Writing a field-specific résumé is becoming more and more important in today’s job seeking environment. If you work in the non-profit sector, there are certain features that you need to highlight on your résumé that you wouldn’t necessarily focus on in a business-specific résumé. Follow these steps to find out how to make your résumé more field-specific and stand out from the crowd.
1. What Makes the Non-Profit Field “Specific”
The first step toward crafting a résumé for a job in the non-profit sector is to understand what makes your field specific. For example, many people who work in the non-profit sector have a strong desire to help others and find fulfillment in working in this field. Of course, there are areas of expertise for each different type of employment position in the non-profit sector. However, one of the major field-specific characteristics that you can demonstrate on your résumé is to highlight your desire to help other people. You can weave this desire to help others in to the variety of content that you will include in your résumé. If you work as an administrator for an afterschool program, you can cite specific details regarding how your daily job tasks ensure that the facility continues to run smoothly so that youth who attend the program continue to receive excellent care. If you work as a teacher in a non-profit daycare at a local YMCA, you can demonstrate your attention to detail in preparing learning activities that help the children to develop.
2. What Content to Include
The most important content to include is how your work experience in the non-profit sector makes you the right candidate. Education level is highly important, but the key factor in the hiring manager’s decision will be your experience as a volunteer, board or committee member, or any other work that proves how serious you are about helping others. Consider the following factors:
- Alignment – It is important to make sure that your current skill set and workplace experience align with the requirements for the position you’re applying for.
- Objective – You can include a summary of one or two sentences on the qualifications that make you a perfect fit.
- Skill set – Make sure that you include a comprehensive yet concise list of your current skill set and abilities that demonstrate your compatibility with this new job, in bullet point form if possible.
- Achievements – Your résumé needs to showcase your relevant workplace achievements that prove your productivity.
- Volunteering – As discussed above, your volunteer experience is important in order to demonstrate your desire to help others in need.
3. How to Highlight Each Feature
Once you understand the content you need to include, you must focus on how you should highlight each feature to be field-specific. When crafting this content, consider the following tips on how to highlight each feature. For this example, we’ll focus on relating them to the job of an administrator for an afterschool program.
- Alignment – As an administrator, you should focus on your skill sets that will effectively align with the job description requirements in order to increase your viability. For example, if the job requires someone with excellent leadership abilities, cite your professional experience as a confident leader who has effectively managed the facility.
- Objective – Create a summary that effectively demonstrates how your experience and professional goals properly match up with the organization’s mission and goal strategy. You need to demonstrate that you want to utilize your organizational skills to be an effective administrator who has the best interests of the students at heart.
- Skill set – You can include details on how your skill set makes you the right candidate. Create a list of bulleted facts that describe your field-specific skill set. For example, administrators must be organized, able to lead, capable of handling paperwork, managing staff and students, while creating a positive educational atmosphere.
- Achievements – Demonstrating specific examples of what you have achieved in the non-profit sector will set you apart as a leading candidate for the employment position. For example, cite actual experience you have as an administrator where you accomplished increasing efficiency among the staff and created a productive educational atmosphere for the students to learn and grow during their attendance.
- Volunteering – List examples of the agencies that you volunteered at or the boards you served on. Provide how your role enabled to increase the productivity of the organization. For example, if you served on an organization’s board, you should explain your specific role and how your position enhanced the organization that you were serving.
Do you work in the non-profit sector? What do you consider to be the most important content to feature on your résumé? Tell us in the comments section below.