How to find jobs in advocacy

Are you a recent college graduate looking for your first full-time position? An experienced professional looking to make a difference? Or perhaps a high school student wanting to buff up your resume? Well, understanding how to find jobs in advocacy may prove beneficial for you.

Advocacy is the action of generating public support for or recommending a particular cause or policy. One of the ways in which The Borgen Project makes a difference is through advocacy.

By teaching citizens skills on how to communicate with their government, The Borgen Project is able to both generate support for and recommend making global poverty a higher priority for U.S. foreign policy.

Here are five ways on how to find jobs in advocacy so you can begin a fulfilling, challenging career of improving people’s lives:

  1. Find your passion.
    Is there a cause you really believe in? Is there a problem you would like to address? Is there a topic you could talk about for hours and hours?Most employers, whether it’s listed in your cover letter or spoken about in an interview, want to know what motivates you to join their team. They want to know your passion because a passion-less person doesn’t make a good advocate, now does it? Don’t think too hard about it, though.

    While some peoples’ passion may be something specific, like woodcutting or kite flying, yours could be a broader goal such as helping other people.

  2. Reach out to local non-profit organizations.
    There is a very high chance that your community has at least one non-profit organization operating within it. While that non-profit organization may not be directly linked to advocacy, the people volunteering or working there may be able to direct you to other non-profit organizations more advocacy-geared. And if there is a link to advocacy, then you’re in luck.
  3. Search for jobs.
    In this day and age, the internet is your friend and the perfect place to start your advocacy search. You can look at popular websites like idealist.org, indeed.com or thenonprofittimes.com to find the perfect advocacy position for you. Most advocacy positions will be posted by non-profits organizations, local governments and lobbying firms.
  4. Volunteer.
    If you’re not having any luck landing a paid position, consider volunteering. It will not only beef up your resume, but it also has the potential to lead to a paid position in the place you are volunteering.In your volunteer position, your supervisors can get to know you, see how motivated you are to the cause and perhaps find a more permanent fit for you on their team. Building these connections can lead to positions you never even thought possible!

    Additionally, most non-profit organizations operate under a very tight budget so the majority of advocacy positions may be volunteer anyways. Take The Borgen Project for example–we have only 2 full-time and 4 part-time employees but have around 300 volunteers.

  5. Utilize your networks.
    A recent survey revealed that 85 percent of all jobs are filled through networking. LinkedIn is a great resource that connects you a network of over 400 million people.You can also utilize alumni networks, family and friend networks, and networks found through volunteering or reaching out to organizations. It is also important to keep in mind that networking is not always about meeting as many people as possible, but it is also about meeting a few well-connected people who can vouch for your ability and credibility.

    In the future, these types of connections can refer you to other well-connected people.

While this list is not exhaustive, hopefully, these tips on how to find jobs in advocacy will benefit you in your search.

Alexis Pierce

Photo: Youth Advocacy Programs, Inc.