Tired of the daily grind? Want something new, exciting, challenging and rewarding? Do you want to actually feel you are making a difference? A switch of positions into the charity sector can be even more fruitful than you may have imagined, but don’t be fooled, competition is fierce, even for the best voluntary jobs. You can make the most of your lunch break by scouring job finder sites such as Guardian Jobs to find charity jobs (http://jobs.guardian.co.uk/jobs/charities/) across a range of sectors.
If you want to break into the charity sector but don’t have any experience of voluntary work, don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to get into the sector without being Mother Theresa. Here are tips to bear in mind when creating your CV and writing those covering letters.
Just because you have never worked for a charity before does not mean you can’t do the job. Transferable skills are those skills that aren’t specific to an industry or one job. They are skills like good organisation, fluid, creative and persuasive writing skills, analytical skills or having a head for numbers – not to mention good people skills and excellent communication.
Charity, like any other business, has a variety of roles. You can do their PR or manage their website; alternative you could manage their finances or sort out the payroll. There is a huge variety of job positions within a charity, and even if you haven’t worked in PR before, it doesn’t mean your transferable skills won’t apply to a PR role.
Some charity workers might fly to Africa and devote a year of your time to helping children, but this isn’t true of everyone. There is a saying that ‘charity starts a home’ and you can easily fit in charity work one day a week or two evenings a month. There are hundreds of charities operating across the UK and plenty of voluntary organisations to help you find a position. Check out the National Council for Voluntary Organisations and Do-It.org.uk for more information and help finding volunteer work. Volunteering is the best way to impress a charity and prove you are serious about working in the charity sector.
To aid your chances of getting a job in the voluntary sector for those people short of time to volunteer get involved with some kind of charity sponsored sporting event or arrange your own cake sale or bring-and-buy sale. Doing it off your own back of course scores more points, however climbing the Three Peaks, running the London marathon or doing a triathlon are also fun, rewarding and great ways to get noticed.