Searching for a job that makes a difference: online and offline

Once you have a sense of the kind of job you want, you’re ready to dig into the search. Here are a few tips to make the most of your job search online and offline.

Offline:

  • Tap into your network: Let people know you are looking and reach out to people in your field for informational interviews. The more specific you are about what you are looking for, the more people can help.
  • Attend events: If you are new to the nonprofit sector, your best bet is to connect with fellow nonprofiteers and organizations offline so you can build your network and learn about what’s happening in your community. Discover nonprofit networking and professional development events to attend through your local Young Nonprofit Professionals Association, Nonprofit Council, United Way, and Craigslist.
  • Take advantage of colleges and universities: If you’ve attended college, you may be able to rely on your alma mater’s career center for assistance; they might be able to provide resume reviews, connect you to fellow grads in your field, or let you know about an alumni chapter in your city.  Additionally, many colleges and universities offer career support to the public in the form of workshops, fellowships, and events. To learn more, check out their calendars and their continuing studies/professional studies programs.

Online:

  • Make the most of Idealist.org: With over 7,000 jobs at nonprofits, social enterprises, and government agencies around the world, Idealist.org is the first stop for people who want a job that makes a difference. Here are few tips on how to search the site.

TIP: When you find a job you’d like to apply for, make sure you print a copy of the position description if it’s online — after the application deadline it may vanish off the job board.

  • Leverage social media: Each social networking site can be used in a variety of ways to build your network while discovering new organizations and opportunities. Instead of joining new websites, start by maximizing the ones you are already on.
    • For example, if you are on Facebook, connect with nonprofits there by following their pages so you always know when they have a new opportunity. And be sure to engage with their content so you get a better sense of the community they have.
    • If you are on LinkedIn, look for people who work at organizations you are interested in and ask to meet with them to learn more about their careers.
    • If you are on Twitter, create a list of organizations you want to work with or people whose careers you want to learn more about and ask them questions or explore the information they share.

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