Build a personal brand.
Everyone has a personal brand. You may not have cultivated it, but it’s there. Most people think of personal brands in terms of followers, likes, blog subscribers, etc. If this is your measurement, time to re-cut the cloth. Building a personal brand is the process of associating your name with particular traits. Check out Why Being a Jack-Of- All-Trades Won’t Help Your Personal Brand, written by Kathy Bloomgarden for Fortune.
Increase your EI (Emotional Intelligence).
Emotional Intelligence impacts how we see opportunities and challenges, and factors into everyday decisions. It’s no surprise that a study by the U.S. Department of Labor shows that employers are looking for candidates who know how to listen and communicate well—both important aspects of emotional intelligence. With more and more nonprofit employers evaluating EI during the hiring process, it pays to know how your skills rate. David R. Caruso and Peter Salovey, authors of The Emotionally Intelligent Manager, share four of the core skills involved in the Inc. article, How to Increase Your Emotional Intelligence.
Manage your LinkedIn presence.
Most nonprofit employers include a review of your social media, particularly Facebook and always LinkedIn. There are hundreds, if not thousands of professional LinkedIn coaches to help you build or improve your LinkedIn profile and posts. For the cost of a few hours, it is well worth the investment in your career. Entrepreneur published a great infographic full of helpful pointers for DYI: 18 Tips to Create Your Perfect LinkedIn Profile.
Optimize your resume for ATS.
Many nonprofits and recruiting firms are now using applicant tracking systems (ATS). This means that most likely, 3 out of 4 resumes are never read by an actual person. You can increase your odds of being that special one by inserting the critical keywords often found in job descriptions into your resume.
Make a point of staying in touch with executive recruiters.
The best way to continually grow your presence in the nonprofit sector is to work with an executive recruiting firm that specializes in nonprofit talent. If you don’t have an agency representing you, get one. A good agency will bring opportunities to you, even when you aren’t looking for a new job. And they are invaluable when you are job searching.
Stay in touch with your network too. Attend functions where you can meet new people and connect with industry leaders. Make it a weekly habit to reach out to five contacts through social media or email. Out-of-sight, out-of-mind applies here. Visibility is important to projecting your career forward.