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Recent News Article

Careers In Nonprofits, Inc. Wins Inavero’s 2017 Best of Staffing Client and Talent Awards

Earned by less than two percent of all staffing agencies in the U.S. and Canada CHICAGO, IL – FEBRUARY 16, 2017 – Careers In Nonprofits, Inc., a leading employment agency in the nonprofit industry, announced today they have won Inavero’s Best of Staffing® Client and Talent Awards for the third year in a row for

Temporary Employee Open House – Chicago

INVITE A FRIEND – SHARE WITH YOUR NETWORK! Careers In Nonprofits first ever Temporary Employee Open House Event! March forward into a temporary assignment with an established nonprofit! Please read below for details and how to register. Are you interested in joining a great nonprofit in the Chicagoland area? We are pleased to announce that

CNPer of the Month: Jayna Gagner

We want to hear your success stories! Each month, one of our candidates will be featured on our website and social media as the CNPer of the Month. They will also receive a $25 American Express gift card in the mail. If you’ve been placed through CNP in the past 12 months, email Teresa (tqiu@cnpstaffing.com) with

Testimonials

We Value Every Client & Every Candidate

Careers In Nonprofits earned the Best of Staffing® Award for providing remarkable service quality. Fewer than 2% of all staffing agencies in the U.S. and Canada earned the 2016 Best of Staffing Award for service excellence. Best of Staffing winners truly stand out for exceeding expectations and this award identifies the staffing industry’s elite leaders in service quality.

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Careers In Nonprofits was honest and transparent in their interactions. I appreciated the upfront attention to what my organization needed. They were conscientious. I liked having multiple qualified people to interview. I am happy with the person whom I hired through Careers In Nonprofits. They were a resource after they placed a candidate with me. I was satisfied all around.

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We consistently receive a high degree of professionalism and service from CNP. And we’ve also hired multiple high quality candidates in both temporary and permanent capacities. They have navigated our high expectations really well, and provided terrific support and coaching to me in so many ways.

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CNP gives the utmost support to their candidates. I am blessed to have worked with Careers In Nonprofits who works professionally and with prompt and caring attention.

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This is the second time that CNP has assisted me in finding a job that is perfect for me and allows me to take the next step in my career.

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Career Q&A with Nurys

Nurys Harrigan-Pedersen is president of Careers In Nonprofits, the experts in nonprofit staffing and recruiting with offices in Atlanta, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.
What is the best way to land a job in your career field with only education/credentials and no previous job experience? – Anonymous, Chicago, IL

Use your network

Reach out to your instructors and the career advisors where you’re getting your education early on and make sure they know what your goals upon graduating and long-term are. Even if it’s an online program, ask to arrange a phone or Skype conversation. They’ll at least be able to guide your coursework and review your resume. If it’s not too late, they can point you to internship and volunteer opportunities so you can build up your job experience. You can ask them to be a reference as well. Don’t forget to reach out to classmates! Ask where and how they’re job-searching for ideas you can use.

Make sure your family, friends, and everyone on your social media know you just got a new credential and what kind of work you're looking for. You never know what people or resources they can connect you with. People love to help out and may volunteer, before you even ask, to pass along your resume or make an introduction. Requesting informational interviews with people doing what you want to do will help you get on the right track and can lead to a valuable mentoring relationships. Just remember to never be pushy and always send thank you notes!

Bring attention to and focus on the criteria you DO meet

Don’t start your cover letter with “I don’t have these things you’re looking for, but…” If there are too many reasons why a hiring manager would dismiss you out of hand, or you’re not sure you can handle the job as described, find something else to apply for. Read job descriptions carefully and be clear on what’s required and what’s preferred. Make sure you meet most of the required criteria so you don’t waste your time or their time. Emphasize why you’re a great fit for the role and anything that makes you stand out. If you have a personal connection to the nonprofit’s mission or have volunteered with them before, let them know about it in your cover letter!

If you studied something directly related to the career you want to pursue, highlight relevant skills and knowledge you gained from your coursework, especially your familiarity with any new practices, regulations that affect the industry, and software. Even if your education isn’t directly related, show how what you learned is still relevant or gives you unique perspective and experience that can be tied into the job description of positions you’re applying for.

Also, don’t discredit your soft skills! Assuming you have previous work experience, just not in the area you’re trying to break into, highlight your ability to work in and lead a team, or stay organized to meet multiple project deadlines. Advanced, professional writing and verbal communication skills are in high demand, so be sure to mention if you have extensive public speaking experience or drafted important client communications at a previous job.

What are three ways to make a cover letter stand out? – Sammy M., Washington, DC

Cover letters are a great way to showcase why you’re the best person for the job, but it’s easy to write a bad one. Here are three things to keep in mind:

1. Your cover letter is not your resume.

Don’t waste space by repeating what’s on your resume. Instead, expand on key responsibilities and accomplishments in your previous roles. What hard and soft skills have you been able to master that aren’t obvious on your resume? What did you learn about yourself and your work preferences? Make sure to connect everything back to why you’re a great fit for the position you’re applying for.

2. Personalize your letter as much as possible.

Do some research and find the name of the person who will be reviewing your application. If you can’t find it or are unsure how to address someone, call the organization and ask. This may seem mortifying, but you’ll be more mortified if the “Mr. Jordan Gray” you sent your application is actually “Dr. Jordan Gray,” a woman with a PhD in Economics. As a last resort, address it to the hiring manager or search committee for the specific position you’re applying to.

Stay away from fluffy buzzwords. They don’t say much about you and will make the hiring manager roll their eyes. Everyone calls themselves a “team player” and a “people person.” Explain why and how you deserve those labels instead: “I directed 50+ calls per hour to 5 other people on my team, as well as taking them myself. This year, I won the Shout-Out Award for being the most frequently named staff member in customer surveys for exemplary service.”

3. Keep it short.

There’s a lot you can say in a cover letter, but don’t exceed a page. (The majority of hiring managers would prefer if you kept your cover letter to just half a page.) If the application format or job post specifies a certain length for your cover letter, make sure you follow those instructions. They’ll definitely weed out the people who don’t.

If your cover letter is too long, you may be trying to say too much. Pare your accomplishments down to the three most impressive ones. Don’t forget to take out sentences with information that’s elsewhere on your application, like “My name is John Smith. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Finance in May 2016.”

Cut out passive voice and adverbs as much as possible, which make your sentences longer and weaken the impact of your words. Online tools like Hemingway can pinpoint these issues, but make sure you have a real person look over your cover letter, too. They’ll also be able to help you spot fluffy buzzwords that you should either get rid of or re-work into stronger statements.

How long should one stay in an entry level position? – Nashika T., Chicago, IL

The short answer here is that it’s relative. The question here shouldn’t necessarily be about how long one should stay but rather how to optimize an entry level role. Of course, no one’s expecting you to stay for ten years—but two years? Absolutely; there’s a point in the beginning of everyone’s career where you have to pay your dues. Sure, you may not be in the ideal role at the moment, but there are steps you can take to make the best of your entry level job. Some things to consider:

Do you have a career map? Do you have an idea of where you’d like to head next and how you can flourish in your current position? One great way to illustrate your next steps and better visualize your goals is by making a career map. Career mapping is a great way to view your progress, set goals and anticipate changes; it’s as simple as putting your ambitions down on paper and assigning them timeframes. For example, you can designate two years or so to your current role and allot certain professional milestones to each month or every six months.

Are you still learning? Building and expanding upon skills and learning from mentors and colleagues are often what keep an individual engaged in the workplace. If you’ve found that you haven’t been absorbing as much as you could, consider reestablishing your connections to your mentors and colleagues. You could ask your mentor to coffee if you haven’t in a while, or inquire into your desk mate’s latest project. This serves to foster a productive relationship between you and your acquaintances; you might also learn something new over cappuccinos!

How’s your work life balance? Many times, articles and discussions about work life balance seem to be directed at those who are in high powered careers and have been in them for years. Though that’s not untrue, work life balance is often overlooked in entry level candidates—many who tend to let the late nights in the office build and their emotionally fulfilling side projects dwindle. Even if you’re right out of the gate and the greenest person in the office, your work life balance should be a priority. Your time in your entry level job will only seem longer and drier when you’re working 60-hour weeks and haven’t seen your friends and family in months!

How long you stay in an entry level position depends on your goals (whether they’re long-term or short-term) and your circumstances. Regardless of what they are, consider volunteering, freelancing or working on passion projects on the side to build new skills and gain experience. This way, you stay refreshed and cognizant of life outside of your work, which will only serve to enrich you and make you all the better at tackling challenges in not only your current role, but in roles to come!

 
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We offer permanent, temporary and temp-to-permanent staffing in the nonprofit sector. Once you register with Careers In Nonprofits, your résumé is available to our recruiters whenever they search our database. You can also search for jobs by visiting our website.