You’re a full-time student with little time for even part-time employment…how do you start building your résumé to get a solid launch upon graduation? Non-Profit Organizations may be your answer.
Achievements with a non-profit group are very compelling on a cover letter and résumé. It stands out, it says something about who you are, and it will likely prompt an interview.
Like any other position (be it an intern, extern, or part-time opportunity), make sure you build achievements and not just “experience.” In other words, this is a perfect time to develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities, all of which are the foundation of a long and successful career. If you’re interested in business management, get involved with the administrative side of the organization: planning, fund raising, strategizing…quantifiable contributions that can be documented.
No doubt about it, DOCUMENT your Performance, Action, and Result (PAR) as employers want to see YOUR contributions and immediate impact. For instance, if you built a spreadsheet while working as an intern or at an non-profit organization which streamlined procedures, document what you did and, when applicable, the results… such as how many labor hours were decreased due to your spreadsheet.
Things to consider when you are choosing a non-profit group, make sure the group:
a) resonates with you, and
b) resonates with future employers.
The Society to Promote Body-Piercings simply won’t do, but PAWS, MADD, homeless shelters, food banks… causes that benefit society not just special interest groups add bling too your résumé. But be careful: Non-profit groups need volunteers and will let you work whatever hours you can; keep control of your schedule and prioritize your studies with volunteering or you may find your time monopolized.
The added benefit of networking is also at play here. When you meet fellow professionals, get their contact information and keep in touch… you never know who the person volunteering next to you may be or will soon be.
Submission by Rob Swanson, certified professional writer at Career Services International / Education Career Services