December’s “Leadership Matters” Features Guide to Creating Effective Resumes and Cover Letters

Bridgestar Celebrates Third Anniversary Serving Nonprofit Sector


Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 12/13/2006 --The December issue of “Leadership Matters,” the monthly newsletter published by Bridgestar, a nonprofit initiative of the Bridgespan Group dedicated to attracting, connecting and supporting senior leaders for the sector, features a new guide to help private-sector senior executives translate their resumes for nonprofit job searches. Entitled “Writing Effective Resumes and Cover Letters,” the article focuses on best practices to help job seekers improve their search-related communications.

The article is accompanied by “Adapting Your Resume for a Nonprofit Job Search,” which includes tips and sample resumes to assist potential “bridgers” – senior leaders seeking to move from for-profit to nonprofit careers – in making their experience relevant to the nonprofit sector.

The resume guide follows the October release of the updated version of Bridgestar’s comprehensive “Guide to Navigating the Hiring Process,” designed to help nonprofits recruit the senior executives most qualified for positions and most likely to fit the organizations’ missions and cultures.

“We’re seeing significant demand for senior leaders, particularly driven by a leadership deficit projected at 640,000 senior positions over the next decade. As a sector, nonprofit organizations are showing more interest in recruiting and hiring people with private-sector and government experience. One stumbling block is that resumes that worked well in the private sector may need to be revamped to appeal to nonprofit hiring managers,” said David Simms, Managing Partner, Bridgestar. “The response to services we have developed to support both job candidates and hiring managers, like the updated ‘Hiring Guide’ and our new COO mini website, has been tremendous, and we’re planning additional new content as we prepare to kick off Bridgestar’s fourth year.”

While there is no single correct way to write or format a resume for the nonprofit sector, Bridgestar talent-matching professional Janet Albert says when adapting a primarily for-profit resume for a nonprofit job search, emphasize transferable skills, highlight nonprofit experience, and make the content relevant to a nonprofit hiring manager, which may entail providing descriptions for the companies they’ve worked for as well as industry jargon. This is especially important in cover letters, when bridgers need to make the case that this move makes sense for them and for the organization.

“In my experience, cover letters are more important to nonprofit clients than in the for-profit world. And the most compelling cover letters articulate the candidate’s strong passion for an organization’s mission and point to specific experiences that demonstrate that passion,” Albert said. “People often include formal positions, such as treasurer of the board of a local nonprofit, while omitting less formal involvement such as developing brochures to help market their child’s preschool. Having a specific section of the resume dedicated to community involvement or nonprofit work can help make this experience more visible.”

Each month “Leadership Matters” picks a different theme designed as a conversation about how to build and sustain effective nonprofit organizations. Previous issues have articles filled with tips and techniques for recruiting (and being recruited), and next year, Leadership Matters will include several such features. “Leadership Matters” is available to all Bridgestar members or, for a complimentary subscription, please email The newsletter is part of Bridgestar’s robust portfolio of offerings that include talent matching, in-person and online networking, and access to content including guides, tips and other resources.

The current issue of “Leadership Matters” is available at:

Bridgestar’s Third Anniversary
Launched in Dec. 2003, Bridgestar provides talent-matching, content and tools to help organizations build strong leadership teams and individuals pursue career paths as nonprofit leaders. The organization currently has more than 20,000 members and its job board, which lists only senior-level positions with nonprofit organizations around the country, has posted more than 1,000 listings since its launch, including more than 600 postings this year alone.

“Bridgestar’s growth and success validates the foresight of the Bridgespan Group. In providing strategic advice to enable nonprofits to build stronger and more effective organizations, Bridgespan realized that to succeed, organizations need the right leaders to execute that strategy. Focused on developing the sector’s leadership potential, Bridgestar’s success is due to our terrific and talented team as well as to our dynamic membership, who have helped us develop tools, best practices and case studies that are helping nonprofits build strong leadership teams,” Simms said.

About Bridgestar
Bridgestar, an initiative of the Bridgespan Group, is a nonprofit organization providing talent-matching services, content, and tools designed to help organizations build strong leadership teams and individuals pursue career paths as nonprofit leaders. Bridgestar’s goal is to attract, connect, and support senior talent, leading to greater organizational effectiveness and social impact.