers won't be amused. You shouldn't give the caller any reason to hang up, so make sure to use a standard greeting.

A similar rule applies to your e-mail address. It's a good idea to create a new account for your job search activities. Not only will you avoid having to apply to a job with a less than professional account name, you will also spare yourself the work of having to separate personal e-mails from job search ones.

People today are used to being able to answer calls or text messages while doing work, but this is not appropriate when you are in the middle of a job interview. To avoid any potential distractions, you should completely turn off your cell phone. Leaving it on vibrate is not an option, as you will still be aware when you are getting a call or a text. It's better to not know when you are being contacted when you are trying to answer important questions.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Featured Nonprofit Job: Public Policy Associate

The Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) in Washington, D.C. is looking to hire a Public Policy Associate. Read on to find out more about this newest nonprofit job.

Reporting directly to the Director of Public Policy, this position is responsible for supporting the organization's day-to-day advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill and federal agencies. When you're not busy on the government scene, you will have a wide array of other responsibilities, including:

  • Providing administrative support for public policy;
  • Conducting policy research, writing and editing and issues analysis;
  • Acting as a liaison to governmental and non-governmental organizations, and Association board committees;
  • Helping support the planning and administration of the annual National Legislative Summit; and,
  • Developing and oversee distribution of a variety of information materials.
Sound interesting to you? Before you click that "apply" button, you should be aware of the qualifications that ACCT is looking for in its applicants. Make sure that you meet the following requirements:
  • Bachelor’s degree in political science, government or related field with 1 – 3 years related experience in legislative affairs as legislative aide, lobbyist, analyst, or staff for a government agency.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Must have ability to exercise sound judgment, initiative and maintain strict confidentiality.
  • Must have the ability to work as a team member and able to deal effectively and courteously with supervisor, peers, and governmental agencies and their representatives.
  • Must be familiar with and interested in working with elected and appointed college governing boards that represent their communities.
Once you are sure that you meet the above credentials, head over to our career center to find out how you can apply for this position.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

5 Ways To Improve Your Job Search Results

Is your job search going a little slow for your taste? You're definitely not alone on that front. Job seekers all over the country are struggling to find work in an economy that is still sluggish. There is no magic button that you can press that will make things better, but there are some techniques that will help you improve your chances.

Since you are just one of many people looking for work, you are going to have to make sure that your job application stands out from the competition. Here are five ways to do just that:
  • Think like an employer. This means you need to explain how your experience and skills will specifically benefit the organization. Don't assume the hiring manager will be able to connect the dots.
  • Use buzz words. Key words should be sprinkled throughout your resume. These will help your application come up first if the employer uses an applicant tracking system. If you are unsure which words to use, look at the job description the employer posted and see which phrases are most prevalent.
  • Network. Not all jobs will be posted online, so making contacts will be crucial to your job search efforts. It's also much easier to get hired if you can get a good recommendation from someone who already works at the organization.
  • Know your strengths. Highlight your strongest accomplishments from your previous jobs. Employers are more interested in what you accomplished than where you worked.
  • Make goals. Create a list of what you want to accomplish each day. It's much easier to stay focused when you have attainable goals you can reach. For example, you can make it a point to apply to three jobs a day or make two new networking contacts.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Wanted: Executive Director At Start Up

Are you a strong leader who wants the opportunity to work for a start up organization? If so, NPT Jobs has a position that should interest you.

The All Baby and Child Corporation is looking to hire an Executive Director for a new organization that will unite independent specialty stores to thrive in an increasingly competitive environment. Working with the Specialty Retail Board, the chosen candidate will develop the budget, structure, and bylaws for the new organization. This position will require travel at times, so applicants should be comfortable with that. Other responsibilities include:
  • Recruit members from across the country to join the organization.
  • Serve as a catalyst and moderator for the organization and ensure that the group maintains its focus and meets its objectives.
  • Provide monthly reports to the stakeholders.
  • Manage the staff and other resources.
  • Create job descriptions, recruit and screen candidates and make hiring recommendations to the Specialty Retail Board for approval.
Candidates for Executive Director positions always need to have extensive experience, and that is no different for this job. Here are the qualities the employer is looking for in applicants:
  • At least 5 years experience working in retail or with retailers.
  • Understands how technology is changing the face of retail and impacting customer behaviors.
  • Knows what good marketing looks like and has ample creativity.
  • Has successfully hired, managed and motivated teams.
To read more about this job, including instructions on how to apply, head on over to our career center. Good luck!

Tips For The Aspiring Fundraiser

It's not easy being a fundraiser. Asking people for money, especially in the middle of a down economy, can be a nerve-wracking experience. This can cause those who are just beginning this job to want to apologize for even asking for assistance with your cause.

This is exactly the wrong approach to take.

During nonprofit software giant Blackbaud's recent Conference for Nonprofits, Timothy Winkler, CEO of Winkler Consulting Group in Charleston, S.C, said you should never feel sorry for fundraising. He argued that talking to donors with an apologetic tone sends mixed messages.

If you are an aspiring fundraiser, Winkler offered the following suggestions to hone your craft:

  • People don't want to hear "sorry." By saying this, you send the message that your mission isn't really that urgent, which is the opposite of what you want to convey.
  • When you ask for a donation as if it is a burden, donors will believe that it is.
  • Communicate the need. Donors need to feel that your mission is worth the money -- so make your case for giving as strong as ever.
  • Be confident. Like a bad cold, confidence can spread from person to person. Let your donors catch your enthusiasm for the mission.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Hiring From The For-Profit Sector

Nonprofits are always trying to hire the best and brightest to join their organizations. That usually means candidates who already have experience in the sector, but that doesn't always have to be the case.

The fact of the matter is that there are many candidates from the for-profit world who are making the jump to nonprofit jobs. The business experience that for-profit workers have can be very valuable for organizations, so it makes sense to consider their credentials during the hiring process.

While it's true that nonprofits are beginning to be run more like businesses, there are still some important differences between the two sectors. Kurt Aschermann, president and CEO Boston, Mass.-based Charity Partners, LLC said that making yourself aware of these differences can be useful when recruiting.
  • Nonprofits don't always run at the typical 9-5 hours. Express that to potential hires so they are aware of what to expect.
  • For-profit companies sometimes have easy access to things they need to operate, but nonprofits need to effectively use donor dollars.
  • Aschermann said that some former for-profit hires have trouble working with volunteers. Consensus is key for nonprofits. It might be harder to get “buy-in,” but it’s necessary.
  • For-profit hires are used to reaching one audience -- the people who will potentially use the product they are marketing.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wanted: Grant Writer

Grant writers are important for all nonprofits. The ability to write in a coherent manner why an organization deserves funding for a specific program is a skill that is highly sought after. If you are one of those that has that ability, NPT Jobs has just the job for you.

Lutheran Social Services of Central Ohio is looking to hire a Grant Writer. The chosen candidate will be responsible for identifying and pursuing grant opportunities that support the organization's fundraising and program priorities. The position will also work with program leadership to come up with grant strategies and ensure that goals are being met.

Being able to write in a coherent and convincing manner is obviously one of the main requirements of this job, but there are some other important qualifications. These include:

  • Bachelor's degree in communications or related field;
  • Five years of grant writing experience with government or grants upwards of $1 million;
  • Strong computer skills, especially with Microsoft Office programs and fundraising databases like Raiser's Edge;
  • Demonstrated ability to work as a team; and,
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously.
If you are interested in this job, visit our career center for instruction for instructions on how to apply.

6 Resume Misrepresentations

If you press most job seekers, they would probably admit that they've at least thought about stretching the truth on their resumes. The temptation can be really great when there is a nonprofit job available for which you don't meet the qualifications.

Even though it's understandable why some applicants would want to lie on their applications, it's never worth the risk. Most organizations do background checks on candidates so the damage to your reputation could be beyond repair if you are discovered.

While you shouldn't misrepresent yourself at all in your resume, not all lies are created equal. Here are six items that will get you in the most trouble:
  • Job Title: Not only can this damage your reputation, it can also harm you even if you aren't discovered. For instance, if you apply for a senior fundraiser position but list your previous job as an executive director, it's possible you could be considered overqualified.
  • Time At a Job: It's much better to address gaps in employment head-on rather than dancing around the subject.
  • Skills: You're going to feel really nervous if you exaggerate your skills and find that you can't do the job you are assigned.
  • Education: If you didn't graduate college, specify the year you ended and the number of credits you earned.
  • Achievements: Don't take all the credit for accomplishments you've accomplished as a team. Organizations actually like it when candidates express their achievements with "we" rather than "I."
  • Residence: It's true that employers prefer local candidates, but you'll find yourself in a bind if you list your friend in California's address on your resume even though you live in New York.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Making Career Networking Fun

If you are like a lot of job seekers, you probably groan a little when you hear the words "career networking." Making small talk about jobs isn't exactly what most people consider a good time.

The goal of networking is to meet new people and grow your list of contacts. While this would indicate you have to attend a lot of conferences and industry events, these don't have to be your only options. With a little bit of imagination, you can turn networking into a fun activity rather than one you dread.

Here are five ideas you should consider:

  • Shake-up the normal meet and greets. Instead of heading to that local job fair or networking event, why not take up an activity that you truly enjoy? That way you can have some fun while also making new contacts.
  • Find the right hang-outs. Professionals in every industry have favorite places to relax during free-time. Do a little research to find out where nonprofit executives like to frequent.
  • Take up a cause. Volunteering is a great way to spruce up your resume and meet people who can help you with your job search. Even if you aren't bought on full time after your service is done, your supervisor will surely have no problem assisting you as long as you did a good job.
  • Offer to help at events. Call your favorite nonprofit and find out if they need anyone to assist at an upcoming special event. Even if they say no, you will at least be putting yourself out there.
  • Reconnect with the past. College and high school reunions or alumni events are a great place to do some networking. They offer all the benefits of a traditional industry without the anxiety of making small talk with people you don't know.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Job Interview Anxiety Fighting Techniques

There's nothing more normal than having a little anxiety before a job interview. As a job seeker, you spend a lot of time and effort trying to get work, so it's understandable that there will be some nerves before presenting your case to an employer.

That doesn't mean you have to live with it.

Anxiety manifests itself in many aspects of the job search, but the interview is the most common culprit. An abundance of nerves can lead to a poor showing, which is the last thing you want when trying to prove you are the best candidate for the job. Here are eight techniques you can use to lessen the anxiety before your big day:
  • Get plenty of rest. Think twice about seeing that late-night movie with your friends before your interview. You want at least eight hours of sleep, but it doesn't hurt to even have a little more than that. This will help you be calm and relaxed when it comes time to meet the hiring manager.
  • Do a mock interview with friends or family. Practice interviews will never match the real one, but they can still be helpful in honing your responses. Make sure you do it with someone who won't hesitate to tell you if you need improvements in certain areas.
  • Remember you were asked in for an interview. The employer obviously felt your qualifications were impressive enough to bring you in for a chat. Don't feel you have to be more than what you showed in your resume to impress the hiring manager.
  • Prepare the night before, not at the last minute. This means picking out your interview wardrobe and making sure you have the correct directions to the office.
  • Arrive at least 15 minutes early. This doesn't mean you should go into the office early. Just make sure you are in the area with plenty of time to spare for parking, etc.
  • Practice steady breathing if you are feeling panicked. This is a common technique that usually helps calm yourself down.
  • Keep things in perspective. The worst thing that can come from this interview is you won't get the job. While this would obviously be disappointing, it likely won't be your last opportunity for an interview.
  • Remind yourself that you've done everything you can do. There's no sense in worrying about things that are out of your control.

Balance Your Job Search

They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Therefore, using the same job search resources over and over could be considered insane.

Relying solely on one method of job hunting -- whether it's online job boards or career fairs -- is just not going to get it done in this difficult job market. You should use multiple sources in to get the best results. Here are five other resources that you can use in conjunction with traditional means to really boost your job search:

  • Let every one in your network know you are looking for a job. Organizations sometimes let their employees know when they are hiring for a new position. Your contacts would surely want to share that with you, but they won't know to if they don't know you are looking for work.
  • Contact recruiters to tap into their unique connections. They will also be able to offer you more advice on how to best go about applying for work.
  • Follow the nonprofits that you are passionate about joining on their Facebook or Twitter pages. That way you will be one of the first to know when they are hiring.
  • Remember when people used to look in newspapers for wanted ads? Organizations still use this resource from time to time, so it can still be a great place to look for open positions.
  • Finally, make use of Craigslist. People generally think of the popular online-classified site as a place to buy cheap furniture or find apartments, but employers often place jobs ads there as well. There are Craigslist pages for most of the major cities in the U.S., so it's  very easy to narrow down your search by location.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

8 Incentives You Can Offer Nonprofit Employees

There used to be a time when nonprofits could not offer their employees bonuses. This was the case until 1980, when the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) made the decision to lift those restrictions. Despite this, there are still some nonprofit managers who believe cannot offer financial incentives to employees.

Employers who decide to offer such bonuses need to follow certain protocol. According to Carol L. Barbeito in "Human Resource Policies and Procedures for Nonprofit Organizations," they must include this policy in the organization's overall compensation plan. Details included will be who is eligible, how the bonus is earned, and who administers it.

Managers can give out bonuses for many different accomplishments. Barbeito listed eight milestone-based rewards that can be used to increase employee morale:

  • Individual Incentives: These are cash awards to recognize achievement of predetermined performance objectives.
  • Team or Group Incentives: These are the same as individual incentives, except awards are based on a team or group’s achievement of predetermined performance objectives.
  • Gain Sharing: These awards represent the employees’ share of the gains of actual results achieved against specific operational goals. When these are exceeded, the “gains” are paid in the form of short-term cash incentive awards.
  • Spot Awards: These cash payment provide immediate recognition of accomplishments by staff below the managerial level. They are intended to reward risk taking, creativity, and productivity.
  • Special Noncash Recognition: These may be merchandise, such as a gift certificate. They are usually awarded to those below management level.
  • Lump Sum Increases: Cash payments are made in a single lump sum to recognize performance achievements. They are not added to the base salary.
  • Skill-Based Pay/Pay for Knowledge: This pay is given to award acquisition of additional job-related skills and capabilities.

Featured Nonprofit Job: Director Of Development And Marketing

Active readers of this blog will remember that, back in April, the Pacific Autism Center for Education (PACE) posted a featured nonprofit job with us for a Development Director. PACE is back with yet another job today. This time, they are looking for a Director of Development and Marketing.

PACE, based in Santa Clara, Calif., is an organization that seeks to provide high quality programs for individuals with autism. The Director of Development and Marketing will be primarily responsible for aligning fundraising goals with institutional planning and strategy. This includes agency fundraising as it applies to grants, corporate foundations, personal donations and any source of ancillary income or gifts in kind not attributed to standard operational income.

As the title suggests, this is a hybrid position. PACE's fundraising efforts have a big impact on the organization's public image, so the chosen candidate will have to be involved in all external marketing and public relations activities.

PACE has outlined a detailed list of requirements that applicants must meet to be considered for this position. Here are some of those qualifications:

  • Baccalaureate degree required. Advanced degree in relevant field such as Business Administration, Fundraising or Nonprofit Administration preferred.
  • Must have a minimum of 6 to 8 years director-level experience in fundraising or a relevant field: marketing/sales, communications, public relations. Previous experience working in nonprofit agencies preferred. 
  • Must be proficient in Word, Excel, Power-Point. Experience with fundraising software(Salesforce) and graphic design software highly desirable.
  • Possess a valid California driver’s license with a good driving record and proof of insurance.
Want to learn more? Head on over to our career center to get more details on the other qualifications you need, and how to apply.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Can You Be A Stay-At-Home Fundraiser?

Fundraising job would seem to be the type of position that would lend itself to telecommuting. You're going to be spending a lot of time on the phone or making visits with donors, so being in the office all of the time isn't always imperative.

This doesn't mean that all fundraisers are of the stay-at-home variety. As Jill Dotts of the American Heart Association pointed out at the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) 49th International Conference on Fundraising, there are only certain positions in development that lend themselves to telecommuting. These jobs include:

  • development director
  • development officer
  • donor relations manager
  • special events manager
  • grant writer
  • database manager
  • prospect researcher
Employers would do well to consider offering the option of telecommuting to any of the above positions, as this expands the reach of your job to candidates who live outside the state. If you do consider allowing telecommuting, Dotts said to address the following considerations:
  • The real estate premium. Do you really need all that office space? Think of program space vs. administration.
  • The recruiting/retention of staff who want flexibility.
  • An organizational culture that includes trust and accountability.
  • Consistent guidelines for the entire organization.
  • Top-notch communication, and not just in day-to-day interaction.
  • Awareness that telecommuting does not work well with micro- or insecure managers.

3 Cover Letter Rules

One of the things that I agonized over the most over during the job search was cover letters. If I wasn't having a tough time figuring out a unique way to express why I was a good fit for the job, I was experiencing fatigue from writing so many of them.

Yes, most job seekers will agree that cover letters are a bit of a pain. They are also extremely important; maybe even more so than your resumé.

There's no such thing as a perfect cover letter, but there are some rules you should follow that will make it easier. I learned these as I went along, and they made things a little easier for me. Hopefully they will do the same for you.

  • Start Early: Instead of waiting until the last minute to bang out your cover letter, take some time to figure out what you want to say. The purpose of this document is to raise your job application above the competition, so sending something that is hastily written only will serve to undermine your cause.
  • Be Unique: Don't simply mimic what you say in your resumé. Choose one of your skills and expand on it, explaining exactly why it makes you a great fit for the job. Above all, make sure your passion for the position shines through your writing.
  • Know Your Norms: Most job descriptions will let you know how you should send your cover letter. If that is not the case, get in touch with your networking contacts to determine whether the organization wants candidates to submit applications as an attachment or in the body of the e-mail. This is a lot more important than you think, as it can determine whether your message makes it through the employer's filters.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

4 Job Interview Myths

Like other aspects of looking for work, there are a lot of things said about job interviews that aren't exactly accurate. Identifying these myths are key to making the best impression possible to the hiring manager. Let's take a look at four of the most common misconceptions:

  • There's a right answer to every question. Often times recruiters will ask you a tough question not to get a particular answer, but to see how well you address it. So don't stress too much about coming up with the perfect answer.
  • Keep your answers short. Don't think that you have to cut short your answers because of time. As long as you are hitting relevant points in your answer, the employer will be more than happy to listen to what you have to say. Just be sure to stay on topic.
  • Looks don't matter. Recruiters will definitely take into consideration how well you are dressed for the interview. Make sure you are wearing the correct dress code when going in for an interview.
  • Talent alone will get you the job. Employers definitely want to hire the most qualified candidate for the job, but there are other factors that play a role. An organization will probably want to make sure its new employee will fit in with the rest of the group, so personality can play a role in the decision.

Featured Nonprofit Job: Fundraising Development Director

Another day, another featured nonprofit job! Covenant House in Pennsylvania is looking to hire a new Fundraising Development Director to help bring additional funds into the organization.

Working with the executive director, the chosen candidate will use various techniques to help raise the necessary resources to ensure the continued operation of the organization. This is an ideal position for those who have a solid background in fundraising and have the ability to motivate themselves.

Successful applicants will have five years of fundraising/development experience. As for education, you should have a Bachelor's degree in a related field and/or equivalent experience in resource development. Additional qualifications include:
  • Excellent verbal communication;
  • Writing skills (both written and typed); and,
  • Strong financial acumen.
Interested? Visit our application page and be sure to send all resumes/cover letters to chyatt@hyatt-fennell.com

Monday, July 9, 2012

Featured Nonprofit Job: Human Resources Manager

Origins Recovery Centers (ORC), an addiction center located in South Padre Island, Tex., is looking to hire a Human Resources Manager.

The ideal candidate will be able to perform all HR functions including recruiting, employee relations, compensation, performance management, employee orientation, development, and training. This position will work closely with ORC managers on employee relations issues, in addition to developing and administering employment policies, procedures, and best practices.

The HR manager is an extremely important job in any organization, so applicants should be prepared to meet  the following requirements:

  • Must have experience with state licensing boards.
  • Minimum 2 years experience in HR.
  • Bachelor Degree in related field.
  • Addiction treatment and professional licenses a plus.
Once you are sure that you meet these qualifications, head over to our career center and apply for the job! 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Featured Nonprofit Job: Director Of Administration

Hope that everyone had a great July 4th holiday! Now that the festivities are over, it's time to get back to the job search. For those looking for a little boost, you're in look: The La Canada Flintridge Educational Foundation (LCFEF) has just posted a featured nonprofit job with us!

Based in La Canada, Calif., the organization is looking to hire a Director of Administration to manage all aspects of its donor database and to run the Foundation's day-to-day activities of the office and its events/programs. All of this work will be done in conjunction with LCFEF's various board committees.

Other responsibilities include:

  • Managing the Foundation’s Matching Gifts, Pledge and Acknowledgement Programs;
  • Maintaining and updating accuracy of donor and potential donor information;
  • Recording all gifts and generating donor receipts and reports;
  • Providing marketing, administrative and fundraising support to all Foundation programs/committees/events; and,
  • Administering the LCFEF office (answering phones, interacting with donors, etc.).
The ideal candidate for this position will have a working knowledge of Blackbaud's Raiser's Edge software, a four-year college/university degree, and experience with Microsoft Office programs (Word, Excel, and Publisher). Interested? Apply today via our online career center.

"Help Me Help You:" Helping Friends With The Job Search

People tend to think of the job search as an individual endeavor. Job seekers understandably focus on their own needs rather than taking too much time helping others. What they may not know, however, is that assisting people is a big part of the job search process.

You should be more than willing to assist a friend if they need help getting a job. You would expect a networking contact to help you if you asked, so why should you turn down a request from a friend? It's true that you need to spend as much time as possible on your own job search, but you should still find time to be of help. Being a willing helper will also make others more eager to assist you.

Like most things, there's a right and a wrong way to help someone look for a job. Follow these four tips should a friend reach out to you:
  • Listen: Does your friend just need to blow off some steam? Instead of trying to convince him that everything will be OK, let him release his frustrations. After he is done, you should express your understanding, and begin to find out what kind of help he needs.
  • Know Your Role: Don't assume that the techniques you use for your job hunt are right for your friend. Ask what kind of job he is looking for and what you can do to help. When it comes time to offer suggestions, make them in a way that is not presumptive. For example, you can ask "would it be helpful if I shared your resumé with my contacts?"
  • Network: Assuming your friend is also looking for a nonprofit job, you can reach out to your networking contacts and see if they can help your friend. Write a short e-mail asking them if they would like to have lunch with him. Remember that your friend is a direct representation on you, so make sure he is properly prepared should your contact say "yes."
  •  Manage Expectations: You should commit to do anything you can to help, but don't make promises you can't keep. For instance, if you don't know anyone in your friend's area of expertise, don't tell him that you will see who you know. Be up-front with him, so that he knows what to expect.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Networking Events on July 4th

Independence Day
Tomorrow, people all across America will be celebrating Independence Day.  Our forefathers fought for our freedom all those years ago and as a result, we get to eat burgers, drink beer, and watch fireworks every July 4th. Freedom's a wonderful thing, right?

Unfortunately, many Americans are not free this year. There's no oppressive foreign power trying to impose their will on us, but there are still too many people held back by unemployment. It's been nearly three years since the official end of the Great Recession, but Americans are still dealing with its aftermath. Things are better than they were in 2009, but we still have a long way to go. 

It would be very easy to just halt your job search this holiday weekend. And when it comes to applying to jobs, I would recommend that. Since the majority of organizations are off, you aren't going to be finding many new positions. That doesn't mean you can't do anything to move yourself closer to unemployment independence. It may not seem like it, but there really is no better time to network. Think about it: Presumably you will be attending a July 4th party, which will  give you the opportunity to connect (or re-connect) with a bunch of people. Make it a goal to make some new career contacts by the time the party is over. You will probably have some idea of who these people are, which can make it a lot more relaxing than a normal networking event.

It's highly unlikely you will walk out of an Independence Day party with a job interview lined up. That's hardly a guarantee. What is a guarantee, however, is that you will move one step closer to ridding yourself of unemployment if you do some serious networking. And on a day when America is celebrating freedom from tyranny, you can be closer to that freedom as well.

Monday, July 2, 2012

For A Chief Development Officer, Support Is Key

There's no question that the chief development officer (CDO) of a nonprofit is very important to the fundraising of that organization. This individual is unlikely to have as much of an impact, however, without the assistance of a great support staff.

Steve Klingman wrote in his book, "Fundraising Strategies for Community Colleges," that assistants for CDOs are just as important as the CDO himself. He argued that nonprofits should spend a good deal of energy looking for a great support staff.

So what qualifications should an organization seek for this role? Klingman suggested asking the following questions when assessing candidates:
  • Does the assistant understand development?
  • Does the assistant know the organization’s donors?
  • Are there any underlying performance issues?
  • Does the assistant possess the necessary skill sets?
  • Does the assistant have command of the hundreds of details for which the CDO will be held responsible?
  • Is the assistant proficient in using all of the organization’s software platforms?
  • Do acknowledgment letters go out within 24 hours of receiving funds?
  • Can the assistant perform data entry into the organization’s database, construct queries and run reports efficiently?
  • Are gifts entered daily?
  • Are bank deposits made at least once a week?
  • Do complex assignments seem to be put off indefinitely?
  • What does the assistant need?
  • Are the assistant’s duties reflected in an accurate job description?
  • Is the assistant responsible for the organization’s accounting? If so, plan to change that.