They say that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. This is especially true when it comes to the job search; if your cover letter doesn’t immediately impress the employer, chances are you are already out of the running.
While it might seem unfair that you could be rejected based only on small errors, the nature of today’s job market means that employers want to make sure they are absolutely sure about a candidate before they move forward in the hiring process. That’s why you need to make sure that your cover letter is free of any errors before you submit your job application. Below are five typical mistakes that will cause your application to be placed in the “no” pile.
Don’t address the letter to a gender-based title such as “sir” or “madam.” You should try your best to find the name of the hiring manager or, if you can’t find the name, address it to the Human Resources Department.
Don’t forget to say the position for which you are applying. Organizations generally hire for multiple positions, so you shouldn’t assume the hiring manager will know which job you want.
Don’t focus on your needs. Employers don’t want to know why the job will be good for you; they want to know why you are uniquely qualified for the position and how your skills will help advance their mission.
Don’t act desperate by telling employers how many applications you have already sent out. This will make them wonder why you haven’t already gotten a job if you are as qualified as you say.
Don’t send a copy-pasted cover letter. You will make a much better impression if you specifically mention the nonprofit’s name and/or mention how your skills will help in specific areas of need based on your research of the organization.
Welcome to the Raise & Engage podcast, a filters-off series for nonprofit professionals hosted by Blackbaud's straight-shooting expert Danielle Johnson Vermenton. During this open-mic session, you’ll hear honest advice to help YOU do more for your cause.
You have a job description, but on any given day, you're probably doing dozens of things outside the scope of that description. Combine that with the challenge of a fast-paced environment and the shifting priorities of funders, colleagues, and board members and it’s easy to fall short of doing your best. By being mindful of your limitations and capacity—and saying “no” when your plate is full—you can actually do more for your cause. In the sixth installment of the Raise and Engage podcast Danielle Johnson and Robin Anderson discuss the power of saying “no” at work.
In the most recent episode of Raise + Engage, Danielle is back with Brian Reich from little m media to discuss how nonprofit professionals can stay motivated and energized in their day-to-day roles. Brian shares his experience working with nonprofits and the lessons and tips he's learn from and shared with them over the years, including tips for avoiding a professional rut, creating forward momentum in your career and pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone. If you're considering making a career move or want to ensure you're on the right path, you won't want to miss this inspo-packed episode!
Episode 4: Apps and Hacks to Stay (Mostly) Sane, is all about tips, tricks and tools for sanity. Blackbaud’s own interactive product marketer, Julia Lenz, joins host Danielle Johnson to share some high tech. (and no tech.) productivity tips to help nonprofit professionals stay sane in the crazy world of philanthropy. Tune in to hear:
Tips for how to spend the first 30 minutes of your day
The benefits of 15 minute meetings
Why notebooks are still relevant to a successful organization
Ideas for better managing your inbox
Why you should take lunch outside the box
...and much more!
Don’t forget to visit the #NoFilterNonprofit Hub afterwards to download our newest tip sheet10 Productivity Hacks for Nonprofits.
Episode 3: Tech. Connection: Solutions, Strategy, and Staff
In episode 3 of the Raise + Engage podcast, Danielle Johnson is joined by Chris Geady and William DaSilva, two IT experts in the nonprofit space, to talk technology integration for NPOs: when you need it, when you don’t, and how to do it successfully. Tune in to hear:
When to say NO to integration
How to set your strategic plan before even looking at technologies
Ways to get your entire team on board
The importance of identifying a project lead
The RFP process - how it should and should not go
And William shares a story about a nonprofit that may or may not have still been using a typewriter. You don't want to miss this one!
According to Danielle Johnson, straight-shooting host of the Raise + Engage podcast series, if your staff members aren’t the number one advocates for your cause on social media, you’re failing. In the most recent episode, Danielle is joined by Blackbaud’s own social media guru Madeline Turner to discuss overcoming social struggles and creating a social ambassador program at your organization. This entertaining and insightful duo dishes on the importance of making your social media presence human, making the case for a formal social program to leadership, how University of Michigan turned a one time social media campaign into a long term social program, and how Madeline's mom unknowingly became a social ambassador on #GivingTuesday.
In the premiere episode of Raise & Engage, Danielle is joined by three straight-shooting nonprofit rock-stars: Jodi Smith of Sanford Health Systems, Veronica Brown of Chicago Public Library Foundation and Ali Burke of Southlake Regional Health Centre Foundation. The group talks organizational culture, problem employees, why its important to celebrate and how to shake things up this year and build a better more authentic team that gets stuff done!