Looking for a job? Recruiters are your new friends.

April 9, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I have started working as a consultant for Mission Talent Recruitment, an executive search firm for international organizations.  As we know, finding a job is about marketing yourself, but its not easy.  After one week on the job, I have already picked up some tips that anyone with a CV should know.

  • If you are looking for a job, recruiters are your friends, so make sure your CV is on file with a recruiter that relates to your field. Even if you aren’t looking for new job now, getting into a recruiters database like ours at Mission Talent, is a good idea because it could help you later. You can find out about our current searches by becoming at FaceBook fan.
  • Have your LinkedIn profile looking sharp and full of keywords related to the job you want.  If you want to do project management in Asia, those terms better be in there somewhere.  The best spot for putting these key words is under your name in the tagline slot. LinkedIn gives you generic choices, but it better to be specific about what you want.  If you want to work for the UN as a ” gender & security sector policy professional” put those words right under your name.
  • Recruiters are huge social networkers, with giant Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter following.  So look for them on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter and add them to your network.  (Check out this list of top 25 recruiters on Twitter).  If you are in Europe, and actively looking for a job, it might be worth it to pay 4.95 per month to join Xing.
  • Make your CV easy to read. This is Huge.  Recruiters and HR professionals input your CV into databases so any strange formatted boxes and embedded tables means your data will probably not be inputted properly.   Make sure your name is at the top, followed by your email. Short and sweet with key skills is best.  These long crazy EU CVs with columns are already driving me a little nuts.
  • Make sure key words for the job you WANT are in your CV a few times so the database will pick them up.   A few examples of key words for non profits are : advocacy, fundraising, project management, policy, partnerships, donors, government, procurement etc.
  • I always thought they were cheesy, but those short little descriptions of your objective at the top are helpful because it helps recruiters know what you want right away  e.g.: “Non profit professional with 7 years in international development experience looking for communications position in Africa.”   “Recent law school graduate searching for work in energy sector”.
  • And its just a hunch, but cover letters are overrated. We don’t look at them. (Sigh– I’ve spent so many hours on them.)  I don’t know about everyone else.

Well, after my first week of work I have learned a few things.  I am sure there is much more to learn!  Good luck with your job search.

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How does media coverage help social entrepreneurs?

February 8, 2009 at 3:05 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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For my thesis I am designing a media strategy for Sustainable Health Enterprises, launched by social entrepreneur and Echoing Green fellow Elizabeth Scharpf. SHE is launching a low-cost, locally produced maxi pad to keep girls in school when they are menstruating, an age-old problem in many poor countries.  I am having a great time looking into the question : what does press coverage do for social entrepreneurs?  To answer this I am standing in the overlap of public relations, philanthropy, and social entrepreneurship — what an interesting little triangle.

To to find out exactly what happens after major media exposure, I had  an interesting chat today with Jennifer Corriero, executive director and founder of TakingITglobal, my favorite youth-led technology organization.  Like many non profits, TIG never directly sought media exposure.  But in the early days of TIG, press coverage, like this article from FastCompany about her and Mike, launched the organization skyward.

She confirmed some theories that I will explore further in my research:

  • After the articles came out the response was always immediate.  The main benefit was that high caliber people reached out to TIG and offered partnership and support that helped for years to come.
  • Media coverage adds legitmacy, especially for start-ups; articles can be passed to potential funders and new contacts.
  • Keep in touch with journalists, find the ones that have a genuine interest in your project and keep them updated.
  • Awards matter, they drive press coverage.
  • Media can be a great way to strengthen relationships with funders by mentioning them in the story.

You can be a part of this thesis process: tell me your stories, how have you leveraged the media to achieve your goals?  If you know someone I should talk to, send me a shout.

I’m jazzed up about measuring social impact

November 10, 2008 at 10:22 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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More hope = more blogging. 

Now I have banged around a lot in non profit land and even studied evaluation and measurement for Columbia’s Strategic Communications program, but I have never seen a good approach for the amorphous work of  non profits.   My hero of the week is Jason Saul of Mission Measurement, who I heard speak at NYU Social Entrepreneurship Conference.  Heres a great summary of his remarks.   He has done impossible things, like measure the worldwide social impact of McDonald’s charities.  I would like to follow him around until he lets me join his bandwagon, but for now, I will just try to get his book: Benchmarking for Nonprofits.

I have never heard someone make the case for measurement so clearly.  He drilled down on selling outcomes versus selling activities,  e.g.  If I could sell you kids staying off the street and getting good grades would you buy it?   How much would you pay?  -versus-  “fund my sports program”.    This avoids a response like, we don’t fund sports.    On his website, he even has a free framework for measuring advocacy.  Thrilling.

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