Post-pandemic, many charities will be recruiting to increase their digital skills. We offer some advice to help you stand out from the crowd
Some sectors are limited in terms of their ability to adapt, but for the charity sector, adaptation will be of central importance in the future in terms of fundraising, administration, and service delivery.
That means that more technology roles than ever before will be emerging. But what skills, experience, and know-how will elevate your CV to the top of the pile?
We take a look at how to make your CV stand out from the crowd.
In the Digital Skills Report 2020, 37% of charities indicated that they have highly limited budgets for digital investment, while half admitted that they don’t yet have a digital strategy. That will change quickly as coronavirus forces charities to adapt in the post-pandemic world.
Therefore, as much as many charities might be looking for specific tech skills, they will also be looking for people with an ability to deliver projects effectively and on-budget, and multi-skilled staff who are as comfortable updating websites as they are with the intricacies of database administration.
Many tech skills don’t require a candidate to brandish a university degree, although that no doubt helps. The skills you’ve learnt on the job can often be far more valuable than formal qualifications.
When it comes to digital fundraising, for example, knowledge of search engine optimisation (SEO) is as important for a charity as it is for a publisher.
Charities today also need staff with social media savvy, who don’t just understand Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram like ‘digital natives’, but who are capable of using the various social media management tools fluently – both for fundraising and, often, for reaching potential donors.
Charities’ fundraising arms have been professionalised for many years. So a good working knowledge of some of the following tools, or widely-used equivalents, will stand out on any CV:
At a technical level, it would be ideal for candidates to be able to demonstrate a fundamental knowledge of web development and programming.
You may not need to maintain a website 24/7, but an understanding of HTML, CSS, and other web development technologies will be invaluable, while knowledge of what it takes to put together, publish, and promote Android and/or iOS mobile apps will also be an advantage.
And many charities today are recruiting, specifically, for data specialists, such as data analysts and data scientists. Like any organisation, charities collect a wide variety of data and need to put this information to work to make their marketing, fundraising, and service delivery more effective.
All of this needs to be done in a GDPR-compliant manner and the results of such projects need to be measured to identify gaps in the process and to make sure they provide value for money.
Finally, the world’s cyber hackers are rarely that concerned about the missions of the organisations they target. Computer security, like GDPR and data protection, is a big issue for charities today.
Here are some simple and effective tips you can use to perfect their CVs.
Given how challenging many of these roles might be, what’s in it for the applicant in addition to compensation?
First, roles in the third sector can make a real difference to people’s lives. Mainstream careers in IT can often feel divorced from the real world, but every job in a charity can contribute to improving someone’s life.
Second, even if you don’t plan to spend an entire career with a charity, a CV with one or more charities on it will always be a door opener to future employers. It can also open the doors to entirely new opportunities.
And, finally, there’s the opportunity to grab advancement far earlier in a career than in other sectors. You can be the first to implement a new technology or tech-led initiative for a charity. And there are invariably more opportunities for tech leadership positions and to demonstrate your competence as a technology leader.
Taking on a digital role in a charity, therefore, is also a good way not just to supercharge a career with a wide range of IT and leadership opportunities to grasp, but one that demonstrates the kind of rounded individual that every organisation is always on the look-out for.