Resume Differentiation Through Non-Profit Experience: An Introduction
This chapter is a free excerpt from The Best Book on Getting Consulting Jobs In India.
But what's even more important than having a strong resume is having a resume that’s different.
Your resume should say something about your personality if it’s going to catch the attention of major consulting firms.
Resume DifferentiationStudents and young professionals constantly ask me how they should go about differentiating their resumes.
Especially in India, many of these job seekers have very tech-centric or engineering-centric backgrounds. And without any meaningful differentiation to their resumes, these applicants will just blend in with all the other people with tech degrees and work experience in the tech industry.
The best way to stand out from the crowd of other tech-heavy job applicants is to find something outside of your tech background to make yourself more interesting to recruiters and interviewers.
When recruiters are sorting through hundreds of resumes, you’ll need something that catches their attention. Engineering degrees and work experience are definitely valuable, but ultimately, they’re also somewhat boring and commonplace.
While differentiating your profile, make sure that your additional experience is complementary to your degree or your earlier experience.
For example, if you’re an engineer, your degree is highly quantitative and analytical in nature. So an engineer should try to complement those traits with softer skills, which transforms your one note resume into something multidimensional.
The Non-Profit IndustryMy favorite method for adding softer skills to your resume is finding work in the non-profit industry, specifically NGOs and Think Tanks.
Organizations in the non-profit industry generally attract a lot of smart, talented, and driven individuals. And if you work in this industry, you'll get to meet and work with these people!
Why is the non-profit industry so attractive? It’s definitely not the compensation that attracts workers.
Rather, people work for NGOs because there are many great qualitative benefits.
During my career, I’ve worked with multiple NGOs, most notably:
- The World Resources Institute in Washington, DC, where I focused on analyzing and developing environmentally-friendly policies.
- Ujjivan Microfinance in Bangalore, where I provided financial options to the urban poor in and around Bangalore.
As you’re reading this, I want to emphasize that you should never pretend to care about a cause only to build your resume.Working on something that you only pretend to care about will only end up frustrating you.
Non-profit work is just one of the many ways of differentiating your resume. Only seek this route if you truly believe in the cause and seek genuine satisfaction from your work experience.
But for those who truly wish to make a difference by working with an NGO, you’ll get a lot of satisfaction from your work and will develop additional skills and strengths that will help you break into the consulting industry.
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