Your job in the charity sector
If making a difference in the world is important to you, consider a new, exciting, challenging and rewarding position within the charitable sector, also called the third sector.
It may not be ‘all about the money, money, money’ for you, but a career in the third sector can be rewarding, both monetarily and ethically.
Third Sector Organisations, or TSOs, are also known as not-for-profit organisations. They can be independent of any government, value-driven in terms of achieving social goals, and they re-invest any profit. Although these organisations are not in it for the money, they have to generate surplus income in order to be financially stable.
In this economic climate, competition for positions in these sectors is just as tough as it is in the corporate world.
Getting into the charity sector
If you have experience in the charity sector, even as a volunteer, draw attention to this in your CV or résumé because it indicates that you are familiar with the sector. If not, don’t worry because previous charity work is not a job criterion. Emphasis the following on your CV:
Wherever you gained your relevant skills, they are probably transferable to the charity sector. In particular, the job could call for soft skills, such as communication skills (writing reports, making presentations, delegating tasks), numeracy skills (analyzing figures), and the all-important people skills (supervising team members, working within a team, communicating effectively with customers/clients).
These transferable skills will hold you in good stead when applying for roles in public relations, online content management, financial management, administration, and bookkeeping. There are diverse positions available in the third sector.
If you have the time and money to volunteer with your target organization, consider getting your foot in the door by becoming a volunteer. Volunteering is an ideal way to learn about how the organisation is run and about what they need to be done, as well as what skill sets and personality traits they value. You may also have opportunities to network and get your CV in front of hiring managers.
Approach your favourite charity and ask them how to volunteer or look online for opportunities. There are websites dedicated to helping wannabe volunteers, such as the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (ncvo-vol.org.uk), Do It (do-it.org.uk), and Volunteering England (volunteering.org.uk).
Participate in Fund Raising
Interact with charities by participating in sponsored events or raising money by organising your own event. This will show the potential employer that you have the same attitude as them towards helping others.
Go for it
If working for the charity, non-profit, social enterprise, or third sector is your goal, go for it! Remember to tailor your CV or application to the role, don’t use jargon that may not be known outside the corporate world, and inject your enthusiasm for working for an organization that’s not just all about the money.
Charity Careers News
Charities in Scotland announced their new on-line recruitment service in March 2013. It was called “Charity Careers Scotland.” For charities seeking tools that will allow them to promote vacancies to a wider audience, this recruitment tool is an advanced method of filtering job applicants to these vacancies and to face the challenges of the Scottish charity employment market. If you are looking for a great job working for a Scottish charity, check out their “Candidates” page at charitycareersscotland.co.uk for further information.