Whether you have had a prolific career in the for-profit sector or are just graduating college, you may be interested in applying for a position at a nonprofit organization. There are over 1 million nonprofits in the United States, with a large variety of missions, goals, and services. No matter what kind of experience you have had, there is likely at least one nonprofit that would be right for you. However, you will want to tailor your resume specifically to applying for different nonprofit jobs. Here are five tips on how to do that: 1. Research the nonprofit to which you are applying. Do a Google search and read through the company’s website. Monster recommends that you review press releases, commercials, and any other literature on a company so that you can tailor your resume to match the company’s mission and values. You need to prove to the company that you would be an ideal candidate and team member. Not only will the information make your resume better, but your knowledge of the company during your job interview will ensure you shine. 2. Use a simple resume format.Bridgestar emphasizes creating a resume that is easy for human resources managers to read and understand. Stick to one typical font style and size, using boldface to separate company names and job titles. Put your contact information at the top of your resume, with your full name, address, phone numbers (home and mobile), and email address. List your education and degrees, followed by your job experience. List your experience in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent position first. Make sure that you use one tense and are consistent with margins, indents, and bullets. Proofread your resume multiple times as nothing looks more unprofessional than a typo. 3. Immediately state your qualifications. After your contact information, you can start your resume with a brief summary of your career goals and specific qualifications. Monster even recommends establishing a personal mission statement and includes an example on their site. 4. Emphasize your transferable skills. Tailor your past job experiences to the job that you desire. You may want to emphasize projects where you took on a leadership role, your ability to work in a team environment and organizational skills. Proficiency with technology is a bonus in any industry. You should also describe your experience working with the community and providing quality customer service. Good customer service is highly valued everywhere, in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors alike. 5. Include volunteer work and group affiliations. Monster advises you to include this information, as hiring supervisors are impressed with individuals “dedicated to serving the community,” which is central to nonprofit work. If you are a member of a group’s board, include any fundraising work you have participated in as well as event organization. This can include, for example, work with the local Parent Teacher Association, participation in cancer-awareness fundraising events or assisting with a recreational sports league. These experiences show commitment and good citizenship, two traits that nonprofits always look out for.
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PowerPoint – the “stirrups” of presentations
Some people say that stirrups took the skill out of horse riding. Stirrups made it too easy for riders to stay on their horses.
PowerPoint is thought to have done the same for presentations. By organizing your ideas, thoughts, and information in a series of slides, meetings start to look the same.
PowerPoint is so ubiquitous that a meeting is almost not a meeting without some slides. Is there another way to communicate, or are we all doomed to experience “death by PowerPoint”?
There Are Alternatives
PowerPoint was invented less than a hundred years ago. Socrates, Marcus Aurelius, Martin Luther, and Einstein didn’t let their lack of PowerPoint stop them! Perhaps it’s worth looking at some alternatives.
“Live & unplugged”
If your message is straightforward and doesn’t involve too many facts and figures, why not just stand up and say it?
This was how Cicero, Demosthenes, and Churchill spoke most of the time.
To make it work, you will need to prepare your message carefully. It will force you to boil it down to the basics and concentrate on what really matters.
If you’re going to answer questions, you’ll need to know your subject well enough to be able to think on your feet. You may want to “red team” possible questions and prepare your answers to them. See “further reading” for more details!
If someone asks you to share your content electronically, you can either have a document ready with speaker’s notes or get someone to film your conversation and share the recording.
Flipcharts are an effective way to share “low-density” information visually.
They are also very useful for “co-creation,” where your presentation is more of a discussion and the output is something that you have created with your audience.
Paul Ardern, the Saatchi and Saatchi advertising legend, recommended making pitches for advertising campaign stories in this way. It allows customers to get involved in the creation process right from the start. It also demonstrates how willing you are to listen to your customers.
Sharing the results electronically is fairly easy. Simply take pictures of each completed page by phone and share them by email.
Many people present PowerPoint slides with densely written text and diagrams.
Data projectors display whatever is on the screen, so if you have already written a Word document and you know which pages you want to show, why duplicate effort by copying text onto a PowerPoint file?
If the document is a draft, it’s also possible to get peoples’ input and edit it on the fly.
It adds a touch of authenticity to the meeting. You are showing the actual document. It makes sharing the information easier and more credible since what your audience sees during the presentation is what they get.
If you’re presenting numbers, such as an ROI or a set of cost estimates or accounts, you could just show your audience the spreadsheet with the calculations on it.
The advantage of this is, once again, you can discuss with the customer how accurate your estimations are and then make adjustments on the fly. This involves the customer in the creative process which will build trust.
Some salespeople have been known to deliberately make estimated costs that might be saved, such as salaries, lower than they really are. They then let their customers correct their figures, and so the final ROI figure goes up, and it looks like the customer discovered this for themselves.
Make a video
You may expect your audience to passively consume your message, or to ask questions later.
Why not just make a video, share it electronically, and give your audience a deadline by which they must submit questions?
Video editing software is readily available and not too difficult to learn. You can use it to mix media of different formats including audio, written text, and moving images.
Once the video is complete, it’s not too difficult to share it electronically.
Do you need a presentation at all?
If you are planning to read what is on the PowerPoint to your audience and then follow up with a question-and-answer session, why not just send them the text to read before the meeting?
This will give your audience more time to “digest” the information and they can prepare questions independently without worrying about the social aspect of asking questions in front of the group.
Let’s get in touch!
Are you planning a presentation? Would you like to brainstorm alternative delivery methods? Let’s talk and see what we can put together!
Here are some more articles on the topic of presentations: