Getting into the international relief and humanitarian field can be hard to do with so many smart and eager graduates trying to push into the same door that you are trying to enter. Even with this competition, it is still possible to land your dream job. Check out a few tips below to help you get your foot in the door.
Build Up Work Experience
Just like any competitive field, you’ll have a better chance of getting the job if you have the correct, relevant volunteer and work experience. You need to look up volunteer opportunities wherever you can. If you want to build up your overseas experience, you should look at different volunteering programs that will eventually help you transfer your skills to the humanitarian field. Don’t skip volunteering for at-home services like the Red Cross.
Gain Experience While Studying
While you are studying in a relevant field, be sure that you start working toward your career by using that time to engage with organizations and people who already work in that field. This includes interning, volunteering, commenting on papers, going to conferences and more.
Don’t Focus Solely on Large NGOs
While you might have big dreams for the United Nations, it is advisable that you also search out smaller places. Community-based organizations are just as great and can help you get the experience that you need to break into the bigger deals out there. Also, keep in mind while looking for jobs that you can find good job opportunities through word of mouth just as easily as you might by scouring papers and the internet; networking is important.
Build on Your Skills
Focus on building relationships and networking with people who are working in the positions that you would one day like to fill. This can help you learn more skills to put on your CV so that it is always at its best and ready to be presented. You need to be constantly updating your resume to reflect the skills you are learning. Focus specifically on skills that can be seen as transferable.
Abundant Opportunities for Those with a Legal Background
Those who work in the legal sector are often welcomed by international aid organizations. A legal background puts you in a good position to help in a number of ways. It would be best to get some sort of placement in your experience first before you make the leap into the big organizations. This is just to get a feel of what sort of work will be expected of you. Humanitarian aid services also need a lot of pro bono legal advice, so you could volunteer in that way in order to build up your resume as well.
While it can be challenging, it certainly isn’t impossible to get into a humanitarian aid field. Like anything worth having, it can just be hard to get. Keep these tips in mind as you move through life on your way to your dream job.
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