More Than Job Descriptions

Folks, your LinkedIn profile and résumé should have more than job descriptions on them.  Anyone can google “Assistant Director of Development” and they’ll easily find the following:


  • Emphasis on discovery visits and portfolio building is expected.
  • Conduct at least 150 strategic moves with prospects and donors per year, and participate in a minimum of 15 solicitations per year.
  • Gather data, assess prospects, and develop strategies designed to realize the current and life-time giving potential of individual prospects.
  • Ensure consistent and appropriate contact, facilitate or make solicitations, and ensure effective stewardship.
  • Maintain accurate and current records, document activity, and share with Executive Director, Dean and other staff and development colleagues as necessary for transparency.
  • Identify, and formally qualify new major and planned gift prospects by developing and executing long-range and short-range strategies and plans to identify, cultivate, solicit and steward prospects, producing a continuous stream of donors capable of making gifts of $100,000 or more to the UMSN.
  • Partner with the Executive Director of Development and External Relations as well as University Development colleagues to develop, plan and execute a successful capital campaign.
  • Develop and maintain strong relationships with academic and other unit colleagues on campus, by demonstrating leadership in the development community.
  • Volunteer management: Assist with volunteer structures in recruiting and sustaining strong volunteer network to assist in prospect identification, cultivation, and solicitation, as well as to provide expanded opportunities for key prospects to engage with the School of Nursing and the University as a whole.
  • Participate in School of Nursing events as appropriate this includes but is not limited to campus-wide activities, on and off-campus donor activities, other nursing events, etc.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work to be performed and are not an exhaustive list of all associated responsibilities.

But, on my LinkedIn profile, my job summary reads as follows:

I am responsible for strategic planning as relates to annual giving for the School of Law. I have been able to innovatively begin the construction of a philanthropic culture, a culture which was virtually nonexistent in fiscal years of the past. A major aspect of this is reaching out to alumni regularly and developing relationships that will cause them to take ownership of the School and realize the need to support its endeavors. In addition, I research, write, solicit, and edit articles for the School’s annual alumni magazine “of Counsel,” as well as assist in its layout and printing, and oversee its distribution via mail and personal deliveries.
At the conclusion of my initial fiscal year with the School of Law, we saw a 152% increase from the previous record year’s close. With my support and input, within my first 5 months with the School, we have raised 108% of what had been raised annually over the past 5 years. Also, within that time period, I have increased engagement through social media by 64%. I pen all appeal letters, each of which has resulted in unprecedented giving from those statistically recorded in previous years. I have developed relationships with and penned proposals to companies and organizations that led to upwards of $50,000 in sponsorships in under 4 months.
Additionally, I travel to meet with donors and present them with different options that will allow them to support the School, after which I develop a plan of action for them to consider that aligns with their giving capacity and financial goals.

Your résumé and LinkedIn profiles are chances for you to shine.  It’s ok to brag.  If you did it or had a hand in its completion, say it.  And don’t be afraid to add in numbers.  Not just numbers saying “Managed 14 employees” but numbers that speak to how you increased revenue and efficiency for your organization.  When people are able to quantify your success, they’re more likely to hire you.  Anyone can Google your job description but what sets you apart is what you did on that job.


Make professional development a priority.


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