If you are considering working in the not for profit or charity sector, you need to be clear about your motives and what will be expected of you. While it can be very satisfying, work in this area can be just as stressful and demanding as the commercial sector. Salaries, however, will tend to be lower, and while you may decide to balance this against greater satisfaction, you will also have to balance your own books if you take a pay cut!
Not for profit organisations have a wide variety of job roles and you will need to think about what role you want to work in. Just wanting to work for a favorite charity, for instance, is not enough. There are a wide range of organisations both large and small so you need to decide which ones are right for you.
They will be looking for experience and commitment, so you should aim to pick up some relevant work experience before you apply for the job. This could include volunteering which will demonstrate interest and commitment.
As with any job application, you should thoroughly research the organisation you want to work for. This will help you to make the right choice and will help you in job interviews. Study the organisations website and see if you can find out any additional information through search engines like Google.
In an interview be clear about why you want the role, demonstrate that you understand the area the organisation works in, and show that you have the skills, experience and qualities they are looking for.
Many organisations work with recruitment consultants such as Charity People. It is a good idea to sign up with a consultancy as they can put you in touch with the right opportunities and an application forwarded by them will carry more weight than if it was unsolicited.