Tailor Your Resume for a New Industry, with Ashlan Glazier-Anderson

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Find Your Dream Job, Bonus Episode 32: Ashlan Glazier-Anderson

Tailor Your Resume for a New Industry: Ashlan Glazier-Anderson’s Job Search Success Story

Airdate: August 10, 2020

Mac Prichard:

This is Find Your Dream Job, the podcast that helps you get hired, have the career you want, and make a difference in life.

I’m your host, Mac Prichard. I’m also the founder of Mac’s List. It’s a job board in the Pacific Northwest that helps you find a fulfilling career.

One of the best ways to get good at job hunting is to talk to people who do it well.

That’s why once a month, I interview a Mac’s List reader who found a job they love.

Our guest today is Ashlan Glazier-Anderson. She’s the manager of marketing and online fundraising at Friends of the Children. It’s a national organization that breaks the cycle of generational poverty.

Ashlan Glazier-Anderson knows how to make the leap from the private sector to the nonprofit world.

In a story you can find on the Mac’s List website, Ashlan says she studied nonprofit job postings to understand the transferable skills that mattered most to hiring managers.

Ashlan credits this approach, along with networking and volunteering, with her success in switching careers.

Ashlan, why do you love your job?

Ashlan Glazier-Anderson:

What I really love about my job is, switching from the private sector to the nonprofit sector, I get to do mission-driven work everyday. So, what I fell in love with was the mission of Friends of the Children, to impact generational change by supporting youth with professional mentors for a long-term committed relationship. We’re with our youth for over 12 years, as they start in Kindergarten and we journey with them through high school graduation. That was one of the first keys, and I think a major key is that you decide which nonprofit you would potentially want to apply for, and you make sure that you are drawn to the mission and it just makes going to work everyday so much more enjoyable, since you know you’re doing really, really important work day to day.

Mac Prichard:

Was it the mission that made you decide to leave the private sector or had this been a long-term goal?

Ashlan Glazier-Anderson:

It was a long term goal. I actually was reminded by the director of our program, I was in a graduate program with the University of Oregon for strategic communications, and what I wrote in my application was that I did want to make the switch to nonprofit, and I think that it was the perfect storm of both opportunity; at the time I had met people from Friends of the Children Organization through a project with my graduate school, as well as knowing that, at some point, I wanted to make the change to do impactful work every day. I did really enjoy my previous jobs but they were very much focused on consumers and how to get people to buy products, rather than focused on social change and issues that will make society much better.

That was why I chose to switch into the nonprofit sector instead of staying in the private sector.

Mac Prichard:

How did you act on that vision? Because many people think, “Oh, I’d like to do that.” But they’re not sure how to get started. What worked for you Ashlan?

Ashlan Glazier-Anderson:

I did a combination of two different things. First, I took a really hard look at what the different nonprofit jobs that I was interested in were asking for, the different skill sets, and I really matched up the skills that I had in the for profit world to match those, for those job descriptions. I think, if you look at the way different job descriptions are written and what the bullet points say, there are a lot of comparable skill sets that you just have to explain a little differently to make it fit for that industry.

Then the other thing that really helped in this as well was, I dedicated myself to doing volunteer service in the nonprofit industries. So, it showed that, not only did I have an interest in switching careers, but kind of in my spare time, outside of my day job, I was interested in helping out nonprofits.

Mac Prichard:

Well, let’s dig into both of those. Let’s start with those job postings; did you look at 5 job postings? 15? 50? How much was enough?

Ashlan Glazier-Anderson:

I looked at a lot of them. I would say that Mac’s List has all of the different job postings up. I went to your website quite often to take a look at those and just bookmark them, see what was common. Every single one that I potentially wanted to apply for a role like that, I would look at what the bullets were and kind of build, almost majoring job, out of it and use that to find the skills that I had comparable to those, and then also, again, using my volunteer services to back-fill some of those skill sets as well.

Mac Prichard:

When it came time to prepare resumes and cover letters and other application materials, how did you use that research in your materials?

Ashlan Glazier-Anderson:

I think one of the things that I did was not only use the job posting that I was responding to as a way to formulate my resume and cover letter, it was really diving in…well, let me treat these as two separate things. The resume, it was almost an apples to apples, copying some of those bullet points and explaining how those skills were coming through in the different activities I’ve done, both through work and volunteer service. Then with the cover letter, I also tried to focus on what was applicable in the jobs that I was already doing, as well as what I could bring to the team. So, taking a look at their website, and taking a look at their social media, and talking to the organization about where I thought about taking those to the next level.

I think one of the things that people struggle with when they’re writing their resumes and cover letters is, I tried to approach it from the lens of, imagine if you got the job. Tell them what you’re going to do in that first 30, 60, 90 days, really wow them, and then that will also draw them to make conclusions and have really good questions prepared for the interview process.

Mac Prichard:

What advice do you have for people who might struggle with figuring out what they might do in those first 30, 60, or 90 days? Or also might struggle with understanding what the employer’s problems are?

Ashlan Glazier-Anderson:

I’d say look at their websites, sign up for their email newsletter, if you can get an informational interview with someone at the organization, that would be helpful. I was fortunate enough because I had worked with the person who would eventually become my supervisor. So, I did have her able to answer questions for me right away as I was curious about the job position, but you shouldn’t feel hesitant to reach out to people if you’re able to connect with them or if you have somebody in your network, maybe through a LinkedIn or a close friend or colleague who also has a relationship with that organization, or a similar organization. You could also ask them as well.

Mac Prichard:

This is a lot of work, doing this kind of research and customizing materials; how do you know it worked, Ashlan?

Ashlan Glazier-Anderson:

I got the job, so that’d be one, and I think…you know, I’ve been doing this a lot in the past, when I was younger. So, right out of undergrad, I took the approach of just kind of spray and pray with your resume and cover letter. So, it was just like, the only things that I was changing out was the name of the company and the name of the position, and that didn’t really work well. You might send out 30 applications but you’re only getting maybe one interview, and that’s because you’re not really customizing it to them and you’re not really speaking to them. I think people can read right away if you haven’t made an effort to understand anything about their organization and it really does become impressive when you can grab them in that first paragraph or couple of sentences about why they should consider your application.

Mac Prichard:

You mentioned volunteering; let’s talk about that. What difference did volunteering make in this job search?

Ashlan Glazier-Anderson:

Since most of my previous experience was in the for profit world my volunteer experience also showed that I had an understanding of how nonprofits work and operate. So, I volunteer with an organization local here, in Portland, called “Betty’s 360.” W’re a youth serving organization that does after school programming for middle school girls, and so I was able to show that I have an understand of online fundraising, that I’ve raised funds for an organization, and that I have an interest in youth, which, you know, Friends of the Children also work very closely with youth. And then I’m also on the board of directors and volunteering with American Marketing Association, which provides a credit to my marketing experience, that I am on that board as well.

Mac Prichard:

Sometimes people volunteer with an organization because they love the mission and they hope that it will lead to a job, but that’s not the approach that you took in your volunteer work, is it?

Ashlan Glazier-Anderson:

No, I took this approach. I was connected to Betty’s 360 through the American Marketing Association, and so that’s why I’ve stayed involved with them. I do love their mission but it was an opportunity for me to grow my marketing experience in different ways that I wasn’t getting through my for profit job. So, I got to work on their email marketing, social media, and build a whole new website. I basically got to do what I wanted to do that I wasn’t getting from my day jbo and then with the American Marketing Association involvement there, it’s a great networking opportunity. It’s part of the National American Marketing Association, so you’re able to make connections with people in different cities and states across the country, and then also grow your experience in marketing as well, by managing part of the local chapter here.

Mac Prichard:

How did those connections that you made, say through the American Marketing Association and through other forms of networking help you in your job search? You met people but what happened next? What actions did you take to build on those introductions?

Ashlan Glazier-Anderson:

Yeah, I think, I’ve met a variety of people who actually work in nonprofit through the American Marketing Association as well, so, it’s not as many people that work in for profit world but it is nice to be able to bounce off ideas from people who are in a similar situation as you and also get their feedback as you are trying to go out there in the world. So, I used my LinkedIn a lot to ask questions from people or stay connected there. So, I was able to say, you know, “What are some of the things that people are looking for in a marketing position in a nonprofit? How is that different than a development position or a fundraising position, and what should I consider in those areas?”

It’s just nice to be able to get advice from others who are looking at the same kind of roles as you are, in those roles right now.

Mac Prichard:

What difference did that advice make in your search in general and in getting this job, in particular?

Ashlan Glazier-Anderson:

I think the difference that it made was just having extra sets of eyes on my resume and cover letter, being able to make adjustments based on that feedback, and also having a new set of individuals, that if this didn’t work out, I would have more folks to reach out to about other opportunities in the area and in the industry.

Mac Prichard:

What didn’t work in your job search, Ashlan?

Ashlan Glazier-Anderson:

I think, like I referenced before, just spraying and praying, not having other people look at your material. I have a very close friend of mine, we review each other’s cover letters and resumes all the time, making sure to review it against the job that we’re applying for. And if you’re moving very quickly and trying to search for job while you have a day job, it’s always good to have a second set of eyes to make sure that you’re not spelling anything incorrectly, you haven’t put the wrong company name in the cover letter, that you’re making sure your resume is actually updated.

I’ve seen, when I review cover letters and resumes that come in for interns, that it’s not even about the job that they’re applying for for the company and it just creates a negative experience for the hiring person in that situation. Those are some of the things that I’d try to rely on if I was going to go out and search for another job after this.

Mac Prichard:

Well, finally, Ashlan, what’s your number one job hunting tip?

Ashlan Glazier-Anderson:

It’s really that customization of your materials to the company. It will make it so much more impressive to them that you’ve actually read and have some knowledge of their organization, and it really doesn’t take that much time. Most organizations have websites and social media that are pretty extensive about their organization and that will actually help, and will help you build questions for the organization when you come into the interview as well.

Mac Prichard:

Well, thank you for sharing your story, Ashlan.

To learn more about Ashlan Glazier-Anderson’s job search, visit macslist.org/stories.

And check out the Mac’s List website for dozens of other success stories.

On the second Friday of every month, we add a new interview with a Mac’s List reader who has found a dream job.  Go to macslist.org/stories.

In the meantime, thank you for listening to today’s bonus episode of Find Your Dream Job.

SHOW NOTES

One of the toughest parts of switching from a for-profit position to the nonprofit world is communicating that you have the skills necessary for the job. Nonprofit jobs can be very specific in the skills they require. On this bonus episode of Find Your Dream Job, Ashlan Glazier-Anderson shares how she matched her transferable skills to the job descriptions of the positions she was interested in. Ashlan also invested time into personalizing her resume for each job she applied to. Learn more about Ashlan’s’s career history below in this installment of our Success Stories series.

One of the toughest parts of switching from a for-profit position to the nonprofit world is communicating that you have the skills necessary for the job. Nonprofit jobs can be very specific in the skills they require. On this bonus episode of Find Your Dream Job, Ashlan Glazier-Anderson shares how she matched her transferable skills to the job descriptions of the positions she was interested in. Ashlan also invested time into personalizing her resume for each job she applied to. Learn more about Ashlan’s career history below in this installment of our Success Stories series.


What do you do for a career? Who do you work for?

I am the Digital Marketing Manager for  Friends of the Children’s National Office. I manage the national website, email marketing, and social media for the National Office.  Friends of the Children selects the most vulnerable children ages 4-6 from high-poverty schools and the foster care system, and pairs them with a salaried, professional mentor (a Friend) who stays with them from kindergarten through graduation – 12 ½ years, no matter what.

How long did it take you to find this job?

I had been casually looking at job postings for the past six months to keep track of what opportunities were available in the Portland job market. I happened upon this position because someone in my network emailed me the job directly.

How did you find your job? What resources did you use? What tool or tactic helped the most?

I was fortunate enough to work directly with Friends of the Children as part of a capstone project through University of Oregon, Portland’s Master’s in Strategic Communications program. After the project ended in December, I kept in touch with my point of contact at Friends, who had emailed me the job description, requesting that I share it with my network.

What was the most difficult part of your job search? How did you overcome this challenge?

I was concerned about making the transition from the for-profit to the nonprofit sector. I did my research on the nonprofit sector, including reading similar job descriptions and tailored my resume and cover letter around keywords in the industry. I also spent time translating the skills I gained through volunteering for a local nonprofit called Betties360 and the work I did at a digital marketing agency to match the needs of the position I was applying for.

What is the single best piece of advice you would offer other job-seekers?

Keep in touch with your network. You never know where your next opportunity will come from, or who you may be able to help. And also make time to attend networking events to grow your network. Mac’s List,  Partners in Diversity,  AMA PDX,  SEM PDX  are organizations I recommend for great networking and professional development events.

Why do you love your job?

I love my job because I know it’s having a big impact in the communities Friends of the Children serves. I’m excited to be part of an organization that is growing and expanding, with a goal of serving youth in 25 cities by 2025.


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