Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tips For Picking New Employees

It's hard to know where to begin when you start the process of hiring new employees. So many organizations over-think the process, making things more complicated than they need to be. Instead of trying to get too fancy, start with the basics.

Deirdre Maloney, founder and president of San Diego, Calif.-based Momentum, wrote in her book "The Mission Myth: Building Nonprofit Momentum Through Better Business," that organizations should start off by writing a great job description. You should also use this opportunity to rethink how you might define the position differently to meet the emerging needs of your organization.

Maloney also had four other suggestions once you are done writing your job description:
  • Recruit carefully. Take the time and take it seriously.
  • Narrow your candidates down by phone. Just chatting with applicants for a few minutes can often help you determine whether or not they are appropriate for the next round of interviews.
  • Involve other staff members. They will provide additional feedback and will give a sense of how the candidate will interact with other employees.
  • Ask pointed questions. Ask direct interview questions and include traditional ones that get at history and work style. In further rounds of interviews, ask more scenario-type questions to get at real situations they might encounter on the job.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Job Interview Etiquette

You generally have only 15 to 20 minutes in a job interview to prove that you are the right candidate for the position. This is why it's imperative that you don't do anything off-color during those precious minutes.

The first thing you need to be conscious of during an interview is your body language. It's OK to cross your arms in front of friends, but doing so while explaining why you should be hired will send a bad message to the employer. It says that you are nervous or, even worse, not interested. Posture is also very important. You don't want to slouch in the chair, but you also don't want to appear like a cardboard cut-out.

Keep the interview positive. Maybe you hated your last job and have nothing but bad things to say about it, but keep those feelings to yourself. Nonprofits want to hire someone who is positive, not someone who is always focusing on the negatives. If you are asked why you left your last position, say something along the lines of "I just felt it was time to move on to another job."

Eye contact is another important aspect of good etiquette, and it's also one that can be tricky to master. How do you maintain good contact with the interviewer without staring? As a rule of thumb, you should look into the person's eyes for no more than 4-5 seconds. Make sure to blink normally, and nod or shift your head during the conversation so you don't look like a statue.

The first and last thing you do in a job interview is shake hands with the hiring manager. The handshake is another difficult skill to get right, so practice it with people you know before the big day. It should be firm, but not so firm that you crush the person's hand. A great handshake can say a lot about you as a person, so make sure you make a good impression.

Acing these forms of job interview etiquette will not guarantee you the position, but it will improve your chances. Make sure to be conscious of the above rules the next time you are called in for an interview.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Wanted: Chief Executive Officer

If you have the experience and drive needed to oversee an organization, you should consider applying for today's featured nonprofit job: Chief Executive Officer at the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES).

The New Mexico-based organization -- which pursues the mission of increasing the representation of American Indians and Alaska Natives in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields -- is looking for a dynamic, energetic, and visionary leader to fulfill the role of CEO. If chosen, you will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of AISES.

Successful candidates for this position will possess the following qualities:

  • Proven accomplishments in organizational leadership knowledge of the nonprofit sector expertise in organizational management working knowledge of the STEM fields.
  • Extensive understanding of, and experience with, Native American cultures, traditions and communities.
  • Excellent communication and managerial skills.
  • Demonstrated success with fundraising and/or grant writing.
  • Strong experience with budget development and control.
  • Master’s Degree competency in standard office technology and software.
Should  you meet the above qualifications, visit our career center for more information on how to apply for the Chief Executive Officer position.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Featured Nonprofit Job: Education Manager

Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambada (FBLA-PBL), a 501(c)(3) organization with a quarter million students preparing for careers in business and business-related fields, is looking to hire an Education Manager.

The Education Manager is responsible for a number of important tasks at FBLA-PBL, including recruiting over 500 business and industry judges for the organization's annual conference, securing and administering national certification examinations. In addition, the successful candidate will manage the online testing database and compile and edit competition study guides and the online reference guide.

In order to qualify for this job, applicants must meet a series of requirements. These include:

  • An understanding of Career and Technical Education;
  • Excellent computer skills, including advanced knowledge of Microsoft Office;
  • Oral, written, and social media communication skills; and,
  • The ability to efficiently and effectively handle multiple projects.
Head to our career center for more information about FBLA-PBL's Education Manager position, including instructions on how to apply.

Friday, August 24, 2012

So You Want To Be A Nonprofit Leader?

The ideal position for those looking for nonprofit jobs is in leadership. Whether it's a CEO or an executive director, experienced job seekers clamor for these types of jobs. They aren't the only ones.

Nonprofits are always trying to come up with ways to develop new leaders, whether for growth or to prepare for key departures. Yet, according to a recent study by the Bridgespan Group, many organizations admit that they fall short when it comes to undertaking a systematic approach to doing so.

The Bridgespan study's results, which will be highlighted in greater detail in an upcoming edition of our Weekly eNewsletter, offer some insight for job seekers who are interested in the current way that organizations look for new leaders. Some of the more noteworthy results include:

  • Leadership vacancies are usually filled by external candidates. Only 25 percent of respondents said they used internal candidates.
  • Leaders are engaged but struggle to act. Only 36 percent say leaders are held accountable for leadership development and only 38 percent engage their boards in the process.
  • Future needs are not well understood. Fewer than 30 percent say they have plans to address leadership gaps and only 37 percent have successions plans.
Stay tuned for our upcoming newsletter for more results from this survey. You can sign up for free via our website.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Featured Nonprofit Job: Major Gifts Officer

San Diego, Calif.-based St. Vincent de Paul/Father Joe's Villages, is looking to hire a Major Gifts Officer. This position will be responsible for generating donations of $100,000 or more from individuals, corporations, and foundations in support of operations and building the Father Joe's Villages endowment fund.

The main duties of the Major Gifts Officer is to plan and ensure the implementation of the cultivation, education, solicitation, recognition and retention of major gift prospects and to be primarily involved with major donors/donor prospects on a regular basis. Other responsibilities include:

  • Build long-term relationships with donors and prospects, identifying, cultivating and stewarding their interests.
  • Solicit gifts from major donors and prospects, both independently and working collaboratively with other solicitors. 
  • Schedule, manage and regularly attend donor meetings.
  • Develop strategies for the cultivation and stewardship of individual major donors and prospects.
  • Build, maintain and maximize institutional relationships with major-gift donors and prospects; deepening their engagement with St. Vincent de Paul/Father Joe’s Villages.   
The successful candidate for this position will have significant fundraising experience, particularly in the area of major gifts. Here are some of the qualifications St. Vincent de Paul/Father Joe's Villages wants in an applicant:
  • BA and eight years of professional experience in non-profit fundraising or external relations with experience in major gifts.
  • Experience working with volunteers, volunteer leadership, and professional program staff.
  • Strong initiative and self-motivation, and a keen interest in working as part of a collaborative team.
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills; excellent research skills; superior written and oral communication skills; and relevant computer skills.
  • Ability to work both entrepreneurially and independently, and to function both as a leader and a partner within a team framework.
If you want to know more about this job, read more and apply on our career center

Is Telecommuting An Option?

Today's technology has allowed for a number of advancements in the workplace. One of those that is becoming more popular is telecommuting. Since a lot of work now is done on computers, there's not a whole lot you can't do from home. And if you do need to access your work computer, there are programs, like LogMeIn, that allow you to do that from the comfort of your home.

Yes, saving money by removing your commute sounds great, but is it really the right choice for job seekers?

The answer to that question really depends on who you are. Speaking during the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) 49th International Conference on Fundraising, Jill Dotts of the American Heart Association pointed out that there are certain employees who are good matches for telecommuting. Those employees fall into the following types:

  • Top performers.
  • Results focused.
  • Strong communicators.
  • Disciplined.
  • Self directed, self driven.
  • Entrepreneurial.
  • Proficient in high technology.
  • Administration proficient.
  • Possessing a sense of urgency.
If most of those terms describe your personality, you should consider applying to jobs that offer telecommuting as an option. I personally think there is something to be said for working in an office with other people rather than staying at home all the time, but it is an option if you are having a tough time finding traditional nonprofit jobs.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Featured Nonprofit Job: YMCA Program Director

They say it's fun to stay at the YMCA. Now, thanks to our latest featured nonprofit job, you can find out if it's even more fun to work there.

Anaheim Family YMCA in California is looking to hire a Program Director to develop and implement programs at multiple schools and pool sites to help young people learn, grow, and thrive. Other responsibilities include:

  • Setting and achieving outcomes and member impact;
  • Developing and implementing academic-enrichment programs;
  • Upholding all safety standards, policies and procedures;
  • Ensuring that the Y’s mission is integrated into all facets of the Aquatics and Anaheim Achieves program; and,
  • Focusing on excellence in YMCA service, programs, work ethic, creativity and interpersonal relationships.
This job is a great opportunity for those individuals who are looking to use their leadership skills to help give back to the community. If you are interested in applying, make sure that you have a B.A. Degree or higher in a related field and 3-5 years of experience working in a related area. Visit our career center for more information on this job, including instructions on how to apply.

Resume Editing: Words To Remove

As an active job seeker, you've probably applied to more than your fair share of jobs. This means you've probably written more resumes than you care to count. You probably think you know everything you need to know about these documents, but do you know the proper way to go about resume editing?

Like anything you write, editing your resume boils down to finding obvious errors that could hurt your chances of being considered for the job. But it's not just about finding typos; the words that you think are appropriate can also cause problems. Below are four phrases that, while acceptable in the past, are now outdated and should be removed from your resume:
  • Experienced: This is an ambiguous term. It's possible to be "experienced" in something that you've done for only a few days. Instead of writing you are "experienced in fundraising," inform the reader how many prospects you have turned into reliable donors in the past.
  • Team Player: Using this word is the equivalent of writing on an online dating profile that you are nice, fun-loving, and have a great sense of humor. Anyone can label themselves with these qualities. It's a much more difficult task to prove you have them.
  • References Available Upon Request: This is basically a space-filler. If the organization is interested in hiring you, they will ask you for references.
  • Enthusiastic: Everything in your resume should be quantifiable, and it's pretty hard to quantify enthusiasm on a piece of paper. Wait until the job interview to show the hiring manager how enthusiastic and dynamic you are as a person.
As you can see, the key to successful resume editing lies in eliminating unnecessary words, not adding them. Be on the look out for any of the above terms when you review your application.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Featured Nonprofit Job: Program Manager

Chances are that you enjoy Girl Scout cookies, whether they are Thin Mints or Samoas. But have you ever considered working for the Girl Scouts?

Today's featured nonprofit job comes from the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles (GSGLA). The organization is looking to hire a Program Manager to lead the GSGLA team in design, coordination, implementation, and evaluation of all business smarts and leadership program activities and events. Other duties include:

  • Ensure that programs are high quality, cost effective, and operated in a manner that meets Girl Scouts of the USA standards.
  • Work collaboratively with other managers and program team members, as well as membership, volunteer development, registration, fund development, and marketing staff, and numerous Girl Scout volunteers, to assure girls participating in any business smarts and leadership related activities and events and have the best experience possible and that all programming is consistent with the Girl Scout mission.
  • Directly supervise program staff in a service center, while indirectly supervising focus area staff toward program accountability.
  • Effectively oversee all aspects of program delivery for program focus area including, budget, service delivery, evaluation, and timely reporting to various departments within GSGLA. 5.Provide timely and effective communication with VP to ensure that program goals are met in alignment with the organizational strategic plan.
Now that you know what being a Program Manager entails, it's time to learn the qualifications you need to meet. GSGLA wants all applicants to make sure they meet the following requirements before applying:
  • Experience in business and leadership education required, and a minimum of at least five years of progressively responsible experience in developing and managing successful youth programs with diverse populations preferred.
  • Demonstrated success in working with volunteers or managing and leading teams. Demonstrated ability to multi-task, prioritize deadlines, work independently, take initiative, and maintain confidentiality in a fast paced and challenging work environment.
  • Effective communicator with the capacity to collaborate with others and be a team leader and player; conflict resolution skills.
  • Possess effective meeting and project management skills.
  • Detail-oriented with strong organizational and analytical skills, ability to plan, manage multiple projects simultaneously, prioritize, meet deadlines and ensure responsiveness in all customer interactions.
Head over to our career center for more details and instructions on how to apply.

Your Online Presence And The Job Search

It's hard to find anyone without an online presence these days. Whether it's Facebook or LinkedIn, most people have made their digital footprint. These sites are invaluable for many different aspects of our lives, one of them being the job search.

It is not uncommon for hiring managers to Google prospective employees when they receive job applications. The rise of social media has created the expectation that employers should be able to search for an applicant's name and find out everything they need to know. If your name doesn't show up in a simple online search, it will raise questions in their minds. They'll start to wonder why they can't find any information about you on the Internet, and if you are potentially hiding something. These little doubts could be the difference if there are other candidates who have just a slight edge over you.

Disconnecting digitally also cuts off opportunities to connect directly with employers. It's almost impossible to find an organization that is not using social networks, and their pages can hold key information to help advance your cause. Being active in discussions on the organization's Facebook or Twitter page can earn you extra consideration if the hiring manager remembers your name while going over your application. Nonprofits are always eager to hire someone who is passionate about their mission.

It's certainly your prerogative if you don't want to be found online. There are legitimate reasons to want to be invisible online, with privacy being a major factor. When it comes to getting a job, however, having no online presence puts you at a major disadvantage.

Monday, August 20, 2012

6 Lessons About Change In The Workplace

The nonprofit workplace is a constantly changing environment. Change can be a good thing, but many employees don't necessarily see it that way. Those workers who are not doing a good job need to change their act quickly if they are to convince change agents that they are a necessary component of the organization. Employees who are pulling their own weight are too busy working to prove their worth.

During the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) 49th International Conference on Fundraising, Mary C. McQueen, executive director of development at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, Texas, shared the experiences she had when her office went through re-evaluation and restructuring in the face of shrinking funds and increased demands.

The results of these changes were a net positive for Del Mar College. None of the nine full-time employees in her department lost their jobs, money was saved, and fundraising improved. Just because the results were good doesn't mean there wasn't any resistance, however. McQueen outlined the challenges her organization faced and the lessons learned:

  • A massive learning curve for new staff.
  • Moving cheese makes the natives nervous. The challenge is keeping the team focused on tasks and goals.
  • It’s important to share concepts, not details, of the reorganization.
  • Focus on opportunities for professional growth, not deletion of positions.
  • Build bridges, not walls. Allies come from unexpected corners.
  • At each step, search for options and guidance from trusted sources. Be open and listen. Then choose what works.

Wanted: Executive Director

The Emergency Medical Services Regional Council (EMSRC) in Staunton, Va. is looking to hire an Executive Director to lead the organization. Interested in this position? Read on for more details.

EMSRC is a 501(c)3 organization that provides coordination and training activities for the regional Emergency Medical Services system. The chosen candidate will be in charge of budgeting, human resources administration, marketing, planning, and coordination with local governments and other entities. There will be other responsibilities as well, which will be explained further in the recruiting process.

The successful applicant for this job will meet the following requirements:

  • A combination of education and experience related to public administration, planning, and/or non-profit board administration.
  • A bachelors or masters degree in a related field.
  • EMS experience is not required but would be considered a benefit.
The employer also wants applicants to know that salary is negotiable and will be based upon qualifications and experience. If you are interested in this job, head to our career center for instructions on how to apply. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

5 Questions To Ask Before A Job Interview

It's always recommended to ask questions when you get called in for a job interview. But did you know it's also a good idea to do that beforehand?

Unlike the actual interview, when you will be asking the questions to a hiring manager, these are questions that you should be asking of yourself so you can get a better idea of what the organization is all about. Think of it as a form of research. These questions will help you be more prepared when it comes time for the interview, and will also help you decide if it's really the job you want.

Here are 5 questions you should ask when researching an organization:
  • What is their reputation? A simple Google search will give you an idea of whether the organization in question has had a lot of bad press from scandals. Needless to say, you won't want to be part of an organization that has a spotty ethics history.
  • What is the organization's position within the industry? Understanding the company's financial standing is a very important point to consider. You probably don't want to work for a nonprofit that isn't doing too well.
  • What unique skills do I bring to the table? Identify the characteristics you have that make you the best fit for the job, and emphasize them as much as possible during the interview. Employers need to know what makes you stand apart from other candidates.
  • How much am I willing to sacrifice? Every job has its drawbacks, but you should determine what your line in the sand is when it comes to accepting a job offer. You should be extremely excited about the position if you are willing to accept things like a long commute.
  • Is there a lot of turnover? Try to find out how many different employees have worked in the position for which you are applying. High rates of turnover can indicate bad management or a poor working environment.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Featured Nonprofit Job: Community Prevention Professional

The Community Resource Center (CRC) in Wyoming is looking to hire a Community Prevention Professional. What does this position entail? Read on for more details.

The chosen candidate for this job will be responsible for mobilizing her/his community to build and sustain vital prevention initiatives for areas including but not limited to: alcohol, tobacco, other drugs, and suicide prevention. You will also assemble a community coalition to achieve prevention goals while implementing evidence-based strategies. This position is available in the following areas in Wyoming: Cheyenne, Rock Springs, and Jackson. In total, there are nine openings.

Nine opening means you will have a great chance of getting this job, but you still must meet the requirements to qualify. CRC wants all applicants to meet the following qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree in counseling, social work, psychology, or related field.
  • Educated on secondhand smoke, substance abuse and misuse and suicide prevention.
  • Ability to share prevention and wellness concepts.
  • Full understanding of the Strategic Prevention Framework model.
  • Community development and mobilization.
  • Ability to understand and utilize data to reach project goals.
  • Budgeting and financial stewardship.
  • Marketing and media relations.
If you are interested, head to our career center for instructions on how to apply. You should also head to CRC's website for the full list of details on the position.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Tips For Dealing With Human Resources

When you apply for a job, you will more often than not be dealing with the organization's Human Resources (HR) department. Whether you have been called in for a job interview or are just contacting them for more information about the position, it's important to know the correct etiquette when dealing with these employees. Below are some tips to help you make a great impression:

  • Emphasize any teamwork you have done in past jobs. Many recruiters look for candidates who have the ability to work well with others, even if it's more of an individual position.
  • Following the dress code is important. If you don't feel comfortable asking HR what the organization's policy is, ask the receptionist instead. If you are told it's business casual, it's OK to step it up a little bit.
  • Address past firings rather than avoiding them. HR would much rather you tell the truth than hear you blame someone else, even if you think that it wasn't your fault. It's very possible that this individual knows the person you are bashing, and it just doesn't come across well.
  • Provide specific examples to substantiate your accomplishments. If the interviewer has to constantly pester you for more details, it will send a signal that you have a hard time communicating details. You should also make sure to avoid any hypothetical statements. HR wants to know what you have done, not what you would have done with more time.
  • Never bring up salary requirements in your first conversation with HR. This should be saved for later in the interview process.
  • It's acceptable to call HR if you have received a competing job offer and want to know where you stand. Just don't think you can make this call if you don't actually have the offer in hand.
  • Finally, make sure that you send a thank-you email after your interview. Not doing this could send the impression that you are not interested in the job. Besides, it's just the polite thing to do.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Featured Nonprofit Job: Vice President Of Program Services

Two featured nonprofit jobs in two days! Looks like August is shaping up to be a great month for the Nonprofit Job Seeker.

Today's position comes from the well known disability services nonprofit Easter Seals. The organization is looking for a Vice President of Program Services to provide new development and management of existing programs in New York and Connecticut. If you have previous experience with the start up or expansion of important programs in Human Services, including residential and education, this is a perfect job for you.

The person in this position will be responsible for the development of new and existing programs ensuring coordination and cooperative relationships (internal and external) of all components, while assuring compliance with state regulations, licensing standards, program/agency policies and procedures etc. Excellent supervisory skills will be necessary to provide guidance to staff at the Director Level.

Easter Seals wants applicants to be sure they meet the following qualifications before applying:

  • A wide breadth of experience in the various components of Human Services.
  • A Master’s Degree in Human Services or Public Administration.
  • 8+ years of senior level experience managing diverse Human Services programs for children and adults, including residential and educational programs.
If you think you have what it takes to be a Vice President of Program Services, head to our career center and find out how to apply.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Featured Nonprofit Job: Production Manager (2 Openings)

When you see job postings at an organization, there is usually only one opening per job. That's not the case with this featured nonprofit job from Integrated Direct Marketing. The agency works with nonprofit clients as well as big companies such as the Home Depot, Google, and Dell.

Based in Washington, D.C., the direct response agency is seeking to hire two Production Managers to execute all production responsibilities for nonprofit clients. Duties for this position include bidding, proof and set-up approval, quality control, and coordinating all aspects of the direct mail production process keeping projects on time and within budget.

Unlike most of the jobs we get here, this one doesn't have too many requirements. Candidates must have a minimum of three years in print production, preferably in an agency environment. The employer also wants applicants to be proficient with Microsoft Word, Excel, and Adobe Acrobat.

Two openings means your chances of being accepted are higher, but that doesn't mean you should wait a long time to submit your job application. If you are interested, head to our career center to read more and find out how to apply.