A resume is a concise document designed to highlight an individual’s relevant work experience, skills, and qualifications for a specific job. Unlike a CV, resumes are typically shorter, usually limited to one to two page. Resumes are widely used in the nonprofit and human rights world and are tailored for specific job applications. They include sections such as a summary or objective statement, work experience, education, skills, and achievements. Resumes are crafted to quickly and effectively communicate the candidate’s suitability for a particular position and are a standard tool for job seekers in various industries. In this article you will learn how you can create your human rights resume.
Let’s first have a look what a typical resume contains or jump to 5 steps to create your own human rights resume. Already drafted your resume, head on to our checklist. If you are looking for guidance on cover letters, we’ve got you covered as well. Also consider exploring our growing job profiles directory.
The example below is for a human rights educator.
Your Name, Your Address, Your Email Address, Your Phone Number
Dedicated Human Rights Educator with a proven track record of developing participatory learning journeys that equip learners with the tools and skills to take action for human rights. Adept at designing, scaling and delivering human rights training programs with a focus on a diverse, global audiences. Seeking a challenging position to leverage my skills in human rights training, education and evaluation to help facilitate innovation in the human rights education sector.
Human Rights Training Specialist | XYZ Organization, Country | MM/YYYY – Present
- Developed and implement human rights training programs for staff, community groups, and stakeholders.
- Designed learner-centered, participatory, accessible and action-oriented learning journeys for global participants in tailor-made learning formats
- Utilized a variety of methodologies and e-learning formats from massive open online courses to nano-learning to enhance learning outcomes
- Trained, supported and advised organization staff globally on e-learning production, LMS and authoring tools
- Kept abreast of e-learning innovations and online learning trends that can be utilized to enhance HRE Programme goals
- Evaluated the effectiveness of training initiatives through participant feedback and measurable outcomes
Human Rights Education Coordinator | ABC Nonprofit, Country | MM/YYYY – MM/YYYY
- Conducted educational sessions on human rights for diverse audiences, including schools, community centers, and advocacy groups.
- Created educational materials, including presentations, manuals, and multimedia resources.
- Collaborated with local schools to integrate human rights education into the curriculum.
- Organized awareness campaigns and events to promote human rights awareness within the community.
Web content and Social media manager | XYZ Nonprofit, Country | MM/YYYY – MM/YYYY
- Developed innovative social media strategies for organizations’s campaigns
- Drafted online communication materials and ensure effective SEO activities
Master of Human Rights | University Name, Country | Graduation Date
Thesis: Nano-learning as a tool for Human Rights Education
Bachelor of Literature | University Name, Country | Graduation Date
|Articulate Storyline Rise 360
|10+ years experience
- English: fluent
- Spanish: intermediate
- Russian: beginner
5 steps to develop your own human rights resume
Developing a compelling human rights resume involves highlighting your relevant experience, education, skills, and certifications. What exactly goes into the human rights resume, is defined by the requirements of the job description. While your working experience, education and skills are always a good choice you might want to focus on additional aspects depending on the job you are applying for.
- Does the role specifically mention computer skills or tech skills? Put more focus on relevant tools that you are using.
- Does the role highlight inter-personal skills? Provide examples of how you have demonstrated these skills in your previous work/education.
- Does the role refer strongly to language skills? Feature the languages you speak more prominently.
Overall you want to put the most relevant experience and/or education at the top of your resume. Imagine your resume as being the direct response to the job description and requirements. Does the dialogue make sense? Does it fit? Or are you talking about something different?
#1 Analyze the job description
When crafting a tailored human rights resume, the first step is a in-depth analysis of the job description and the organization you are applying for. This process involves reviewing the requirements outlined in the job description to identify key skills, qualifications, and responsibilities sought by the employer. Additionally, understanding the organization’s values, mission, and any related initiatives it is involved in can provide valuable insights for aligning the resume with the organizations culture.
#2 Match your qualifications with the requirements
Nothing is more important in your human rights resume, than matching your qualifications, experience and skills with the requirements in the job description. Recruiters want to ensure that you come with the right education and experience to excel in your job. Even if you are at the beginning of your human rights journey there are plenty of ways how you can frame your experience to be a good match for the requirements. Below are some examples how the same experience can be tweaked for different roles.
Let’s assume you have completed an internship in the comms department of a human rights organization. Your main tasks were writing content for the website, managing social media and maintaining the website. You’ve had plenty of other minor tasks but in your resume you will only pick the 4-6 bullet points that best match the job you are applying for.
|Base examples (need to be made quantifiable, see next chapter)
|Experience in Advocacy
These are some examples of how the same working experience can be tweaked to different roles. Another common strategy is to use similar jargon or terminology as in the job description to demonstrate that you are a good match for the organization. If there are multiple ways of saying the same things, pick the one that the organization is using in the job description, the website or its reports. It can be a good preparation to spend some time reading the publications of the organization so can adopt some of the wording.
#3 Use strong action verbs
To make your resume shine, it is important that you use action verbs. Action verbs, also known as power verbs, are words that express an action. In a resume or professional context, action verbs are used to describe specific tasks, achievements, and responsibilities, adding strength and clarity to your document. Using action verbs helps create a more impactful and engaging resume by providing a vivid picture of your contributions and skills. Below is a list of action verbs that are common in human rights resumes.
You can find more action verbs simply by searching online. Make sure you use a diverse array of action verbs and avoid repetitions. Ideally you use each action verb once. You can use several action verbs in the beginning of a bullet point if it doesn’t make your sentences too long e.g. “Monitored, analyzed and evaluated human rights trends in…”.
#4 Make your achievements quantifiable
Try to make your achievements quantifiable as much as possible. Quantifying your achievements provides concrete evidence of your impact and contributions in previous roles. It allows human rights recruiters and employers to see the tangible results of your efforts. Numbers and specific metrics add credibility to your claims. It’s one thing to say you accomplished a task; it’s more compelling to provide quantifiable evidence of success.
|Developed and delivered human rights training programs.
|Conducted 20+ training sessions reaching over 500 participants.
|Led advocacy campaigns for policy changes.
|Mobilized a network of 1,000 supporters, resulting in three policy changes within six months.
|Researched and analyzed human rights violations in specific regions.
|Contributed to three published reports providing insights on human rights issues.
|Managed social media platforms for human rights awareness.
|Increased social media engagement by 50% and grew followers by 1,000 in six months.
#5 Ask peers, family or friends for feedback
Seeking feedback on your resume from peers, family, or friends is crucial as it provides valuable perspectives beyond your own. They can offer insights into clarity, relevance, and overall impression, helping you identify blind spots or areas for improvement. Feedback from others ensures your resume is comprehensible to a diverse audience of human rights recruiters and aligns with professional expectations. It also helps catch errors and ensures that your key strengths and achievements are effectively communicated, ultimately enhancing the overall impact of your job application.
#6 Save it as a template for further customization
Many human rights jobs will have roughly similar requirements and you can reuse bullet points, phrases, etc. in the future. Saving a resume as a template allows for efficient and consistent customization for similar job applications in the future. Templates serve as a foundational framework, preserving the formatting, structure, and styling elements. This approach streamlines the process of tailoring your resume to specific roles by eliminating the need to recreate the entire document. It ensures that essential information remains intact while providing the flexibility to update what is necessary. Please note that each resume should be 100% tailored to the job before you send it. Recruiters will likely stop reading if your resume is too generic.
The checklist below can help you improve your resume further. The goal is to look at your own resume through different perspectives that are relevant for human rights recruiters.
Formatting and Structure:
- Clear and professional layout. Avoid colorful or confusing layouts. Just use a standard word document.
- Consistent formatting (font, spacing, bullet points).
- Proper use of headings and subheadings especially sizing.
- Chronological order of work experiences and education. The most relevant comes first.
- Updated and accurate contact details.
- Professional email address.
- LinkedIn profile (if applicable).
Objective or Summary:
- Concise and targeted objective or summary statement.
- Clearly states your career goals and aspirations in human rights.
- List of relevant educational qualifications.
- Mention of degrees, institutions, and graduation dates.
- Any honors, awards, or relevant coursework.
- Comprehensive listing of relevant work experiences.
- Detailed descriptions of responsibilities and achievements.
- Use of action verbs to highlight accomplishments.
- Specific examples demonstrating human rights advocacy or related skills.
- Skills section highlighting relevant technical and soft skills.
- Specific human rights-related skills.
- Quantifiable achievements that showcase impact.
- Clear demonstration of results in previous roles.
- Alignment of accomplishments with the requirements of the job.
Volunteer or Internship Experience:
- Inclusion of any volunteer work or internships related to human rights.
- Description of contributions and impact in these roles.
Certifications and Training:
- Listing of relevant certifications and training programs.
- Mention of any human rights-related workshops or courses attended.
- Indication of language proficiency relevant to the position.
- Mention of any additional languages spoken.
Tailoring for the Job:
- Customization of the resume to align with the specific job description. Are your bullet points an adequate response to the job requirements?
- Inclusion of keywords from the job posting. Using the same or very similar jargon and terminology.
- Highlighting experiences and skills most relevant to the human rights position.
- Mention of references or a statement that references are available upon request.
- Ensure contact information for references is up-to-date.
- Thorough proofreading for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.
- Consistent use of verb tense (past tense for past experiences, present tense for current role).
- Professional and clean design.
- Easy to read and comprehend at a glance.
- Positive and impactful overall impression.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully many of your questions are already answered by now. However, there are some questions that frequently come up that we haven’t covered yet.
Should I include a photo?
No. Including a photo can introduce bias into the hiring process. Employers should make hiring decisions based on qualifications, not on a candidate’s physical appearance, race, age, gender, or other characteristics. A photo can inadvertently lead to bias, even if unintentional.
How long should it be?
Keep it short. Human rights resumes should be concise and to the point. Avoid lengthy bullet points or excessive details that may overwhelm the reader. 1-2 pages is enough. Also make sure there is a visually appealing amount of white space. If the page looks overwhelming recruiters might not read it.
Is punctuation important?
Neglecting proper formatting, grammar, and proofreading can quickly get you screened out. Ensure your resume is well-structured and free from errors. How do you end your bullet points? Do they all have a dot at the end? If you struggle finding such errors, ask for help. If your resume is full of mistakes, recruiters might conclude that you are careless in your job too.
Can I exaggerate to better match the job description?
Be honest about your qualifications and experiences. Avoid making false claims, as they can be easily verified. Recruiters will notice very quickly if your materials are not genuine. Be prepared for additional questions in your interview regarding everything you’ve mentioned in your resume.
How to deal with rejections?
The journey to your dream role is a process, and setbacks are part of the path to success. Use each application as an opportunity to learn, refine, and showcase your strengths. Rejections are not reflections of your worth but stepping stones toward the right opportunity. Stay resilient, stay true to yourself, and keep pushing forward. Every effort you invest today brings you closer to your professional goals. Embrace the journey, celebrate your growth, and believe in the incredible potential you bring to the table.