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The charity and voluntary sector (third sector) includes over 167,000 registered charities in the UK, with a combined income in excess of £75 billion. The sector offers a wide range of job opportunities, in large and small organisations. You could be directly involved in providing care and support, or working in a business role, fundraising, campaigning or in policy and research.
Research the sector and keep up with current issues by reading:
Depending on the role you are considering, specific qualifications may be required (eg for finance, HR, IT roles), as well as knowledge of the sector. Look at job descriptions to see what employers are looking for. You are likely to need:
Can you demonstrate you have these skills, or can you develop them? See Employability skills for some suggestions.
The chance to do some work shadowing, an internship or volunteering not only shows your commitment to a cause and gives you relevant experience, but can help you test whether it's the right industry for you:
See Do It to find details of organisations, and contact them directly to see if they have any opportunities. Volunteers are often in the best position to hear about any paid roles that might become available.
Some graduate schemes in the sector include:
Consider the option of first gaining qualifications/experience/skills in the public or private sector and moving into the voluntary sector later - this is a significant entry route for many.
Vacancies are posted directly on organisations' websites, Handshake, newspapers and through specialist websites including:
The recruitment process is likely to vary depending on the size of the organisation you are applying to. See our pages on the recruitment process for more information.
Prepare for interviews with Shortlist.Me. Try these practice interviews from employers in the charity sector:
There are lots of things you can do to help you learn more about this sector, and get valuable experience to boost your chances of success.
Connect with York graduates on York Profiles & Mentors
Find the full list of graduate profiles on York Profiles & Mentors.
Keep up to date with the sector and learn about the types of jobs available with these podcasts.