Writing a Resume Geared Towards Non-Profit or Public Service

Do you have an interest in going into public service or working for a non-profit? It’s important to remember that your resume is one of the first tools you have when it comes to applying for jobs or internships you’re interested in. Depending on what field you’re interested in going into, you want to cater your resume to the particular organization you’re applying to. The same goes for non-profit and public service positions. Here are some tips on how to write the perfect resume for these types of positions.

It is always important to remember that no particular company is the same as another, even if they’re in the same sector. An important first step to any successful resume and interview is to make sure that you take the time to take the time to research the company that you’re interested in applying for. Non-profits and public service organizations often have a page dedicated to their mission statement, and it is the perfect place for you to decide if this company is right for you.

Examples are great! It is a great idea to research examples of resumes from others who are in the same field that you want to go into. You might even be able to find a resume written for the particular position that you’re interested in. You can even go the extra distance and talk to somebody who’s in the field you want to go into. They may have great tips and more insight into the field, which might even help you decide if it’s the right field for you. You can check LinkedIn for employees that have worked with the company, and see how they word their job descriptions.

If you have experience working with non-profits it would be a really great idea to highlight that on your resume. Although, that is not the only place where you can showcase applicable experience. If you have any volunteer experience or take part in any clubs that are related to the organization you are applying for you can absolutely highlight that on your resume!

Make sure you use relevant jargon! If the other experience that is on your resume is in an entirely different field, you want to make sure you translate it and make sure to highlight your transferable skills. No matter what position you’re in, you’re likely to be working with other people. Customer service is an incredibly valuable skill, and you can highlight it on your non-profit focused resume by translating it into language that is often used in the non-profit sector. You can even check the job description for keywords that would be good to include in your resume! You can focus on the requirements and preferred skills sections.

Lastly, it can be important to do research on companies that you already held positions in. It’s always good to have a refresher, so that if you do get the interview, you’re ready to explain any positions you’ve had in the past. A non-profit or public sector employee may not be familiar with a for-profit that you’ve worked for in the past, so it’s important to brush up so you can explain any past positions they might not be clear on.  You can keep track of your past work accomplishments in a journal, and even have a large master resume, so you can pull relevant positions from it for a more targeted resume.


“Adapting Your Resume for a Nonprofit Job Search.” Bridgespan, www.bridgespan.org/insights/library/transition-to-the-nonprofit-sector/adapting-resume-for-   nonprofit.

Isaacs, Kim. “How to Write a Nonprofit Resume That Gets Results.” Monster Career Advice, www.monster.com/career-advice/article/nonprofit-resume-tips.

By Alex Manna
Alex Manna Program Assistant/Employer Relations Coordinator, Stamford Campus