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Prospective Candidate Day in Washington, DC

Are you interested in joining a great nonprofit? Do you want to spend your workday making a difference? We are pleased to announce that Careers In Nonprofits is actively seeking outstanding talent to work for nonprofits in the DC/MD/VA area! We are in search of candidates with a passion for nonprofits and an interest in


We are very excited to announce that our first Twitter contest will run Monday, October 17 until Tuesday, October 25! Participants have the chance to win the following: A FREE career coaching session with one of our Managing Directors A $25 gift card CNP swag (a mug, pens, t-shirt) How can you win? Each morning, there

Chicago Candidate Open House

INVITE A FRIEND – SHARE WITH YOUR NETWORK! Careers In Nonprofits’ Open House is back! Fall into a new opportunity! This October, take a chance at finding a new career in the nonprofit sector. Please read below for details of the events, how to register, and what will be offered during Careers In Nonprofits’ Open


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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!

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 address gaps in your resume? – Katherine K., Washington, DC

As is the case with all things regarding resumes and job seeking in general, my first point of advice is to avoid lying about why you have gaps in your work history. Even if it’s just a white lie, the consequences are far greater than a nervous slip of the tongue and should be avoided at all costs. Honesty is the best policy!

Another way to address gaps in your resume is to consider using a functional resume, which highlights your skills first and foremost as opposed to listing your experience chronologically.

If you would still like to use the traditional resume format, you might want to list just the duration of time you spent in previous jobs versus listing a specific time frame.

If a functional or chronological resume isn’t on the top of your list, a great way of sharing your skills and experience is to bolster your professional summary at the top of the document (or to create one entirely if you don’t have one).

If questions regarding your resume gaps arise during an initial phone call or first round interview, telling the truth prevails over attempting to mask why you haven’t worked for six months. In fact, questions from the recruiter or hiring manager can be a good thing—you’re given the ability to explain a difficult situation (say, in the event you were a caretaker for an ill parent) or how you’re attempting to break into a new field.

Contrary to popular opinion, gaps in your work history aren’t a resume’s kiss of death. In fact, they are more common than you might think. Recruiters and hiring managers alike are aware of the unpredictability of life and are sympathetic to that fact. While they are sympathetic, it’s also important to be aware that it might take some time to jump back on the career horse. Consider the listed advice and mind the resume gap in order to stride confidently back into the working world!

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 advice do you have to help your cover letter stand out? –Paige W., Chicago

With all the articles and guides floating around the internet, it can be difficult to know where to begin when it comes to the cover letter. One thing that’s for certain is to include one when applying to positions. I don’t believe that hiring managers don’t read cover letters—they may skim, sure, but the notion that they simply toss your letter into the recycling is unfounded. With that, some ways to help your cover letter stand out amongst the pack:

Addressing the letter

The stalwart, “to whom it may concern” may be the fastest way for a hiring manager to dismiss your letter. Contrary to popular belief, not knowing the name of the specific person reading it won’t work against you. In fact, going to excessive lengths to reach out to the organization in order to find out will do so. A good alternative if you’re not given a name is to simply address the organization as a whole (e.g. Dear Careers In Nonprofits). It’s simple and all-encompassing, with little room for misinterpretation.

Anecdotal evidence

Cover letters don’t have to follow the same template. In fact, they should—like resumes—be customized to the position you’re applying for. After all, this is your way of introducing yourself and what you’re about, and there’s no better way than to tell a quick story. Whether you tie in a childhood pastime to the organization’s mission or describe the fundraising effort that led you to the role, an anecdote is a great way to bring the experience on your resume to life.

Removing filler words/clichés

Remember that you only have one page to tell an anecdote (if applicable), express your interest in the position and explain what you’re going to bring to the table if hired. Read and re-read, edit and consider having another set of eyes review your draft to cut out unnecessary adverbs, description or language.

Testimonials/references from supervisors/colleagues

“References available upon request” says little—everyone has references available upon request. Consider inserting (where appropriate) condensed versions of recommendations you’ve received in the past, whether in writing or on LinkedIn.

The cover letter sets the stage for describing what your story is, what kind of experience you have and what you can bring to the table. They don’t need to be bland copies of each other full of stodgy language and trite metaphors. Reviewing the tips above might find your job search bolstered by the basics!

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.

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