Common Mistakes You Make when Applying for NGO Jobs
I am not the best person to advice you on how to nail an NGO or UN job for the sole reason that I have never worked for one. However, I have consulted for a few as a HR professional and this article explores the many reasons why many don’t get these NGO jobs despite their qualifications and experience.
This advice applies to those with NGO experience and those who want to make a career switch from the competitive and man eat man corporate Kenya.
As usual, our advice falls along the lines of ‘what not to do.’
For instance, if the job posting says, “fluency in French”, then the organisation wants applicants who can do the job interview entirely in French, not someone who has had a few years of French classes.
If it’s an accounting position and they are looking for a candidate with donor reporting skills, your CV better have this.
If the job posting says candidates who have set up HIV/AIDS education programs for teens, then you had better have your experience setting up such a program in your CV. If the program says you have to manage field staff, your CV needs to note when you have managed field staff.
If they job posting says, “A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in human rights, political affairs, international relations, development, economics, program management or related area,” they really mean that!
As noted earlier, if a job posting says, “Fluency in French”, then they want applicants who can do the job interview in French, not someone who has had a few years of French classes. If the job posting says, “ability to work in French” (or another language), you can expect at least a bit of your interview to be in that language.
If the job posting says, “A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in human rights, political affairs, international relations, development, economics, program management or related area,” they really mean that!
Emphasize on what they asking for.
A key to finding a job in ANY profession is networking: meeting people who can influence hiring decisions where you want to work, and will better ensure your candidacy is better ensured. You want these people to know you and what your areas of specialization are. However, note that there’s absolutely no guarantee that meeting someone at an organization, even the CEO, will land you a job there.
Networking is a long-term strategy. It takes months, even years, not days or weeks. Networking also involves building your professional reputation, so that when connected people hear your name, they know who you are and that affirms your expertise.
Some people try to imply in their applications that because they want to work for an NGO and because they care and have good hearts, they should be given a job. It really isn’t like that.
A well written professional CV is your ticket to a job you seek. We know exactly what employers are looking for and how to make your CV to prove your worth.
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With thousands of Jobs posted on our platform Weekly, we are indeed No 1 for authentic Jobs but we can only do our best. Jobskenyan advises you to never pay any amount of money to any recruiter or agent for job aid. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. BE CAREFUL!!!
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