The Idealist Guide to Nonprofit Careers for First-Time Job Seekers (2008), by Meg Busse with Steven Joiner, is a career guidebook for emerging professionals seeking their first position in the nonprofit sector. Whether you are a college student, recent college graduate, or someone entering the workforce for the first time, this comprehensive resource provides invaluable advice, strategies, and nonprofit-specific resources to guide your job search. Topics include an overview of the nonprofit sector, myths and facts about nonprofit organizations, job search strategies, self and career assessment, networking and interviewing strategies, resume and cover letter writing tips, nonprofit hiring practices, and salary and negotiation tips. It also includes an appendix of common vocabulary terms in the nonprofit sector.
I wished this book was around when I was an undergraduate student! It contacts interesting facts, exercises, and websites for readers to explore on their own time. Unlike the for-profit and public sectors, the nonprofit sector has a decentralized job posting system. This means that you have to be proactive in researching agencies and organizations that fit your interests. Most nonprofit workers found work through word-of-mouth and employee referrals. Therefore, this guidebook is great for those who need guidance and structure in preparing for a competitive job market. Volunteering, internships, and networking (I can't stress this enough) are very important in launching your nonprofit career.
If you enjoy the Idealist.org series, check out the rest of their career books here. Other topics focus on career switch, service corps, and personal profit. The books are also available to download as free PDFs.