The Idealist Career Center is all about helping you succeed with your transition to a social-impact career, regardless of your starting place. The steps to success are:
Spend the time to accurately assess exactly who you are and what it is that you want in your career. By making this time commitment early on — and reflecting honestly along the way — you'll create a more focused, efficient job search and career investment.
To start, try these two exercises from the Idealist Guides to Nonprofit Careers:
Once you have an idea for what you want, it's important to begin to get a sense of all the organizations that are doing work that interests you — not just the ones that are currently hiring.
While you can research organizations in many ways, here are some suggestions for making the process most effective:
There's no such thing as a perfect candidate, so while you are searching for a job, you should also work on strengthening your candidacy.
You can gain experience, earn certifications or academic credit, learn new skills, or brush up on your "nonprofitspeak."
While you may not know exactly which skill, qualification, or experience will get you that job offer, it's a safe bet to try a diverse range of efforts to strengthen yourself as a candidate.
Here are a few ways to start:
The more time you spend recreating your resume and cover letter for each position you apply for, the sooner you'll snag job interviews and, ideally, a job offer.
Research open positions you're applying for and the organizations that are hiring. Examine what they are asking for, and what you've got to offer them. Then tailor your resume, cover letter, and interview talking points so that you can translate your (volunteer and paid) experiences for the hiring team.
Idealist offers many free resources to assist you in your job search.