Resume Critique Follow-up - Why Should I Hire You?

According to the UI Center for Non-profits, the non-profit sector has grown steadily over the past decade in both size and financial impact, surpassing the rate of both private business and government sectors. There is a need for development directors, volunteer managers, program coordinators, executive directors and innovative leaders to successfully sustain this growing and impactful sector. With an influx of “professional do-gooders” entering the job market, where do you fit in? Or rather how will you stand out? Two words: your professional biography, or, simply put, your resume.
On Feb. 19 we held a panel discussion with non-profit sector hiring professionals—Dr. Maggie Tolan, Cyndee Dubrof and Eloise Luke— who brought perspectives from the various worlds of academia, HR management and executive level hiring. The discussion helped to shed light on questions most entry-level, sector-switchers and experienced professionals share when applying for their dream jobs.
Below are a few things to keep in mind when preparing your resume.  Also, be sure to join us on Wednesday, March 6 for our Perfect Your Elevator Pitch event.  With a revamped resume and a perfectly polished elevator pitch, you'll be doubly prepared for your next job search.
1. Be Honest: The panelists couldn’t express this enough. Most people assume that a lengthy and verbose resume appeals to most hiring managers, but it does not. Take the time to detail the successes you have had, however small they may be, and make sure they accurately portray your skill set.
2. Kill the buzz words unless you can back it up: Don’t just state that you are a “team player.” Demonstrate it by showing the results in your work history.
3. K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple and straightforward): There’s no need to list every job and/or volunteer position you have had. List the most relevant experiences you’ve had that date no more than five years ago. This is especially true if you’ve held positions were you served as a leader, but even if you had positions where you played a supportive role, don’t forget to emphasize your accomplishments.
4. The professional summary helps; the archaic objective statement does not: Research the organization before you write your summary. In this short paragraph explain how your skill set, character and/or experience will add to their organizational goals.
5. Do your research: Ask yourself: Does your skill set match the job description? If not, what other areas have you had successful experiences in? Once you have these answers, highlight those accomplishments.
6. Cross-check, revise and tailor: Have family and friends review your resume for any errors or inconsistencies. Develop more than one resume, and tailor your resume to the organization to which you are applying.
7. Don’t forget the cover letter: The cover letter and resume go hand in hand.
Here are a few links to some resources to check out if you’re still stuck in a resume rut:
New to non-profit? Here are some great resources for sector-switchers: BridgespanCareerealismIdealist
Recent graduate or budding professional ready to enter the job market?
"Recruiters and Employers Offer Tips for Creating the Ideal Nonprofit Resume" - article Some tips - 20 free resume writing resources online -
A few articles to consider:
- Jewel N. Thompson, YNPN Atlanta Board Member