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5 grant writer resume writing tips
1. Include a strong objective
Grant writing takes passion and perseverance, so many companies are looking to hire someone who is mission-driven and looking for a role that aligns with their values. That’s why a grant writer application needs a strong objective to show your commitment to and interest in a common goal.
Let your strengths shine through! Use your exceptional research skills to identify company values and reflect them in your objective. Focus on what the company needs and use this space to demonstrate how you are the perfect person for the job. This shows hiring managers that you’re a great match for both their culture and their cause.
2. Show financing results
One of the best ways to get a grant writer job is to show your fundraising experience. Employers love seeing quantifiable achievements that reflect how much money you raised for a particular cause. Include information about how you managed budgets, juggled multiple funding needs, or managed compliance and reporting of funding.
Not every company is applying for $50,000 grants, so don’t just include the highest numbers! Showing how many grants you secured within your time at a company is equally compelling, and it shows your dedication to scouting for new grant opportunities.
Keep in mind that not all the money you’ve raised needs to come directly from grants. Combine the amounts from grants you won with other fundraising activities. In many cases, you likely contributed to the success of those events by creating engaging and persuasive copy for emails, newsletters, and other marketing collateral.
3. Don’t include every job on your resume
Employers want to see that you have the unique skills necessary to secure their company grants. Even if much of your work experience in grant writing is as a volunteer, it’s more important to include that on your resume than it is to include irrelevant experience and jobs.
In past roles not directly related to grant writing, you can highlight your collaboration skills, compliance experience, and specific industry knowledge. Reframe your experience to showcase your transferable skills. During an interview, you can always share more about jobs not listed on your resume, so there’s no need to worry about showing an experience gap.
4. Set yourself apart with valuable skills
Some experienced writers may be applying for a grant writer position. But, even if you don’t have as many years of writing under your belt, you can set yourself apart by focusing on different skills that may get noticed by the ATS.
One angle you can use in your resume is showcasing your technical skills. Grants with extensive data and research are more compelling and more likely to win funding. Demonstrated experience in analytics tools, in analyzing opportunities, in reporting on progress, and in maintaining ongoing donor relationships with detailed reports can make your grant writer resume shine.
Meanwhile, you can showcase transferable skills from sales or business development by highlighting your networking abilities, sales figures, and conversion rates from leads to won deals. These teams also collaborate with others across the organization, so you can demonstrate how your collaboration won more business or saved the organization money. These skills show your persuasive communication talents and your commitment to a unified vision.
Remember, your resume should highlight your skills and accomplishments, but it’s often accompanied by a portfolio of writing samples for a grant writer position.
5. Show a capacity to lead
Grant writers play a vital role in organizations, and often they’re charged to wear many hats to manage fundraising efforts. Demonstrating leadership and collaboration skills shows that you can self-manage and work well with others throughout the organization.
Securing funding often involves talking to a lot of people, and managerial experience can contribute to your success, even if you’re not directly managing anyone. Include information about projects you spearheaded, committees you led, or other roles that call for exemplary soft skills. These skills set you apart from those with strong writing skills but may not have the other grant writing skills needed.