Post # 16
bluejaybride : that’s perfect – usually you don’t know the exact individual but definitely tailored to the organization. You can absolutely say what you said here to show your enthusiasm! That you went to their site looking for ways to get involved and were excited to read about this position and then launch into why you’d be perfect for it. Assuming they also posted to job boards or with recruiters I’d be very pleased as the hiring manager to see that a candidate went out of their way to work for us rather than just any similar job. Good luck!
Post # 17
Thank you all so much, professional bees! I really appreciate the advice!
Post # 18
Skip the video. Keep your CL to one, succinct page. Cover why you specifically will A. Be the best choice to interview, B. What you bring to the organization, and C. Why you’re uniquely qualified for the position. As someone who has had to read through hundreds of applicants, I’m certainly in no mood to watch a video (and usually those emails aren’t coming directly to me), or wade through a lengthy novella about your passions. Sell it and good luck!
Post # 19
Slip a twenty in between the cover letter and your resume.
Post # 20
LilliV : That’s great to know! Thank you so much!
Post # 22
cclarkrun1 : Noted. I’ll do my best to be as succinct as possible (not my strongest suit, but a skill worth exercising for sure!). Thank you!
Post # 23
Best advice for anyone – be short and sweet. Don’t write a huge cover letter because chances are the hiring manager won’t read it closely. And as for a video, I suppose you know your industry better than I do but that would not impress me personally.
Edit: 1 page max, but don’t write massive paragraphs either!
Post # 24
Real advice: if this organization’s values align with yours, get on Linked In and offer to take individuals who work there to coffee or for a informational phone chat to pick their brains about changing career paths. See if you have any mutual connections and have those people introduce you if at all possible. If you’re coming in with that much of a non-traditional nonprofit background (ie, not a Politics BS or Masters in Public Policy and no volunteer work on the office side of a non-profit), you’re going to need some inside help. Especially if it’s a prestigious org.
I would send the video but cut it to 2-3 minutes tops. And no “caveat” in your cover letter, be unapologetic if you’re that passionate about this cause.
Cover letter – 1 page tops and the text should not cover more than 50-60% of the page. Think 3 paragraphs, this is who I am & what I’ve done, and what I can do for you as the best candidate for this position.
Resume – focus on your transferable talents & skills.
Post # 25
bluejaybride : “Wordiness is certainly my biggest issue. I have a LOT to say because I have built a lot of my life around this cause, and I’m deeply concerned that in cutting down my letter, I’ll end up omitting the thing that might have caught their interest. Since I don’t know which thing that might specifically be, I’m having a hard time narrowing things down. That’s said, I do know that the letter must be no more than one page. And if I do submit a video, it absolutely won’t be the 12 minute version haha. Thank you for your input, taken under consideration!”
You can say a lot with fewer words. Wordiness is about using too many words to say what you mean. For example, instead of the caveat you were considering, it could easily read, “I’ve attached a short video presentation. Please disregard if this is inappropriate.”
Post # 26
dgirl715 : Thank you! I do actually have a bit of work experience in the office side of a non-profit (I was even promoted to a team leader position while working for one), for a different kind of cause though. This job is not an administrative position however, it’s field work directly with children, and as a nanny of 10 years I have lots of experience with that aspect. I also have 7 years of college (I changed degrees twice hence the long time, but every degree was attempting to reach this ultimate end goal, counselors just didn’t know where to place me) including several years of studies specifically related to the kind of work this job entails (Psychology with a focus on Criminology and Crisis Counseling- I’ve always wanted to work to prevent violence) but just wasn’t able to complete my degree before needing to focus on work full time to make ends meet. Before I even heard of this organization I was doing the work to develop my own version of it- this is an effort I’ve believed in and have been making efforts towards for a decade. No organzations near me were doing this exact work, so while I have in the past done volunteer work on different sides of this cause, most of my activism has been self-driven. I’ve also read over 30 books on this subject, and have kept up to date with academic journals and studies in this field. This is truly my life’s passion, and I really believe I have a lot to offer here, it’s just not as impressive in the form of bullet points on a resume that only leave room for official degrees and job titles, next to those who hold high degrees and such. I do think I will do a short, no more than 3 minute video upon considering all of the input here. I’ll take your advice to do so unapologetically 🙂 Also, helpful notes of the cover letter and resume. Thank you so much!
ilovelift : Oh my goodness. That example was honestly so helpful, thank you! It made it very clear what you mean on how to slim things down and simplify. I’ll definitely take that advice!
Post # 27
I echo the advice to skip the video altogether. But if you insist, there’s a very good chance that any language about disregarding it if they want or not wanting to be disqualified on that basis would be absolute kiss of death. It shows insecurity and a lack of confidence. Beyond that, my attitude as an employer would be “who is she to tell me what to do or think about this?”
The video itself may also do you more harm than good. It wasn’t required or requested, so you may even be seen as someone who does not follow instructions. In an interactive interview, we also evaluate the interviewer and adjust our presentation to a million cues, spoken and unspoken. That’s not possible with a video.
Post # 28
bluejaybride : Skip the caveat. “In case it would be of interest to you, I am also attaching a short video to demonstrates my presenting style.
Post # 29
Oh boy. I am a career coach, and I agree with the others – the video could be cringey if not presented in the right way. And def shorten it. I can barely get through a 5-7 minute of my favorite YouTubers videos, and they are professionally edited.
You got a lot of great comments, but wanted to throw this out there since I’ve seen it work really well a few times. Have you considered a “personal website/resume website”? Google for examples, you’ll see plenty. But it’d be a professional yet casual website that you can direct people to, where you can showcase work examples, a video maybe, and a bit of personality.
Like others said, I wouldn’t make it a big deal about sharing the site. Put it as a line item in your contact info, and leave it at that. People might get curious and click on it.
You can easily make one of these using Wix.
Post # 30
I second the advise to reach out to current employees on LinkedIn, and ask to meet up for coffee. Since you don’t have direct experience, a personal connection is your best chance of getting an interview. Good luck!