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If you want a graduate job that makes a difference, the charity sector is the perfect choice. Discover how to forge a career out of a cause you’re passionate about, from international development and animal welfare through to health and the environment.
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Welcome to the third sector

The charity sector, the not-for-profit sector, the third sector… this sector might have a few different names, but it is united by one central purpose: supporting a cause. You could work for a charity, foundation (a charity with the purpose of funding other charities), NGO (a non-governmental organisation), social enterprise (a business that uses its profits to benefit society) or an international governmental organisation, such as a United Nations body.

You’ll also need to consider what role you would like to have. Would you rather be involved in fundraising, research and policy, lobbying, or humanitarian work? Or would you prefer a corporate role, such as marketing, finance or IT?

Search for opportunities in charity: graduate jobs | graduate schemes | internships

Finding a charity job

A few charity employers run graduate schemes (sometimes called training schemes, which are also open to non-graduates). Often, though, you’ll be applying for entry-level jobs that anyone can apply for. Our advice will help you understand your job options after university.

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Getting stuck in

Start by volunteering

Competition for charity jobs can be tough and most employers will value experience over degree backgrounds and qualifications. You’re unlikely to gain this through a formal work experience, though. While a handful of charities and not-for-profit organisations offer internships, they’re in the minority and even fewer are paid. Usually, they are voluntary internships. You can find a list of employers who have previously offered voluntary internships here .

You don’t need to stick to voluntary internships, either. Look for local voluntary work or you could consider volunteering abroad. Get started with our article on voluntary work and how to find it .

Where does your heart lie?

Choosing your field

Do you want to specialise in a particular field? Explore your options and hear from experienced charity workers to help you decide.

Play to your strengths

Explore job roles

There’s more than one job role in the charity sector, so you’ll need to consider which role you’d most enjoy and would suit your skills set.

How to apply to charity employers

If you’re applying to a small charity, they may just ask you to email a CV and covering letter. But if you’re going for a graduate scheme with a bigger charity, you’ll likely need to complete an online application and tests.

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Free e-learning for students

Learn more with online mini courses

Take a look at our Pathways – short, interactive courses – for a different way of developing career-related skills and knowledge. Pick a topic and you’ll learn all about it in approximately 30 minutes through videos, quizzes and real-world activities. If you’re exploring career options right now, why not try our Pathway on generating career ideas. If you’d like to develop your skills, we have courses on teamwork, commercial awareness, problem solving and more. And for help with the recruitment process, we have a Pathway for every step of the way, from writing a master CV through to attending an assessment centre.

Employers in Charity

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Our top employers

Industry leaders with a large annual graduate intake.

Featured employers

Active employers looking for graduate talent all year round.

And many more

Other employers who are active on targetjobs , regularly posting new opportunities and events during peak seasons.

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FAQs in charity

More careers advice

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Advice for school leavers

Discover the world of options open to you on finishing school or college and get tips on how to make the right decision for you.

CVs, applications and tests

Find the tools and tips you need to help you apply for graduate jobs or internships. We cover every aspect of the application process, from writing a CV to answering online application questions and sitting psychometric tests.

Career ideas

Find advice for figuring out your dream career, including what options are available to you after graduating and how to choose the right graduate role.

Finding a job

Finding a job isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Here we help you to jump potential hurdles, giving essential advice for home and international students: from applying in tough economic times to getting a top graduate job with a 2.2.


Completing an internship allows you to sharpen your skills, improve your CV, prepare for the world of work and potentially land yourself a graduate job. Discover what internships actually involve, how to apply for them and how to make the most of them.

Interviews and assessment centres

You impressed on paper; now it’s time to show the employer in person that you’re the right hire. Learn how to do this with our expert advice for answering interview questions, developing interview techniques and acing assessment centre exercises.

Job descriptions

Discover the qualifications, skills and experience you’ll need for more than 300 job roles and find one you’ll love.

Job offers and working life

Job offers, rejection emails and stepping into the working world with your first graduate job can pull you in a million directions. Fortunately, we’ve curated advice on how to accept job offers, bounce back from rejection and make an impact in your first job.

Skills for getting a job

Discover the skills that major graduate employers seek and how you can demonstrate them on your application form, and at interviews and assessment centres.

University life

Wanting to leave uni with a degree is a given. But what do you want from the other bits of student life? Discover how to combine study, rest, work and play with our insights from students and graduates.

advice by sector

Which career interests you?