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Jobs > Career Tips > Nonprofit Job Seeker No-No's

Nonprofit Job Seeker No-No's

April 8, 2013

You’ve applied to countless nonprofit job postings, had multiple interviews yet here you are, still among the unemployed. You have put in all the necessary work so what gives? While you can partially blame the slow job market you should also consider that the biggest problem could be you.

This can be a tough thing for a job seeker to accept but sometimes there are many — often inadvertent — things that scream out to hiring managers not to hire you. Since organizations don’t normally give feedback to applicants on why they were rejected, these potential red flags can continue to exist.

Not sure what you need to change? Here’s a list of 7 things you need to be aware of when conducting your next job search:

  • No contact info on your résumé: What’s the point of an impressive application if the employer doesn’t know how to contact you?
  • Long, unexplained career gaps: These will make an employer wonder why nobody wanted to hire you. Be prepared to explain yourself if you have undo0cumented gaps longer than three months.
  • You were unprepared for the interview: You can be unprepared for a job interview even if you did all the necessary research. How is that? Maybe you didn’t bring a copy of your résumé, or maybe you just came across as unsure of yourself. Mock interviews often will help with this last problem.
  • You have no references: Nothing makes hiring managers more suspicious than not providing any references for them to check.
  • You are overly negative about your previous employers: Let’s face it: You won’t always have glowing things to say about your previous jobs, but that doesn’t mean you need to share that information. Was your last job too boring? Instead of saying that, rephrase by explaining that “I felt I had gone as far as I could in that position.”
  • You’ve held multiple jobs in a short period: While the trend of job hopping — switching positions quickly in an effort to advance your career — has its merits, it can be suspicious to employers. Pick and choose the jobs you want to include in your job history to avoid seeming unreliable.
  • Your interview answers are inconsistent: Hiring managers can be tricky; they will often ask you the same question in different ways to see if you give a different response. Keep an eye out for this and make sure you stay sincere throughout the interview.


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