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Higher Education Specialist
Redwood City, California
This is a really great question and it is great to hear how passionate you are about making an impact in society! In order to ensure that you stand out to employers in social impact focused organizations, you should definitely highlight volunteer experience and you can also show that your education has been centered around your passion for making a social impact. For instance, you can highlight projects, classes or degrees that you have taken where you learned about and contributed to social justice topics. Also, if you have not gone to college as of yet, you may want to consider a degree in Public Policy, Social Work or International Affairs, depending on what you want to focus on. You can tailor your resume to each job that you apply to as well if you want to highlight specific projects/classes or other experience for particular jobs.
I think an important aspect of making your application stand out to an employer of a social impact organization is writing a strong cover letter. In your cover letter you can discuss how passionate you are about making a difference in the world and how you have been working towards making a social impact by volunteering, taking on certain projects in school, etc. You can also tailor your cover letter to match each job that you are applying to. I think it is best to start with a basic cover letter that can be relevant for any job and then add or edit certain information in the cover letter for each position that you are applying to. This way, the organizations will see that you are truly passionate about the issues that are most important to them.
I have worked for non-profit educational organizations for quite a few years now and in my experience, showing your passion for the issues that the organizations stand for is extremely important. Since it sounds like you have a lot of passion for social issues, this should be easy for you!
I hope this is helpful! Best of luck to you- we need more people like you who want to contribute to society and social justice!
Great question. I'll provide a few tips for your resume but the area I'd spend the most time in with your job search is networking.
Resume: A few things I'd make sure to include on your resume (in addition to your experience) would be school clubs/groups and volunteer work. This is even more powerful when you're graduating college and don't have a full page of professional work experience already. Make sure these are reflective on your LinkedIn profile as well.
Networking: Most importantly, network!!! A few quick steps below for starters:
1. Make a list: Log onto LinkedIn, look for socially conscious organizations and then create a list of 25 people in the field that you're inspired by, want to learn from, work with etc.
2. Connect/write a note: When writing this note via LinkedIn, make it brief and personal. Make sure to include a little bit about yourself, why you're reaching out to that specific person and wrap it up with an ask (ex: would you mind telling me more about your organization over a 10 minute phone call?). It's very important to approach this step with the purpose of learning, rather than asking for a job...that will come naturally :)
3. Follow up with an email: If/when provided, always follow up with a thank you email.
4. Repeat: Once you've got through your list of 25, start all over! For every 10 messages you send, you'll likely hear back from 2-3 people. OR...you'll probably have an interview/offer by then but want to continue this practice due to the number of amazing people you will meet!
I've adopted this networking approach because I love meeting new people in the field and learning from their experiences. Because of this, many doors have opened and opportunities have presented themselves! Wishing you all the best.
PS. Appreciate how passionate you are about different social causes :)
One thing that would help your resume stand out amongst the rest when looking for a job at a non-profit is a history of volunteer work on your resume. If you don't have any now, that's okay! You can find organizations in your area that you feel strongly about to donate your time to. If you can't find volunteer opportunities in specifically what you hope to work in, it will still be valuable to help another non-profit.
Volunteering is a great networking opportunity, both for meeting other professionals in your community, but also getting know the people in the organization you are giving your time to. You never know when they might need to hire someone and if they already know you and your work ethic through volunteerism, you are in an advantageous position. Even if the organization you are volunteering at isn't hiring, the people you work with can be great references for future job applications or letters of recommendation.
Besides networking, you get to see how non-profit organizations work on the inside. How they are structured, what operational concerns they have, logistics on supplies and resources, how they train volunteers, how they recruit for volunteers, how they are managed. By volunteering at different types and sizes on non-profits you can learn a lot. All of the experience you gain in volunteering is valuable and useful examples that you can mention in your cover letters or in job interviews. You can also gain relevant skills you can put in your resume that you might not get at your day job that put you closer to your career goal.
Good luck on the job hunt!
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Sr. Project Manager at AT&T
Your resume, including events and activities you've planned and executed for social impact.