First, let’s take a minute to address some employment trends we’re seeing as we continue to navigate the effects of COVID-19. According to a survey done by Statistics Canada, the labour market is experiencing a steady recovery in both COVID-19 related employment losses and absences. What does that mean for those seeking employment? It means building a relationship between employer and employee is more important than ever, resulting in increased job opportunities.
With that bit of positivity covered, let’s next focus on a specific sector. In our last blog post, we discussed private sector companies that are hiring during this pandemic period. Now, we want to give you insights regarding nonprofits. Consider that there are thousands of not-for-profit and charity organizations across Canada. They can provide you with excellent experience and offer great career opportunities in this country.
To give you an overview of how COVID-19 has affected charities and other nonprofit organizations, we looked at a report by Imagine Canada on Sector Monitoring. This report stated that nonprofit organizations have experienced significant reductions in paid staff and access to volunteers. However, many charities are looking to qualify for the Canada Employment Wage Subsidy to help combat some of the decreases in revenue. The province of Manitoba has also taken the lead to urge charities and nonprofits to hire summer students with monetary grants. While normally a strong sector in Canada, charities, and nonprofits will be working hard in the next six months in order to be able to bounce back.
Below is a step-by-step guide to help you begin exploring potential careers in this sector. Try completing some or all of these steps to better position yourself to be an asset in this sector.
Research growth areas within the sector
A good place to start is to assess which areas within the nonprofit sector you are interested in. Then do some research on which areas are growing. With this information, you’ll be able to better understand where your strengths fit in the workforce. If you find an overlap between your interests and potential growth areas, you’ve found a great place to begin your job search.
Stretched for talent and resources, nonprofits may lack expertise in particular areas such as:
- Data Privacy
- Artificial Intelligence
- Web and Social Media Development
- Data Science
- Internet 5G
- Customer Relationship Management Software (I.e. Salesforce)
Check out sector-specific job boards
Job openings for a nonprofit are often posted in typical locations such as job boards and individual organization websites. However, they can also be posted on job boards that are dedicated to the nonprofit sector. These job boards are more likely to have relevant filters, up-to-date opportunities, and contacts. Here are a couple to start.
Reach out to individual nonprofit organizations
If you are new to Canada, you may not be aware that as much as 75-85% of jobs are not posted on any public forum. Many open positions are filled through word of mouth and personal connections. So, we want to continue to stress the importance of networking now and continuously both during and after your academic studies. Here are a few tips from leaders in the nonprofit sector on how to approach them.
- Conduct research to identify nonprofit sectors and organizations, review their websites to identify your top prospects.
- After establishing contact, send your resume and cover letter to the appropriate people, which may be a human resources department in a larger organization or a manager or executive director in a smaller organization.
- Explain your interest in the sector using your cover letter. Discuss how your background and expertise might be useful to their organization and specify whether you are open to volunteering to learn about their organization and gain experience.
- If you are not confident in explaining how your interests and areas of expertise might benefit the organization, we recommend requesting an informational interview. Informational interviews are not about asking for a job, but instead, focus on gaining a deeper understanding of the organization’s purpose and needs.
Our Career Counsellors can help you determine which of these approaches is best suited to you at this time.
Update your portfolio with the appropriate certifications
Through your research, you may identify specific certifications that are in demand within your area of interest. This may present an opportunity for you to acquire specific micro certifications that will give you an advantage as you continue your education and job hunting. Certifications worth noting are for Raisers Edge, a software the fundraising community. You will receive a certificate and badges upon completion.
Let your network know you’re looking
If you are open to jobs, volunteering opportunities, or other collaborations, let your connections know. There are several ways you can do this: reach out directly by email, phone, or a message via LinkedIn to those who may have opportunities available with a customized message. You can also add a link to share your personal assets, such as a website or portfolio, to show your relevance to opportunities. For example, LinkedIn recently updated its badge system to include the #opentowork feature. This is a great way to attract opportunities without being overly pushy with your intentions.
Take some time to consider where you are in your job search process within the nonprofit sector. Consider what gaps you need to fill to be a great candidate for your dream organization.
As always, if you need a personal career consultation, we’re here to help. It’s a great way to assess your current status and portfolio and help to develop your next steps. You can learn more here.