The Non-Profit Job Hunt in Vancouver

They say that there’s a hidden job market out there and I believe it but this doesn’t negate the fact that there are an increasing number of organizations who are posting their positions online. New jobs are posted every day and I’m of the opinion that it would be useful to find a strategy to efficiently update yourself on what’s out there as often as possible.

I spent around four months searching for jobs (two months otherwise occupied but still applying to positions that seemed too good to pass up with two other months actively searching).

It is not an easy task for young people to get a job these days- least of all in non-profits because, if you’ve failed to notice, it is a highly desirable field.

I’ve decided to put together a short cheat sheet on online job hunting and how you can use the web to find a suitable position in Vancouver.

Search Engines and Lists

Job search engines are available in many places in the world and Vancouver has a wealth of search engines that can be relied on. We also have lists posted by non-profit organizations that advertise the positions of other ally organizations.

So how can you go through all these information quickly? Here’s my technique: I added all of the following search engines to my Mozilla bookmarks toolbar by dragging them to the bar and deleting the name so only the logo is left.

The following links are set to my own specifications (i.e. job location: Vancouver; duration: permanent, full time; search field: non-profits; area: children’s rights, minority rights, indigenous peoples rights, women’s rights, discrimination, social justice, economic and social rights) which allowed me to quickly click on all of these links in succession and browse the available postings instead of spending hours on engines. Then I’d bookmark the posting separately or e-mail it to myself.

My browser ended up looking like this…

Browser

Don’t recognize any of the logos?

Here’s the list that I used…

  • Charity Village: Charity Village is the mecca of non-profit human resource and management departments. They have a careers section that I found immensely useful- they’re the ones to thank for helping me narrow down my skills set and figuring out what I actually wanted to do in the field. I encourage you to do this questionnaire before undertaking your job search.
  • Povnet: I cannot under emphasize the importance of this website. If you regularly work in non-profits and service provision, I suggest familiarizing yourself with their directory of charities and societies.
  • WorkinNon-Profits.ca: This non-profit job site is probably second to Charity Village in terms of volumes of posts. The layout is a bit tricky and you can’t save the link to the direct search results so I suggest bookmarking the location page instead.
  • Craiglist (non-profit section) and Craigslist (non-profit search field): Craigslist is a good resource simply based on post volume. However, I have noticed that many of the postings are for low-skilled occupations. If you’re looking for a managerial position, it may not be your best bet but if you feel like handing out some flyers on a sunny day, it may be the site for you.
  • GoodWork.ca: This website is exclusively focused on environmental jobs. This can range from sustainable agriculture to forestry. The occupations posted do vary but the nature (pun intended) of the organizations seem to remain consistent.
  • AMSSA: AMSSA is a diversity-centred association that maintains a list of multicultural and minority-related job openings. It serves as a bit of quality control tool- you know that the employers on the website are committed to diversity and inclusiveness.
  • Community Outreach: Community Outreach Canada is a non-profit organization that is focused on community development and matching skilled employees with suitable employers. There are a range of industries that can be searched including law enforcement, engineering etc. so it’s not primarily built around the third sector.
  • Idealist: This site is primarily directed towards job hunters in the US but there are usually one or two positions posted in the Vancouver area.
  • Alliance for Arts: The Alliance for Arts and Culture job board is an excellent source of postings in relation to arts and culture. The results you’ll receive are varied, from calls for festival coordinatos to voice teachers to curators.
  • CCED Net: CCEDNet stands for the Canadian Community Economic Development Netowrk. It’s an organization that centers on community development with a focus on social and environment factors.

Other general job searching websites:

Eluta.ca
Workopolis
Indeed
WowJobs
BC Jobs

Adjusting the links

For your own convenience, I suggest that you adjust the links to fit your own criteria. It’ll save you some time. If you live in Metro Vancouver and your interests fall in line with mine, you could bookmark this post and click the links through here.

Organizations

My job search was pretty expansive so the organizations that I was interested in were fairly diverse. As I have mentioned previous, the fields that I’m involved with include social justice issues, multiculturalism, seniors’ rights, homelessness, child welfare, human rights law, equality, minority rights, indigenous rights, poverty, violence against women, refugees and immigrants… so the majority of the organizations I’ve listed here will center around those.

S.U.C.C.E.S.S.
Mosaic
Atira
Simon Fraser Society for Community Living
Battered Women’s Support Services
Options Community Services
ISSofBC
PICS
DiverseCITY
CLAS
Sources Community Resource Centres
Elizabeth Fry Society
YWCA
Red Cross
Fraserside Community Services Society
West Coast Leaf
First United Church
John Howard Society of the Lower Mainland of BC
Little Mountain Neighbourhood House
Sanford Housing Society
Legal Services Society
Pivot Legal Society
Cynthera
Open Door Group
Surrey Women’s Centre
Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre
Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows Community Centre
Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society

Finding an organization’s employment page

Most non-profit organizations post openings on their own websites. While the page itself may be tricky to find (most non-profits are often looking for volunteers and will feature those openings prominently on their pages), the following are the most common link titles that they use when posting jobs (sometimes they’re hidden within menus):

Jobs
Careers
Employment
Recruitment
Get involved
How to help
Work with us
Open positions

If you can’t find any such links, look for the site map and try finding it from there. If not, it’s always worth sending your favourite organization an e-mail to asking them how their recruitment procedure works or where they post their job openings.

Social Media

Do not underestimate social media. It can be a great way to share information, keep your knowledge updated and find out about openings in your field. It’s a way to expand your own network, if you’re willing to devote the time and effort to be strategic about it.

LinkedIn

Although LinkedIn doesn’t have a large non-profit presence (in the Vancouver area anyway), it’s helpful to keep your profile in check in case something interesting does come along.

Your priority should be to complete your profile to the best of your ability. Filling in minimal information may convey a bad impression. Would you hire someone to create social media pages about your organization if they aren’t even capable of adequately presenting a LinkedIn profile? I don’t think so.

Twitter

I love twitter. If you are working or interested in non-profits in Vancouver, please follow me because I try to follow as many people in my field as I can.

I get a lot from twitter. I get news, information, job postings, reports, updates on my favourite non-profits, updates from my former universities… everything. It’s an excellent way to become engaged and make your presence known in the field. Although I didn’t initially create my twitter for job hunting purposes, it has definitely helped me network and familiarize myself with relevant organizations. If you’re interested in communications and public relations, I encourage following @BestJobsInVan as she occasionally posts job openings in the non-profit sector. I’m still waiting for the day when someone creates a @BestNPOJobsInVan (yes, I’m looking at you).

Facebook

Facebook is tricky. Some people love it. Some people hate it. Personally, I’m ambivalent but I use a different handle for my profile because I think of facebook as something quite intimate and not entirely suitable for the public eye. That being said, I caution you against posting anything too intimate because a change of a name isn’t enough to shield you from the eyes of potential employers.

How do I suggest using facebook? In the same way as twitter. Follow interesting non-profit pages and use those as springboards into your larger job hunts without involving your facebook handle in any discussions.

Good Application Skills

It’s quite likely that there are a thousand websites out there that advise you on how to tailor your application to the position. I’m not going to repeat that information. Rather, I’ll just refer you to them…

Tips for Writing an Effective Cover Letter

5 Step Editing for a Perfect Resume

Deconstructing the Job Description

The Mind Trick That Will Change the Way You Write Cover Letters Forever

Apply, Apply, Apply!

This was a rule that I didn’t really follow but I definitely should have done. With job postings being so accessible, there isn’t an excuse for not sending an application right away.

Assuming that there are a hundred job hunters out there searching for a position in your line of work and each one of them applies to some odd hundred posts, how far will you get if you apply to a handful of the same posts?

Not very.

At the same time, it’s important to be sensible and making sure that you have what they’re looking for. Don’t be the intern that applies for an Executive Director position.

What’s Next?

A lot more. Sending out applications online and taking a seat back to watching Netflix documentaries all day probably won’t get you the job that you want… anytime soon anyway.

Expand your horizons. Volunteer, network, consult friends and families about possible openings in your field.

In my ideal world, I’d love to write more posts about these topics to because those strategies are more likely to culminate in an offer but if online applications is what you’re focusing on right now, make sure you’re looking in the right places.

Relevant Links

Webinar: 7 Strategies for Finding the Right Non-Profit Job

2 thoughts on “The Non-Profit Job Hunt in Vancouver

  1. This is fantastic. Thank you!

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