resume tips

How to write a resume for a nonprofit job

Ever wondered what nonprofit employers look for in a resume? Do you have butterflies in your stomach when entering the job market after many years of not knowing what the latest trends are? Worry no more! Careers In Nonprofits has got you covered. Below you will find some tips to utilize in getting your resume ready when entering the nonprofit job market. 

Here are some points to consider:

  • Know your audience: Before you start writing your resume, do some research on the nonprofit organization you’re applying to. What is their mission, vision, and values? What are their goals and challenges? What are the specific requirements and expectations for the role you’re interested in? Use this information to tailor your resume to match their needs and culture. For example, you might highlight your volunteer experience, your fundraising skills, or your knowledge of a certain cause or community.
  • Highlight your impact: Nonprofit employers want to see how you can contribute to their cause and make a difference. Therefore, you need to quantify your achievements and demonstrate your impact in your resume. Instead of listing your duties and responsibilities, use action verbs and numbers to show what you accomplished and how you improved a situation. For example, instead of saying “Managed social media campaigns”, you could say “Increased social media engagement by 50% and raised $10,000 in online donations”.
  • Showcase your skills: Nonprofit work often requires a diverse set of skills, such as communication, collaboration, leadership, problem-solving, and creativity. You need to show that you have these skills and how you used them in your previous or current roles. You can use a skills section to highlight your relevant hard and soft skills and provide examples of how you applied them in your work history section. For example, you could mention how you led a team along with what is your leadership style, solved a challenge, or created a new initiative. You can also mention what are the fundraising CRMs you have worked with. 
  • Use the right format: The format of your resume can also make a difference in how you present yourself and how you catch the attention of nonprofit employers. Depending on your level of experience and the type of role you’re applying for, you can choose between a chronological, functional, or hybrid resume format. A chronological resume emphasizes your work history and career progression, a functional resume focuses on your skills and qualifications, and a hybrid resume combines both. You can also use a resume template or a resume builder to help you create a professional and attractive resume. We have generally found that our nonprofit clients prefer a chronological or hybrid resume format. 

If you are seeking to make an impact and transition into the nonprofit sector, here are some tips for you to get your profile noticed by hiring managers:

  • Mention volunteer experience.
  • Describe some transferable skills from for-profit to nonprofit roles. 
  • Create a cover letter to share a bit about yourself and what motivates you to join the nonprofit world.

Below are some tools available in the market for free which we recommend our candidates utilize to help themselves at various stages in the job search process:

  • Teal: helps in tracking job applications, generating resumes and cover letters, and much more.
  • Grammarly: helps with proofreading your resume and cover letter.
  • ChatGPT: helps with resume and cover letter generation, interview preparation and much more. 


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