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Moving from the private to the charity sector

Are you dreaming about escaping the corporate world and working in the charity sector? Charity jobs, even low-paying charity jobs, tend to be very competitive, particular if you don't have professional experience in the area. Here are some top tips for planning a career move into the world of charity work.

How to get a job in the charity sector

1. Market your area of expertise

Whether you work in law, technology, finance, education, communications or any other field, the chances are that a charity could use your skills. The key is to be a specialist in your area, and be a specialist at something that is transferable to the charity sector and applicable to the charity that you want to work for.

2. Show your passion

It's important that you show a passion and commitment to the charity and their aims and activities. You can do this by offering your time as a regular volunteer at a charity. Employers in the voluntary sector look for evidence of long term commitment rather than a last minute dash to add some depth to your CV.

3. Remember that no two charities are the same

Charities have different areas of specialism, be it children's welfare, international development, emergency relief, human rights, the prevention of accidents, animal welfare, emergency relief or something else. Some charities are religious and others are secular. Some are national and some are international. Some are funded by grants while others rely on public donations. Make sure that you understand the charity's organisation and do your research before applying.

4. Wow with your cover letter

As mentioned, employers in the charity sector look for evidence of commitment and passion. It can be hard to demonstrate this on a CV, but a cover letter is the perfect way to do this. Just remember to keep your enthusiasm on the right side of professionalism, however.

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