How to transition to a career in global development

For most job seekers, it’s almost always the same: You send out a resume hoping for the best — and more often than not, little happens. But if you want to kickstart a career in international development, have you tried knocking on that organization’s door in Cameroon lately?
There is also the riskier, yet often rewarding, tactic of picking a location  based on language or contacts and moving there, then knocking on doors to make yourself available to organizations doing work in the country. Job seekers should look at smaller aid groups that might not be flooded with the same number of applications as larger international organizations like CARE or Save the Children.
Not all organizations advertise every internship, so take a look at organizations that are doing the type of work you’d like to do and approach them by letting them know exactly what you would be able to accomplish for their organization.
Those with an undergraduate or higher degree  say in economics  who would like to transition to development should look at a major donor they’d like to work with and then check out its contractors or NGOpartners. Working with those implementing partners will give you the experience and connections you may need later to land that coveted mid- to senior-level post with a major institution like the Asian Development Bank.
 Though networking is hugely important, people are hired solely based on their online applications every day as long as they meet minimum qualifications, of course, and tailor their cover letter and CV to show how. A cover letter is an opportunity to elaborate on some softer skills that are harder to frame in a CV.
 Always start your cover letter with a really strong sentence explaining how you check all the main boxes of the qualifications of the job.
 The challenges of creating a linear career in international development are well known, so tailoring goes for those who may be “overqualified” for the position they are interested in, as well; in that case, you may need to downplay your previous experience and write a strong objective statement to clarify your interest and what skills would make you a strong fit.
 While you’re searching or waiting for the right opportunity that matches your qualifications, try consulting on a project  it may help you fill some of the skills and experience gaps that have kept you from landing your dream job.


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