4 resume mistakes to avoid when applying for an executive-level nonprofit job


While writing a resume is challenging for anyone, it can be especially difficult if you’re trying to land an executive-level position. You likely have years of experience to cover in your resume and the task of ensuring only the most compelling and relevant experiences are presented is both time consuming and daunting. How can you make sure you stand out?

Over on Philanthropy News Digest, Molly Brennan, Managing Partner of the executive search firm Koya Leadership Partners, outlines four common resume mistakes job seekers make when pursuing executive-level positions and how to fix them. Here’s one mistake that stood out to us:

Leading with an objective statement or random assortment of characteristics and adjectives…The old standby objective statement (e.g., “Seasoned manager seeking leadership opportunity in mission-driven social service organization”) doesn’t give the reader anything other than a vague picture of the kind of job you are looking for — and frankly, she doesn’t care about that. Prospective hiring managers, recruiters, and HR executives need and want to know what you can offer them.

The fix: Develop a powerful summary that outlines your career achievements and value. Make it easy to read, use bullets, and be sure it demonstrates your skills in a way that convinces the hiring manager you are worth more than thirty seconds of his or her time. Focus on the quantifiable results of your projects and roles, as well as what you have to offer a potential employer.

Read the rest of her advice, including tips on how to fix this mistake and others, on Philanthropy News Digest.

Here are a few other tips to keep in mind:

  • If you’re sector switching or changing fields, emphasize transferable skills. What work have you done in the past that is especially helpful to the job you’re applying for?

Have you landed an executive-level position at a nonprofit? Any other tips to add? Share them in the comments.

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Photo Credit: alexskopje, Shutterstock

About Author

Former Editor and Creator of Idealist Careers, a publication of Idealist.org. Follow me on Twitter @ajlovesya.

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