NGOs and Non-Profits: The Career Landscape


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NGOs and Non-Profits: The Career Landscape

  1. 1. Visit to browse all mentors who can help you with: • Informational Interviews • Resumes & Cover Letters • Mock Interviews …and more! Hosted by: Career Advisors on
  2. 2. International Development: The Career Landscape featuring: Kami Dar Managing Partner and Global Head of Development Innovation at Hosted by: LeeAnn Mutchler Evisors Director of European Business Development Hosted by: Career Advisors on
  3. 3. What is international development? • Alleviating poverty and improving living conditions in developing and emerging economies • Includes governance, healthcare, education, gender equality, disaster preparedness, agriculture, infrastructure, economics, human rights, environment • Humanitarian relief vs. International Development • Money mostly comes from governments and multi-lateral organizations and to a lesser but increasing extent, private companies • Projects typically implemented by NGOs and consulting firms Hosted by: Career Advisors on
  4. 4. About Devex • Social enterprise founded in 2000 with mission to make aid more efficient  greater impact • 100 staff in 4 offices worldwide and growing • 500,000 professionals and 1,000 organizations • Recruitment, business development, news & analysis • Connect and network Hosted by: Career Advisors on
  5. 5. Employment Landscape Hosted by: Career Advisors on
  6. 6. Hiring Trends • Follow the money • What are the hot sectors and regions in foreign aid & development? -Countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan -Sectors: Global health, Infrastructure/Engineering, Economic development, Climate Change • Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) • Private sector engagement Hosted by: Career Advisors on
  7. 7. Hiring Trends: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) • Business meets aid • CSR: Shared mission targeting communities • PPPs: Two-fold objective to better lives and business • Devex Impact: “Business Transforming Development” Hosted by: Career Advisors on
  8. 8. Types of Jobs • Technical Experts • Program Management • Research • Fundraising • Business Development • HR/Recruiting • Logistics/Operations • Communications/Advocacy • Finance/Budget/Contracting • Grants Management Hosted by: Career Advisors on
  9. 9. Types of Employers • Consulting Firms & Implementing NGOs • Donor Agencies & IFIs • Advocacy NGOs • Private Foundations • Corporate/CSR • Suppliers • Think Tanks/Institutes Hosted by: Career Advisors on
  10. 10. Reality Check • The image of humanitarian relief workers doling out food and medicines in refugee camps is for the most part inaccurate. Most entry-level and even mid-senior level positions are quite administrative in nature. • Your first position will most likely entail a lot of desk work and minimal to no travel. • More and more positions in the field are being filled by locals. Hiring locals is less expensive and is better for development. It creates jobs in the local economy and builds the capacity of the workforce. Additionally, more money stays in country and locals can navigate complex cultural and political climates. • The field is extremely competitive, you may be one of hundreds of qualified applicants applying to one job. Hosted by: Career Advisors on
  11. 11. Finding and Getting the Job Hosted by:See the rest at
  12. 12. Transitioning to your next job • Transitioning from another field to development • Transitioning jobs within the development industry Hosted by:See the rest at
  13. 13. Examples of Transferable Professions • Engineering • Banking/Finance • Health Care • Education • Communications • Human Resources • Accounting • Management • Training • ICT • Project Management • Contract Administration • Business Development • Proposal Writing • Law Hosted by:See the rest at
  14. 14. Making the transition • Often takes multiple strategic job changes to get to the job you ultimately want • Focus on the gaining transferable skills to leverage experience from first job to land the second Examples: • You have experience in business development with a government contractor but ultimately want to work on SME programs in Africa. • You are a corporate attorney and want to work on rule of law programs in Asia • You are currently a program coordinator for an NGO that does global health but you ultimately want to work on education programs in the field Hosted by:See the rest at
  15. 15. Should I go back to school? • Have a few years work experience before getting a graduate degree • Without a masters level degree you will quickly plateau and not be able to advance • If possible, try getting a degree while working to not take yourself out of the workforce • When deciding between a general or technical degree, it is usually best to go for the more specific degree. • For some positions like economists, M&E specialists or those closely involved with research a PhD is advisable but in most cases a Masters is sufficient • Once you have a graduate level degree, experience will trump additional degrees (with the exception of a few very specific degrees like JD or MD) Hosted by:See the rest at
  16. 16. Do Your Homework • Research the key employers and players in the field. Know what kind of positions are available. • Attend seminars, conferences, other events for the industry. • Try asking for an informational interview. • Try to volunteer with an organization – let’s you test the waters and helps you build your resume at the same time. • Use social networking platforms, like Devex , to find people currently in a the position you seek – reach out to them. • Volunteer for overseas assignments in your current position. • Attend relevant training or certification courses. • Get familiar with the donor funding cycles/proposal process. Hosted by:See the rest at
  17. 17. Learn the Language • Learn the language of the industry For example, if you want to transition from the corporate world to the non- profit. Instead of using terms like sales, clients and revenues you might use terms like program development, stakeholders and funding • Translate your resume Be sure to focus on keywords • Market to your audience • Become comfortable with the acronyms and insider vernacular. Hosted by:See the rest at
  18. 18. Learning the Language Why? • Make it easy for recruiters to pick you out of the crowd. • Most employers use keyword search engine technology to sift through resumes. • Demonstrates understanding of the industry. Makes you look like an insider. How? • Job description • Company and donor websites • Industry journals and news publications Hosted by:See the rest at
  19. 19. Quality over Quantity • Focus your search • Take your time to tailor each resume/CV • Learn the donor formats – USAID vs. EU • Take advantage of referral programs • Only apply to jobs for which you are truly qualified – Use 80% rule • Always proofread • Localize your resume TIP: Don’t become a serial applicant. Recruiters will get to know your name and will take you less seriously as a candidate. Hosted by:See the rest at
  20. 20. Network, Network, Network • As in most industries, networking is crucial to the job search process. • With the ease of applying online, and the current state of the economy, your resume could be lost in a sea of hundreds of applicants. • Recruiters are apt to pay attention to a referral more than they would an unknown candidate. • Leveraging connections is particularly important when you are transitioning careers and might not be able to make it through the door on your resume alone. TIP: Now with social networking technology, it is easy to network anywhere in the world. For example, on, you can build your own network of international development professionals worldwide. Hosted by:See the rest at
  21. 21. Resources on • Job board • Online CV database • Career advice articles and webinars • CV Writing Service • Industry news and events To access all of these services and more, sign up for a career account at Hosted by:See the rest at
  22. 22. Take Away • Focus on transferable skills • Do your homework • Learn the language • Network • Be patient and persistent And visit! Hosted by:See the rest at
  23. 23. To Join Devex Log in or create your account at to apply for jobs, search career advice, create your own webpage and more: Questions about your membership? Contact our Member Support Team at Hosted by:See the rest at
  24. 24. Connect Book your one-on-one session with Kami at Kami Dar Managing Partner and Global Head of Development Innovation at Hosted by:See the rest at
  25. 25. Hosted by:See the rest at
  26. 26. Questions & Answers Hosted by:See the rest at
  27. 27. Questions & Answers Question 1: Is there a degree or specific work experience required to work at a non-profit organization? Hosted by:See the answer at
  28. 28. Questions & Answers Question 2: In what scenarios do corporates work with NGOs? Hosted by:See the answer at
  29. 29. Questions & Answers Question 3: How to be a good leader in a non- governmental organization? Hosted by:See the answer at
  30. 30. Questions & Answers Question 4: Discuss the financial impact in the investing sector (specific skills/requirements)? Hosted by:See the answer at
  31. 31. Questions & Answers Question 5: Does a career in the non-profit/NGO field pay well? Hosted by:See the answer at
  32. 32. Get the latest updates on upcoming webinars by following us: Register for live webinars and view all our recordings at: Hosted by:See the rest at