We share some CV tips for landing a top charity job
If you want to land your dream job in the charity sector then you’ll have to successfully negotiate the recruitment process.
The chances are that there will be plenty of other people hoping to land that job, so if you want a recruiter to even consider you for the role, you’ll have to get their attention with an exceptional CV that makes you stand out from the pack.
And you’ll have to get their attention quickly: a 2018 study by Ladders found that recruiters spend an average of just 7.4 seconds scanning a CV before moving on to the next one.
Here are some tips for creating a CV that will help you get noticed instantly:
Even if a recruiter decides to give you CV more than a cursory glance, they are not going to want to read more than a single sheet of paper. That means keeping your CV brief and, in practice, that means cutting everything but the most relevant information for the charity job for which you are applying.
With limited room on a single page CV, highlight your skills which are directly relevant to the job. If the role is in charity service delivery then you may want to highlight that you are a good listener and that you have high emotional intelligence. For a fundraising role, you may want to highlight that you are a good organiser and a persuasive negotiator. The key point is not to waste space on skills that you won’t need for the job.
The top half of your CV is the most valuable in terms of the amount of attention it will get. So don’t fill this part of your CV with dull information like your email address or where you live. Instead use this area to showcase your achievements, experience or skills which will be of most interest to charity recruiters.
Many charities use infographics in their websites for a very good reason: infographics are a great way to get all sorts of information across to charity supporters. Infographics are also an effective way to get information across to charity recruiters, such as where your areas of expertise are, or how much you have raised for charities you have worked for in different fundraising campaigns.
There are many different CV designs you could choose, so be sure to choose a design that fits the charity job you are applying for. If you are applying for a creative role then use your design choice to show you are creative. Equally, if the role is an administrative one then a more conservative design may be more appropriate.
Most recruiters use a laptop or desktop computer when they go through CVs, but you can’t be sure that the person looking at your CV won’t be viewing it on their phone. For that reason it’s important to preview your CV on a phone and make any adjustments necessary to ensure that it is still effective on a small screen.
You want a recruiter to remember you over all the other candidates when they go through a pile of CVs, and one very effective way to do that is to add something about yourself. So mention any interests or passions that you have. An unusual one may stick in the recruiter’s mind, while an interest that you have in common may just be enough to get you an interview.
Charities (and businesses) use branding to make themselves memorable and to help engender loyalty from their customers and service users. You can do the same by giving your CV and cover letter a matching and recognisable look. That includes typefaces, colour schemes, and even a personal logo if you think it is appropriate.
Nothing undermines your assertions that you have a keen eye for detail and that your are a consummate professional like spelling and grammar mistakes in your CV. So before you send it out be sure to spell check it and proofread it carefully (and preferably get someone else to read it too). If you are not confident of your writing skills then use an online tool like Grammarly to check it too.
When it comes to creating the look and feel of your CV, the good news is that you don’t have to be the world’s greatest graphic designer. That’s because there are plenty of templates and CV building platforms available that can help you come up with something stunning.
If you are looking for a template that you can use in a graphics program like Adobe PhotoShop or a website platform like WordPress, then you can browse a huge selection at Graphic River or Themeforest.
To build a great CV on a web based CV platform, try one or more of the following: