From Non-Profit to For-Profit: Tips For Transition

    March 31, 2003

I have worked in the non-for-profit sector for many years and am now looking to transition to a publicly-owned company. What suggestions do you have for countering the false perceptions of recruiters and employers that not-for-profits are not as professionally challenging and that the pace of work is not as demanding as in for-profit companies?

– Marilyn O’Conner

Hi Marilyn,

  • Start with a results-oriented, targeted resume and minimize references to non-profit.
  • Emphasize the skills and accomplishments that relate to the position(s) you are now seeking.
  • Learn and use the jargon of the industry in which you are applying to show that you understand their terminology.
  • Network with personal/business contacts in publicly-owned companies to learn about different environments and lead to interview opportunities in which you can showcase your talents.
  • Show that your skills and experiences are a match and that you understand the employer’s needs (can solve their problems).
  • Louise Garver, CMP, CPRW, JCTC, CEIP, MCDP, has assisted senior executives and management clients worldwide in all aspects of job search, interviewing and negotiations, development of resume and marketing letters, career transition and career management since 1985. President of Career Directions, LLC, she is an award-winning, published and certified career coach, professional resume writer, outplacement consultant and former corporate recruiter. For help in winning the career your deserve, visit

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