Skip to main content
3 answers
3
Asked 328 views Translate

How do you get a job in Communications in an NGO?

I'm great at comms. How do I utilize this? #job #communication

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

3

3 answers


3
Updated Translate

yoonji’s Answer, CareerVillage.org Team

Hi Rachael,

Great question! I graduated with an MA in Global Communications and worked at a nonprofit partnered with the US Dept. of State where I did a lot of comms work before I came to CareerVillage.org. Jean has some excellent advice. I'll add some additional insights from my past experience for you to consider.

I'd start by doing your homework and finding a few organizations that are held in high regard in your areas of interest. I saw from your profile that you are passionate about helping refugees and supporting the LGBTQ community, especially its seniors. UNHCR - The UN Refugee Agency, the IRC, the Human Rights Campaign, and the Trevor Project are just some of the great organizations that come to my mind for your consideration. Once you have a list, start following them on social media and sign up for their newsletters so that you can get a feel for the way they communicate about themselves, their issue areas, and recent happenings within/affecting their organization. The orgs usually advertise their openings via their communication channels so there's another added perk of following the latest news from them. (If you're on the job hunt, make sure to create job alerts on your favorite few job boards like LinkedIn, Indeed, Idealist, and others!)

Something to think about are the aspects of communications you like to do on a day-to-day basis. Do you like social media or do you prefer to do other communications aspects like outreach or advocacy? Or do you prefer to send out newsletters, press releases, and other updates? Bigger NGOs will sometimes have staff members focusing on different areas so think about what sparks joy for YOU and find opportunities that fit.

I'd highly suggest taking the initiative and have a handful of various writing samples that you are proud of and have them set aside so that when a job opportunity at a great organization comes up, you have those resources readily available and can apply quickly. If you're interested in managing an organization's social media accounts, then make sure that your personal social media accounts are looking professional and can show your style and body of work.

Those are a few suggestions. I hope you find this helpful! If you have any follow-up questions, drop a comment and I'd be happy to provide more insights.

Good luck,
YoonJi

3
0
Updated Translate

Jean’s Answer

The best way to get a job in communications at an NGO is to study the organization carefully. Look at their website, and see what other sites have to say about them. Check them out on Charity Navigator--this tells you how much of the money they raise actually goes to making a difference. Read blogs, books and articles about them and see if you can find an author or a person who works where you'd like to work. Look for them on LinkedIn and draft a careful request for information. Do not ask for a job! But do ask for advice. This is much easier for the person you're trying to network with. And follow up, follow up and follow up. But always do your homework. No one wants to receive a request that isn't a match. Jean
0
0
Updated Translate

Jacqueline’s Answer

I work in communications and I used to lead Corporate Social Responsibility for my company - SAP. So, I worked with a lot of NGOs. All the answers given here are great ones. A communications job, or trying to land one, is similar to trying to land at other companies. But you may want to consider working for a non-profit agency in your city...an example is the Hands On Network. Many companies connect to the Hands On Network to then be connected to NGOs. Hands On is the liaison between NGOs and companies for many volunteer activities, so working at something like a Hands On, gets you great exposure to many NGOs. The other advice I would give is if you really like an NGO or maybe several, volunteer for them first. If you sign up to volunteer, you get to know the organization and maybe the people that work there and hire there. It's phenomenal networking. After some time, you could maybe offer to volunteer your communications skills for them...do it unpaid first and then maybe they hire you. Hope that helps.
0