Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Featured Nonprofit Job: VP Of Development

Hurricane Sandy has finally passed us by, but not without inflicting some major damage. Many people on the east coast are still without power, and we at The NonProfit Times wish the best to those who are still suffering through the aftermath of Sandy.

For those of you that are lucky enough to still have power, we have a new featured nonprofit job for you to consider.

Operation Blessing International (OBI) is looking to hire a Vice President of Development to expand and implement the organization's overall fundraising strategies. This position will also be in charge of the planning and execution of all development activities to include setting and achieving specific fundraising goals designed to advance OBI’s mission and programs. Other responsibilities include:
  • Driving growth in major gifts, direct marketing, call programs, and internet fundraising;
  • Designing new name acquisition initiatives and lapsed donor campaigns;
  • Expanding foundation grant funding and planned giving;
  • Ensuring sufficient levels of cultivation and solicitation activity to result in achievement of revenue goals; and,
  • Assuming responsibility for  development reporting.
Interested in this job? Make sure you meet the following qualifications:
  • Bachelor’s degree required. Advanced degree or professional certification preferred.
  • Minimum of ten years related work experience in development; experience as a chief development officer preferred.
  • Proven fundraising track record of achieving revenue targets.
  • Proven results-driven management and strategic leadership capabilities.
  • Advanced skills in project management, budget development and fiscal accountability.
  • Strong communicator with ability to write and speak persuasively to increase fundraising.
  • Ability to manage a productive and efficient development team.
  • Proficiency with MS Office software and knowledge of fundraising databases.
  • Must possess integrity, excellent judgment, and diplomacy.
All interested candidates should apply via our career center. Good luck!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Ask For Job References, Not Jobs

The ultimate goal when you meet up with a networking contact is to get information that will lead you to a nonprofit job.  That doesn't mean you should straight up ask for a job.  Instead, ask for references.

The fact of the matter is that career networking isn't always going to lead you to people who have solid job references to help your job search.  Instead of putting your contacts on the spot about a potential job, mention to them what kind of positions you are most suited for and the ask if you can use them as a reference when you apply for jobs.

There are a couple of good reasons for taking this approach.  First of all, being used as a reference is a pretty high compliment.  It says that you think enough of this person to use them as an accurate judge of your abilities.  It will also make them feel better about themselves knowing they are able to help you out in your quest to get a good job.

All of this sounds like it's better for your contact than for you, but these good feelings will make your contacts more eager to help you.  They will think of you as a friend and will be thinking about other ways they can help you with your search.  This means they will likely be on the lookout for jobs that fit your needs.

It's important to keep in mind that this technique works best with people that you already know fairly well.  If you are just getting to know someone you discovered through LinkedIn, you should wait for a few conversations until you ask to use them as a reference.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

4 Reasons Happy Employees Are Better

Who is the ideal employee? If you talk to some managers, it would be an individual who has a healthy fear of their boss and will do everything asked of them without question. Basically, organizations would like to have automatons as workers.

While these are the kind of employees that are desired, there are very real benefits to be gained from having happy workers rather than grouchy robots.

Erin Teter, a senior human resource business partner for Sage North America, explained that research into workplace contentment shows that happy employees are much more productive than unhappy ones. Teter cited the following examples to support this idea:

  • Studies show that happy people are more productive, take fewer sick days and get along with others better.
  • Happy employees are better equipped to handle workplace relationships, stress and change.
  • Happy employees will stay with you. Rather than looking for a new job, they will be looking to grow with the organization to which they already belong. The cost of hiring and training new employees can vary from 25 percent to 200 percent of annual compensation.
  • In the nonprofit sector, happy employees lead to donor loyalty. They treat donors and clients well because they are engaged in the organization and want to see it succeed.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

8 Things To Explain About Your Nonprofit's Hiring Policies

Pay and the quality of the organization remain high job seekers' wish lists, but those aren't the only factors that drive them; the hiring policies of an organization also play a large role in determining their interest in the job.

Why do applicants want to know about hiring policies? According to Thomas Wolf, in his book "Managing a Nonprofit Organization," candidates can use this information to set reasonable expectations about when they should hear back after applying. This not only will help them, but will also allow you, the hiring manager, to take your time knowing that your applicants have an idea of when they are going to hear back.

Wolf also wrote that the clearer your policies are, the less chance there is for misunderstandings. He recommended making sure that the following eight questions are answered in your job description:

  • How are employees hired and is there a formal process with public notice required?
  • Are current employees given first preference for a job vacancy?
  • Is there an affirmative action policy?
  • Is hiring done solely on the basis of competency and qualifications?
  • Is every prospective employee allowed to see a job description?
  • Is there an official training period?
  • Do temporary or permanent part-time employees enjoy the same rights and benefits as full-time employees?
  • How often are salary ranges and job classifications reviewed and by whom?

Featured Nonprofit Job: Director Of Direct Marketing

The Priests of the Sacred Heart, located in Franklin, Wisc., is currently looking to hire a Director of Direct Marketing to coordinate and oversee execution of fundraising campaigns. Interested in this featured nonprofit job? Read on for more details.

As the title of this positions suggests, the Director will develop a direct marketing strategy and team to support and achieve the organization's goals and objectives, and will work with other departments to develop effective direct marketing campaigns. Other responsibilities include:

  • Establish close and strategic advisory partnerships with key department managers;
  • Grow revenue and increase net income from direct marketing programs;
  • Create direct marketing strategies and messages to support and achieve our goals and objectives;
  • Leads direct marketing efforts for new strategic marketing programs;
  • Collaborate with key department managers to deliver solutions that maximize ROI on the marketing investment;
  • Identify and create ways to utilize data to streamline various marketing efforts and organization processes; and,
  • Work with management to develop direct marketing strategies to continue the growth and success of donor retention.
Priests of the Sacred Heart requires all applicants to have a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing or Business. You must all meet these other qualifications:
  • Minimum 10 years of relevant direct marketing, operations planning, and/or supply chain management.
  • Non-profit experience and CFRE preferred.
  • Proven record of success in developing, championing and stewarding fully integrated direct marketing programs and teams.
  • Balanced leadership style that allows for both highly strategic leadership skills with the ability to be hands-on and lead by example.
  • Prior experience in leading or management of direct mail programs and marketing initiatives.  Contribute to overall strategic planning as it relates to direct marketing.
  • Ability to manage ambiguity effectively and prioritize/negotiate with business partners.
  • Ability to work well in a multi-task environment under pressure and tight time constraints.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the changing economics of the direct mail marketing business model.
  • Demonstrate ability to synthesize, prioritize and drive results with a strong sense of urgency.
  • Outstanding people leadership skills.
If you are interested in other featured nonprofit jobs, you can also look at the American Board of Addiction Medicine Foundation's Director of Development position.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The 2012 Nonprofit Salary And Benefits Report

The NonProfit Times, the leading business publication for nonprofit management, has released the 2012 editions of its annual Nonprofit Salary and Benefits Reports. In partnership with Bluewater Nonprofit Solutions, these five reports will give managers the most up-to-date information on current trends in nonprofit salaries and benefits so they can properly fill out their IRS Form 990s.

This year brings the introduction of a new report to the standard four that were available in previous years: The 2012 Nonprofit Organizations New York State Salary and Benefits Report. All of NPT’s reports are based on responses from around the United States, but this is the publication’s first report to collect information based on a specific state. The New York Salary and Benefits Report contains information on mid-level salary information, complete benefits coverage, and key benchmarking information, including base salary and total cash compensation data with percentile rankings for each position.

The other reports released by NPT today are:

All five of the reports are available for purchase immediately on The NonProfit Timesonline store. Purchase one, or more, today so that your organization can attract the best and brightest employees, and stay on top of those Form 990s.

Featured Nonprofit Job: Program Director

The Coordinating Center, located in Baltimore, Md., is beginning a program that will see the nonprofit work with several West Baltimore hospitals to reduce readmissions for fee for service Medicare beneficiaries. The organization is now looking to hire a Program Director to help run this new service.

This position will ultimately be responsible for the overall delivery and oversight of the program, including promotion and development of a community coalition, internal staff,  program processes and documentation tools. The successful candidate will also be in charge of analyzing data to evaluate the overall performance of the program components as well as the outcomes of care coordination resulting from the care transition intervention.

It should be noted that telecommuting is allowed, so those who are not located in the Baltimore area should feel free to apply.

Interested in applying for this featured nonprofit job? Make sure you meet the following requirements before submitting your resume and cover letter:

  • Experience in care transition, care coordination, hospital discharge planning is desirable as well as knowledge of Medicare system and services.
  • Must be capable of taking a program lead role and comfortable in a changing environment.
  • Must have demonstrated project management skills.
  • Must be able to manage multiple tasks to meet timelines.
  • Masters Degree in related field.
  • Must possess excellent organizational and communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability for creative thinking.
  • Possess education and or experience with persons who are over 65 years of age and understand the unique challenges of this age group

Friday, October 19, 2012

How To Find Out Why You Didn't Get The Job

Getting rejected for a job is bad enough, but it's even worse when you aren't given a specific reason. Is there a way to find out why an organization passed you over without seeming nosy? As a matter of fact, there is.

If you decide to ask why you have been rejected, the most important thing is to do it right after you are notified. Waiting too long to ask will give the appearance that you have been brooding over the decision, which is far from the impression you want to give.

So how do you phrase your response without offending the employer? You should start by saying that, while you are disappointed, you respect their decision and wish them well in the future. According to an article on CBS News, your phrasing should go something like this:

"I am working on improving my interview skills and am also interested in finding out areas that I'm lacking, so I can work to improve those as well. Could I ask you to tell me three areas that you think I could improve? I would really appreciate the feedback."
The reason this is a good response is because it shows the employer that you are truly interested in getting feedback about your performance. Even though you were passed over this time, showing that you are willing to listen to advice could help if you apply to the organization again in the future.

If you thought simply asking why you were passed over was hard, dealing with the feedback can be even worse. Nobody likes to be told what you are bad at, but it's all part of the process of growing as a job seeker. Here are some of the comments you are likely to receive from hiring managers:

  • You did not have enough experience in crucial areas.
  • Not enough education.
  • You did not show enough enthusiasm or assertiveness during the interview.
  • You did not ask enough questions about the organization, showing a lack of preparation.
Receiving criticism can leave you feeling deflated, but it's important not take it personally. Listening to this feedback and adjusting accordingly will only improve your chances the next time you apply for a job.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Featured Nonprofit Job: Director Of Corporate Relations

The nonprofit sector attracts people from all walks of life, including those who formerly worked for major corporations. Those individuals' business experience can be very useful in an industry that is increasingly running more like traditional businesses. If you are someone with that kind of experience, our newest featured nonprofit job will appeal to you.

Easter Seals Bay Area, in Oakland, Calif., is looking to hire a Director of Corporate Relations to increase donor acquisition by managing and growing key relations in the business world. Other responsibilities include:

  • Expanding corporate and individual donor involvement in an annual event.
  • Working closely with the Board of Directors on strategy and contacts solicitation.
  • Working with appropriate staff to build city, state, and regional donor or prospect visits.
  • Working in collaboration with program and finance staff to develop creative and powerful presentations and proposals for corporate partnership opportunities.
  • Creating and maintaining a development plan to include short and long term fundraising goals to include projections, progress and status tracking reports.
  • Managing database processes and internal reporting protocols to ensure meaningful and accurate donor identification, prospect management, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship.
  • Ensuring prompt acknowledgement of all gifts related to corporate giving.
  • Serving as liaison to national staff to implement corporate marketing, direct marketing and other nationwide initiative.
As was mentioned in the beginning of this post, having some kind of corporate background would be a major boost to your chances of getting this job. Easter Seals also requires candidates to meet the following qualifications:
  • College degree with 4 plus years of relevant work experience.
  • Familiarity with management by objectives.
  • Must possess excellent communication, strategic thinking, organizational, writing, editing, and proofreading skills.
  • Ability to consistently demonstrate good judgment and decision-making skills.
  • Ability to remain focused and flexible while shifting/changing priorities.
  • Ability to travel, reliable transportation.
  • Must be comfortable working within a team structure.
If you meet all of those requirements then, congratulations, you are qualified to be a Director of Corporate Relations. Head to our career center to read more about the job, and to apply. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

5 Traits That Will Help You Get You Hired

A lot of job search articles, including some on this blog, focus a lot on the things you shouldn't do when looking for work. These kinds of tips are very useful as a big part of the job hunt is avoiding things that will make you look bad to employers. We shouldn't forget, however, that it's also useful to know the things that will make you look good.

Part of being a successful job seeker is being proactive. That means showing employers not why you want the job, but why the organization needs you. Below are five traits that will show that you are the employee that will not only help the nonprofit in the present, but also in the future.

  • Contact organizations that aren't actively hiring. Send organizations that are in the middle of sustained growth a resume and cover letter explaining why you could be of help to them in the future. All organizations eventually need new employees eventually, and this proactive approach could save you effort when that time comes.
  • Make a phone call. The world is dominated by e-mail these days and, in most cases, it's a very useful tool. Yet there is something to be said about hearing an actual voice that can tell you a lot about a person. That's why you should take the time to call the organization's hiring manager after you submit your resume, just to introduce yourself.
  • Personalize your cover letter: Ditch the "To Whom it May Concern" opening and use the hiring manager's real name.
  • Get to the point: There's no need to explain in your cover letter that you are writing in regards to their job posting. Chances are, they already know this, so cut to the chase and start explaining why you would be a good fit for the job. A good idea is to open with an anecdote that explains your passion for the organization's line of work.
  • One size doesn't fit all: Make sure your resume fits the position and organization where you are seeking work. Just because it's similar to another job for which you applied doesn't mean you can copy-paste your application for that position.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Executive Jobs: President Wanted

Do you like chimpanzees? And what about executive jobs; do you like those? If you answered "yes" to both of these questions, then you will definitely want to read about our newest featured nonprofit job.

Chimp Haven, Inc., in Keithville, LA, is looking for a President to help lead the organization into the future. The ideal candidate will possess proven leadership abilities, including strategic implementation, fundraising, dealing with the public as well as governmental entities and excellent management skills.

Below are some of the other duties and responsibilities that the President of Chimp Haven will have:

  • Work with Board of Directors to achieve organizational goals.
  • Assist in recruiting new Board of Directors, Trustees and Committee Members. 
  • Align staff effort with goals of strategic plan and organizational mission.
  • Evaluate organization and external environment to capitalize on opportunities and reduce threats.
  • Serve as Institutional Official for animal care and use.
  • Appoint members to the Sanctuary Chimpanzee Care Committee.
  • Assure compliance with applicable federal, state and local regulations and standards in regard to animal care, financial management, human resources.
  • Monitor and provide input to the Compensation Plan annually or as needed.
  • Represent organization to media, professionals, donors and public.
  • Oversight of Development Program (fundraising and communications), including creation and assessment of annual development plan, coordination of annual fund, major donor work, grants, events, direct mail programs, and ensure compliance with gift acknowledgement procedures.
  • Write or edit materials produced by organization, including newsletter, email communications, website posts, direct mail, donor correspondence, reports, government communications and reporting requirements.
There are a lot more listed in the job description, so be sure to read the rest on our career center, as well as the requirements you must meet in order to be considered. Good luck!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Featured Nonprofit Job: Director Of Advancement

Looking for a great nonprofit job? The Purnell School, located in Pottersville, NJ, is looking to hire a Director of Advancement, so fire up those resumes and cover letters.

The Director of Advancement will be focusing primarily on major gifts for the School's 50th anniversary in 2015. Reporting to the Head of School, the Director of Advancement will take primary responsibility for planning and executing Purnell’s capital and endowment fundraising strategies. The chosen candidate will also work to improve the School's unrestricted and field of interest endowment.

Other responsibilities include:

  • Conducting in-person meetings as well as telephone conversations with constituents and will manage prospects from identification through cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship;
  • Overseeing research and information management, maintain database files and records in Raiser’s Edge to ensure proper tracking of gifts, actions, and solicitations for all constituents; and,
  •  Preparing reports on prospects for further cultivation and solicitation with the Head of School on special writing projects including solicitations, proposals, newsletters and brochures and provide additional support on events including cultivation, alumnae relations, and all-school programs.
If you are interested in this job, we recommend you apply as soon as you can. But before you do, make sure that you meet the following requirements laid out by the Purnell School:
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate with a wide range of individuals and constituencies.
  • Well organized and task-oriented.
  • Able to work closely with volunteers and students.
  • Have an understanding of basic database programs and computer software; be willing to work flexible hours and travel.
  • Bachelor’s degree and 2-3 years experience in a school or other non-profit setting.

Friday, October 12, 2012

3 Ways To Boost Your LinkedIn Profile

There's a very good chance that you, as an active job seeker, already have a profile on LinkedIn. There's an even greater chance that you are not using it to its potential.

LinkedIn is an amazing job search resource that can easily connect you with individuals who can improve your career network and get recruiters to contact you. If you don't have a complete profile, however, you will not get the results you want. Below are three ways to improve your profile:

  • If you've only filled in your profile with the basic information -- your name, college education, and work history -- you will not get the sort of action for which you are looking. Just like a website, your LinkedIn profile will get more exposure the more relevant key words are in it. Make sure you include these in the form of your career skills so that employers can more easily find you.
  • Some LinkedIn users are not aware that there is an option that allows you to add more information to your job title. The default setting makes your current job title as your profile headline; but if you un-check the box that says "Update My Headline to Job Title," you can fill-in a more customized headline. For instance, you can change "John Smith, Director at ABC Nonprofit" to "John Smith, Director at ABC Nonprofit -- Growth, Management, Technology." This will describe more accurately what your position entails, and also will increase the hit rate on your profile.
  • Waiting for someone to contact you on LinkedIn is not a good strategy. Join lots of groups that are relevant to your interest, and strike up conversations with its members. That is the best way to make networking contacts. Also, make sure the contact information you have listed is up-to-date.
Any of these issues sound familiar? If so, make sure you correct them as soon as possible.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Developing A Nonprofit Salary System

Every year, The NonProfit Times releases its Salary and Benefits Report, revealing how employees in the nonprofit sector are being paid. As with any business, salary structure is extremely important for nonprofits, and this report gives organizations that are just beginning a good model of the accepted pay within their industry.

Determining what the standard pay for particular employees is important, as you want to make sure that you are not underpaying workers. On the other hand, you can also choose (providing you have the budget) to pay higher than the average salary as a way to attract talent.

In their book "The Big Book of HR," Barbara Mitchell and Cornelia Gamlem wrote that the first step in determining how to pay employees is to develop the salary structure for your entire organization. This involves analyzing, evaluating, and pricing your jobs. Once this structure is in place, pay systems can be developed. As Mithcell and Gamlem explained, these can be developed in a number of different ways. It's up to you to choose the option that works best for your nonprofit.

  • Pay for performance or merit pay systems tie pay increases to an employee's performance. These are useful for organizations that want to distinguish and reward performance and discourage a culture of entitlement.
  • Single-rate or flat-rate systems generally pay one rate to all incumbents in a job, regardless of performance or seniority. The rate of pay is usually set at at the market rate.
  • A time-based system is based on longevity, and pay increases occur on a predetermined schedule. Seniority is the main factor for these pay increases.
  • In a productivity-based system, pay is determined by the employee's output.
  • A person-based system pays people based on their value, rather than on the marketplace value of the job they hold.

Featured Nonprofit Job: Senior Director Of Programs

The most recent jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) bought some good news for a change, so now is a great time to start looking for nonprofit jobs. To help your cause, the Nonprofit Job Seeker has yet another featured job available.

Urban Habitat (UH) in Oakland, Calif., is looking to hire a Senior Director of Programs to play a leading role in defining and implementing policies, campaigns, and coalition-building efforts to advance an equity agenda at the local, regional, and state level. Specifically, the candidate will lead UH’s efforts to define a comprehensive policy and research agenda for the organization and its priority campaigns, and will support cross-programmatic strategy development and implementation.

The Senior Director of Programs will perform a number of functions at UH. These include:
  • Program Planning, Management, Integration, and Alignment: Lead staff efforts to develop UH core programs and/or campaigns that are well-integrated and aligned with the overall mission of the organization. Lead annual strategic planning process and ensure effective development and implementation of program and individual work plans.
  • Program Analysis and Evaluation: Analyze metrics and other relevant factors to ensure that programs are meeting outcomes and objectives, and are making true community change. Coordinate and prioritize resources across programs and projects, and manage links between the projects as well as the overall costs and risks of the program.
  • Policy, Advocacy, and Research: Provide analysis of local, regional, state, national, and international policies that are relevant to UH’s mission and campaign goals. Develop and recommend strategies to help UH and its partners effectively navigate and impact the policymaking arena.
  • Coalitions and Movement-Building: Strengthen the capacity of UH to effectively build and engage in multi-issue, multi-sector coalitions throughout the region, state, and nation. Staff UH coalition efforts, when needed.
If this sounds like a job you would be interested in, we encourage you to apply as soon as you can. But first, you must make sure you meet the following requirements:
  • Master’s degree in urban planning, environmental sciences, economics, public policy, or equivalent experience;
  • Minimum of five years’ experience developing and leading environmental, social, and/or economic justice programs;
  • Minimum of five years’ experience supervising and managing personnel;
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience working on land use, housing, transportation, and/or economic development planning policies and programs;
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively communicate policy analysis and research results, including development of conclusions and persuasive arguments for individuals outside the organization, as appropriate;
  • Demonstrated experience developing and leading successful policy campaigns and/or programs focused on environmental, social, and/or economic justice; and,
  • Strong commitment to issues of environmental, social, and economic justice and to working within a regional, multi-sector, multi-issue framework.
Head to our career center to learn more about this position and for application instructions.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

5 Resume Improvements

There are many ways to tell if your resume will be a success when it gets to the hiring manager's desk. One of the best of these techniques is to read it as if it were not your own work. Would you be compelled to read it if you weren't the author?

If you answer "no" to that question, it's time to make some improvements.

It's important to note that your resume doesn't need to be a full-on disaster to warrant tweaking. The smallest errors can cost you the job, as unfair as that seems. The nature of today's job market means that a candidate who has an application that is just a little more polished than yours will ultimately be more attractive to the employer.

Improvements to your resume don't necessarily need to come from major overhauls. Instead, they can come from a series of smaller tweaks. Here are five tips for implementing these changes:

  • Don't rely on the computer's spell check. These programs, while helpful, can aren't foolproof. Read over your resume with your own eyes before sending it. You should also have someone else check it, as you will not always have the most accurate perspective of your own work.
  • Organize your work history so that your most recent jobs are listed at the top. This style is preferred by most employers, as it makes it easier for them to determine where you worked and when.
  • Eliminate all unnecessary words and simplify your language. For example, personal pronouns such as "I," "my," and "me" are not needed since it is clear that your resume is about you.
  • Review your formatting to make sure that it is easy to read. Bold, italicize, or underline key points, and create a bulleted list for your job functions.
  • You can sometimes miss awkward sounding sentences if you just read your work to yourself. That's why you should read your resume aloud, as it will help you identify passages that need improvement or clarification.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

4 Modern Job Interview Questions

You think you know all about the job interview questions employers will ask you? While some of the classic questions ("Tell me a little bit about yourself," etc) still exist, many organizations are updating their repertoire to reflect current trends. Today's economic environment demands that nonprofits do their due diligence to ensure the individual they hire has the necessary skills and commitment to succeed.

With this in mind, here are four modern interview questions for which you should prepare:
  • Have you used social media in previous jobs? Unless you have been living in a cave for the last few years, you will know that social media plays a huge role in most organizations' marketing practices. Even if you are not applying for a position that deals with these tools, employers want to know that you at least understand how they work. Try to give examples of the ways you have used sites like Twitter or Facebook in your previous jobs.
  • How have you contributed to your most recent company's success? Simply completing tasks is not enough in today's workplace; you must show how your actions have contributed to the overall success of the company. If you don't remember the numbers or stats off the top of your head, promise to provide them in a follow-up email.
  • What kind of work environment makes you the most productive and happy? Hiring managers want to make sure the person they hire will thrive both personally and professionally at their organization. You must do the proper research on the nonprofit's work environment if you are to successfully answer this question.
  • Why do you want this job? This sounds like a classic interview question, but employers want different answers than before. You can't just say that the job matches up with your skills and expect to satisfy the questioner. To answer this question properly, you must explain why the position will help you achieve your career goals, and how it will help you grow as a person and a professional.

Monday, October 8, 2012

5 Common Job Interview Questions

Cross-Posted From the Nonprofit Job Seeker

It's very rare that you will go to two job interviews that ask you the exact same questions. Chances are, however, that there will be some common threads when it comes to the questions you are asked.

The more detailed questions a hiring manager will ask you will vary depending on the type of job for which you are applying, but there are some questions that are almost always asked. This is because they tend to give employers the most information about your skills as a potential employee, and your temperament  Here are five of those questions, as well as tips on how to answer them:
  • "Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?" This is usually the first question you will be asked during an interview, and it is a deceptively simple one. The interviewer does not want a detailed narrative of your life and times; he wants to know what motivates you in your career. As such, you should prepare a summary of your career skills to answer this question.
  • "What makes you want to work here?" Pro-tip: Don't answer this by stressing your financial needs. Instead, come into the interview with a clear knowledge of what the organization does, and why that mission is compatible with your expertise.
  • "What's your biggest weakness?" The clich├ęd way to answer this is to spin a positive attribute as a negative ("I care too much about what I do!"). The employer is actually looking for an assessment of what you struggle at, so don't be afraid to be honest. Just make sure to explain what you are doing to get improve.
  • "Where do you see yourself in the future?" Speak to your desire to continue to take on more responsibilities and grow as a professional. Be ambitious, but realistic, about your future goals.
  • "Why are you leaving your current employer?" Whatever you do, don't bash your current work, even if you absolutely hate it. Reiterate what you like about your current job, and stress that you are looking for a great opportunity, not running away from another.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Featured Nonprofit Job: Director Of Finance And Administration

If you have ever been to Yellowstone National Park in Montana, you know how breathtaking it is. Perhaps you have even felt the desire to do something to help the Park. With the newest featured nonprofit job from NPT Jobs, now you can.

The Yellowstone Association (YA) is looking to hire a Director of Finance and Administration to work with the organization's Executive Director in an effort to provide additional educational support for Yellowstone National Park. The chosen candidate will serve as a mentor and coach to help increase the financial literacy and compliance of staff throughout the organization, along with other responsibilities. These include:

  • Continuously assess organizational performance in relation to the organization’s annual budget and strategic goals;
  • Develop cash flow projections and long-term budget plans to guide the organization’s growth based on strategic priorities;
  • Work collaboratively and effectively with park partners, including National Park Service, park concessioners and Yellowstone Park Foundation;
  • Attend board and committee meetings;
  • Direct the annual planning and budgeting process with the Executive Director;
  • Oversee all accounting activities, including payroll, general ledger, accounts payable/receivable, and balance sheet;
  • Foster a staff culture that encourages commitment to YA’s mission and strategies; and,
  • Oversee employee benefits and serve as trustee for retirement program.
At least seven years of experience in a senior financial role is required for this job, preferably as a CFO or equivalent in a nonprofit organization with a budget of at least $5 million. The ideal candidate has also had full responsibility for human resource functions. Bachelor’s degree required; MBA, CPA or advanced degree in a closely related field strongly preferred; PHR/SPHR certification a plus.

If you think you can thrive successfully as a Director of Finance and Administration, head to our career center to find out how you can apply for this job.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

7 Steps To Hiring Success

How does your nonprofit determine how to hire employees? Does it make those decisions solely on the quality of the candidate's resume and her interview performance? These are both important factors, but they should not be the only ones guiding your decision.

The first step to determining the factors that should play the main roles in your hiring process is to plan a meeting with your human resources department. You should use this meeting to develop a course of action that will lay out the characteristics your employee of choice will possess. After all, you can't expect to find a great employee if you don't know the exact qualifications for which you are looking.

Your plan of action will be determined by following these seven steps during your meeting with human resources:

  • Determine why you need to hire a new employee, develop a list of important characteristics, and work with HR and the relevant departments to create a detailed job description.
  • Rank the most important characteristics that your successful candidate will possess, from most to least necessary. This will allow your recruiter to use this list when writing online classified ads for the position.
  • Determine who in the organization will interview applicants and discuss with this person which qualities they should evaluate most carefully.
  • Assign questions and topics to the employee who will be conducting the job interviews. You should also consider developing scenarios and role-plays to see how candidates will react in certain situations.
  • Write a list of questions you wish to use during the employee screening process.
  • Determine whether it is necessary for your candidates to take a test during the interview process. For example, you may want to assign a writing task if you are hiring for a grant writing position.
  • Identify questions you want to use for the post-interview assessment of the candidate. These should relate to the characteristics you have determined are most important in an employee.

Wanted: Health Information Systems Advisor

The health care field in the nonprofit sector is constantly growing. Just recently, donations to U.S. hospitals and health care systems jumped 8.2 percent, according to a study by the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy. NPT Jobs is now featuring a job in this growing field, so now is the time to polish those resumes.

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is looking to hire a Health Information Systems Advisor to advise member associations implementing electronic health record (E-HR) and practice management (E-PM) clinic systems on best health information practices, clinical quality assurance/medical system audits, related clinic system administration business processes, and security.

Other responsibilities include:

  • Collaborating with Member Associations, Universal Access and Organization Learning and Evaluation (OLE) teams on identification, documentation and dissemination of meaningful use of clinical system data from electronic health records;
  • Assisting Member Associations in Latin America with the planning, design, and negotiation of clinic practice management and medical record systems;
  • Determining potential areas of medical practice risk through e-HR analysis and recommend clinical system quality audits to minimize risks;
  • Assessing utilization of e-HR in Member Associations, and recommend measures to increase appropriate utilization by health providers; and,
  • Supporting diverse initiatives under the universal access to sexual and reproductive health strategic area, as needed to implement health information systems.
Now that you know some of the duties you will be performing, it's time to see if you have the right qualifications. IPPF wants all applicants to meet the following requirements before applying for this job:
  • At least 10 years of related experience.
  • Masters In Nursing Or Certified Physicians Assistant; Master Of Public Health: Family And Community Health Program
  • Experience with Ob-Gyn practices.
  • Practical experience with the selection, planning, and implementation of electronic clinical systems. Clinical experience managing electronic record systems in ambulatory clinic setting.
  • Fully bilingual in English and Spanish - Advanced written language skills with strong business and medical vocabulary.
  • Experience working with Spanish speaking communities in Latin America and/or United States and Mexico and the Caribbean, with sexual and reproductive issues a plus.
  • Essential traits include being organized, detail and deadline-oriented, able to multitask and work well in a team-oriented environment, and effectively manage communication and work tasks remotely.
  • Travel required within the region, at least 30% of time.
Think you have what it takes to be a Health Information Systems Advisor? Head to our career center to find out more information, including how to apply.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Featured Nonprofit Job: Manager Of Communications

Are you an expert at communications with above average written and oral skills? If so, the Nonprofit Job Seeker has just the position for you.

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) in Washington, D.C. has posted a featured job with us for a Manager of Communications. This position is responsible for producing communications to support PTCB’s mission, impact, visibility, and outreach across the pharmacy profession under the direction of the Director of Professional Affairs. Primary responsibilities include:

  • Leading PTCB in presenting and maintaining a positive public image;
  • Proactively developing media outreach strategies;
  • Managing communications with vendors and stakeholders; and,
  • Providing oversight for consistency and quality assurance of communications with all stakeholders.
PTCB wants all applicants to know they must meet certain requirements before applying for this job. These include:
  • Bachelor’s degree in communications, marketing, journalism, or related field.
  • Minimum of three years of communication and/or marketing experience.
  • Demonstrated skills, knowledge, and expertise in the design and execution of communications and public relations activities.
  • Must be a skilled and precise technical writer.
  • Knowledge of English grammar conventions.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office software.
To read more about the Manager of Communications position, head to our career center. There you will find information on how to apply.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Should You Relocate For A Nonprofit Job?

Most job seekers look for jobs that are close to where they live. Nobody wants a long commute and, in normal times, it isn't ideal to move. We don't live in normal times, however, and job hunters should at least consider relocating when looking for a nonprofit job.

The Nonprofit Job Seeker allows you to look for jobs by state, making it easier to find work out of your market. It's important to remember that applying for jobs out of state takes even more research than normal, and you should be prepared to consider factors that may not have occurred to you. With this in mind, here are five things you must do when considering a relocation:

  • Research Specific Organizations: Casting a wide net is not going to help your job search. Instead, target specific organizations for which you would like to work, research them, and attempt to network into the nonprofit using contacts.
  • Research the Area: Getting a job is important, but you don't want to move to an area that isn't right for you. Make sure that you get a good idea of what the social scene is in the town/city. Is there enough there to ensure that you will not be bored? Will you be able to afford to live there? These are all questions you need to answer.
  • Schedule a Trip: Make time in your schedule to visit the city you are considering. Scout out the local hot spots and meet up with your networking contacts in the area.
  • Why Are You Moving?: This is one of the first questions you will be asked by employers, and answering "because I need a job" is not going to cut it. Tell them that you like the environment or that you have family in the area.
  • Where Are the Jobs?: Make a list of the locations in the country that seem to have the most jobs and, assuming those places are suitable for you, target them. You will have much more success if you are looking in areas that are booming with work.