Starting Your Job Search

Getting the job you want often begins with writing a strong cover letter that effectively conveys your skills and experience to a potential employer. This workshop covers best practices on how to make a great first impression to an employer by telling your story in a powerful, but concise manner.

Watch our Cover Letter Training here. This training was recorded September 2019.


  • Research the employer before writing your cover letter and make the letter specific to the organization and position you are applying for.
  • Relate your experience to the required skills and qualifications listed in the job description.
  • Use your cover letter as a draw to entice the reader to check out your resume, do not simply restate what is already on your resume.

Add Your Most Recent Position & Review Past Positions

You’ve spent the past few months, the past year devoted to working to get your candidate elected. Now, it’s time for you to highlight (and give yourself a pat on the back) for everything you accomplished. Be real, honest, and proud of the work that you did.

TIP: It’s important to know what the industry is currently looking for and where it is headed towards. Have someone who currently has the position, or at least in the same industry, you are applying to review your resume. This will allow you to gain insight into how you should be thinking about your resume and job search.


On average, employers spend about one minute reviewing a person’s resume. For organizations that use Applicant Tracking Systems, your resume will not be reviewed by a person until it passes an algorithm. To increase your chances of having your resume be read, tailor your content with specific examples that tell  your professional story in a cohesive narrative. Do not list a series of tasks you accomplished.
  • Use Key Words: Review the job description and see which words are commonly used. Use apps like Wordle or TagCrowd to figure out which words the position highlights. For example, if you are applying for an Organizing Director role, use words that are related to that position such as managing a team of five organizers, knowledge of NGP VAN, etc.
  • Check Spelling and Grammar: Misspellings can cause your resume to be overlooked. Typos also show lack of attention to detail. Additionally, some organizations use applicant tracking systems to pick up keywords on your application. Have a friend, former coworker, family member, etc. review your resume before you submit!
  • Tell Your Story: Your content should best portray your experiences, how your experiences are tied to the role you’re applying for, and why you stand out. Things you want to ask yourself include: Are there key metrics or projects that you want to highlight? What are some new skills that you gained that are specific to the role and recognized as an asset in your field?
  • Have Multiple Versions of Your Resume: If you’re moving from campaigns to advocacy, there will be very few edits to make. However, if you’re moving onto the private sector, you cannot assume that the employer is familiar with what you do. Or, if you’re trying to move from an Organizing position to a Communications role, you want to show how the skills are related and transferable.Having multiple versions of your resume not only makes your work experience more understandable to the reader but better highlights how your skills and experiences are applicable to the role.For each position that you apply for, submit a tailored resume that reflects how your skills and experiences are applicable to the role.

Style and Formatting

Remember, at the very end, your resume will be read by a human being. Have your resume styled and formatted so it is easy to read while sharing the main points about your story and work.
  • Easy to Read: Use standard fonts (i.e. Arial) and readable font sizes (i.e. 12). Do not cram text or put in unnecessary graphics. Remember, your final resume will be read by a human being.
  • Use Standard Heading: This allows applicant tracking systems to easily separate your work experiences from your contact information, education, and skill set. It also tells the recruiter your professional story. Keep in mind that unless you are a recent college graduate your Education section needs to be at the bottom. You want to highlight your professional experiences.
  • Save Your Resume in an Appropriate Format: Do not save your resume as “resume” but have it include your first and last name. Generally, you want to save and upload your resume as a PDF. This will help prevent any changes to your formatting. Some organizations prefer Word Docs. Check out what files the organizations accept prior to submission.
  • Appropriate Length: Generally, your resume should be one page, but it can be over one page (usually two pages) if you have a considerable amount of work experience of about 8+ years. The exception to the page-length rule is if you are applying for government jobs (i.e. USAJobs), wherein detailing every position that you’ve ever held is used to your advantage

TIP: Similar to your tailored resumes, keep copies of your tailored cover letters. When you receive interview invitations, review the tailored resumes and cover letters that you submitted and compare them to the job description to identify what are similarities within each piece that is leading employers to be interested in you as a job candidate. This will help you understand what makes you stand out.

A 2014 study from TheLadders found that the average recruiter spends six seconds reviewing a resume. With a single job opening receiving 50 to 100 applicants, or even more, it’s becoming harder for candidates to stand out.

Having a strong resume that effectively tells your story and experience, however, can increase your chances of being considered.

Watch our Resume Workshop! This was recorded in February 2019.

What is the difference between networking and networks? How can I maintain my current networks? These are all common questions that many workers, new and veterans, have around networking.

Check out our latest Networking Training to find the answers! This was recorded in July 2019.


Most political professionals will eventually ask themselves, “Do I need to move to Washington, D.C. to move my career forward?” During this virtual discussion we covered the pros and cons of moving to DC and offered tips on how to make the move, if you have decided to relocate.

Watch the discussion from 2017 here.

Interested in starting a career in politics but don’t know where to start? This training goes over the wide range of opportunities available in the fields of politics, advocacy, and government.

Check out this 2019 webinar which covers what political jobs are available, how you can get started, and industry trends that you should be aware of.

How to Prepare for Job Interviews

Thinking about applying for a job? Have an interview lined up? This workshop covers the various stages of interviews, how to prepare for each stage, and share general best practices and tips to help you land your dream position!

Watch the training here! The conversation was recorded April 2019.

Check to see if you are available at the time and date requested.
  • Promptly respond to confirm your availability. If you are unavailable, suggest a few new dates and times.
  • If you have an emergency and cannot make the interview time, reach out to your main point of contact immediately. Once the interview is locked, set up a calendar reminder.
Ask the main point of contact for information about the interview
  • What is the format?
  • How long is the interview?
  • How will the interview be conducted? How many individuals will I be interviewing with?
  • Is there anything that I can do to prepare for the technical assignment?
  • Can you provide parking information?
  • Once the interview time is locked, set up a calendar reminder.
  • Do your background research on the organization. Write down examples of your past work that you can reference. Practice (with a friend) on responding to interview questions.
  • Check your tech equipment prior to the interview.

  • Download applications.
  • Check your sound, video, and internet speed.
Research the Organization Take time to research the organization and the person you are interviewing with. What are some of their latest projects? What are some trends that you see in their social media? Check Your Tech Equipment
  • Download applications (i.e. Zoom) prior to the interview.
  • Check your microphone and internet speed.
  • Keep a spare set of headphones next to you.
  • Charge devices.
Tell me about yourself. TIP: Interviewers do not want to hear your entire life story but highlights of your work experience and skills that are relevant to the position that you are interviewing for. Iterate your interest in the position and organization and share how you see this as an opportunity for both you and the organization. Why are you interested in working for XYZ candidate? TIP: If you’re interviewing to work on a campaign, expect to be asked this question. Share what aspects of the candidate and/or their campaign that inspires you. Do they have policy positions that you strongly support? Are they closely connected to your community? What interests you about this job? TIP: There are multiple people interviewing for this role. Use this question to your advantage by highlighting aspects that intrigue you. Does this position offer a new set of tools that you can work with? Does it expound upon skills that you developed in your previous workplace? What questions do you have for me? TIP: Always come to an interview with a set of questions that you’d like to ask the interviewer. Interviews are a two-way street, so use this opportunity to learn more about the position, team, culture, etc.

Tips for Each Interview Stage

Thinking about applying for a job? Have an interview lined up? This workshop covers the various stages of interviews, how to prepare for each stage, and share general best practices and tips to help you land your dream position!

Watch the training here! The conversation was recorded April 2019.

Phone interviews are usually the first stage of the interview process. During this round, you’ll speak with a recruiter, operations staff member, or general staff member to assess your overall skill set. Be expected to answer basic questions about yourself, why you’re interested in the position, share more about your skill set, and learn more about the position itself.

  • Choose a quiet space with strong phone reception.
  • Charge your phone beforehand.
  • Have your resume in front of you. You resume can serve as a reference to help jog your memory about various projects that you’ve worked on.
  • Have an internal “shot-clock” when responding to the interviewer’s questions. Be wary of rambling. Provide room for dialogue.

Phone interviews tend to be around 30 minutes. If longer, the interviewer will let you know. Before the interview concludes, ask the interviewer for information about next steps.

The interviewer should be in touch with you within a week of the interview. If you do not hear back after a week passes, send an email to the interviewer.

After you pass the first stage, you most likely will be scheduled a video interview. During this stage, you’ll speak with usually the manager or senior member of your team. The goal of the interview is to assess your technical background and see how it matches with the overall position. Anticipate being asked more in-depth questions. You may be interviewed by multiple team members or even being interviewed twice by two different team members.

Video interviews tend to be longer ranging from 45 minutes to one hour.

This stage can occur anytime throughout the interview but generally occurs before or after the second stage of the interview process (i.e. video interview). The technical interview is designed to assess your technical background. Usually you’ll be given a short time frame to submit the assignment.

Depending on the role that you are applying for, you’ll be given different tests. For example, if you are interviewing for a digital organizing role, you may be asked to draft a sample email along with social media messages in response to a specific prompt. If programming, you can request for the language that you want to test in.

A great resource for folks interviewing for data jobs is 

The in-person interview can range in length, depending on how many people you are interviewing with and what the position is. If you are interviewing for a mid-to-senior level role, expect to interview with at least two different people, including an HR representative/Operations staff and your hiring manager.

Some organizations may require you to come to two onsite interviews but most places expect you to interview in person at least once. Onsite interviews range from an hour to five hours. For each hour, you’ll be speaking to a different individual or a different team.

  • Before your interview, ask your main point of contact, usually the recruiter, to provide you information about the duration, the format of the interview (i.e. lunch interview, group, panel, individual, etc.) who you are interviewing with and how many people you are interviewing with, how to prepare if you are anticipating technical questions, where to park, and more.
  • Dress appropriately for the position that you are interviewing for. For instance, if you are interviewing for an organizing position, there’s no need to dress up in a suit and tie. If anything, the hiring manager is looking for someone in more casual attire, which reflects the work environment.
  • Arrive 10-15 minutes prior to the interview.
  • Be polite to everyone you meet, including the receptionist.
  • Have an internal shot-clock when responding to the interviewers’ questions. Some answers require longer answers than others.
  • Thank the interviewers for their time and receive information on what the next steps will be.

REMINDER: During your onsite interview, be prepared to be asked about what your salary requirements are for the position.

Negotiating your job offer is one of the hardest conversations that you will have in your career. To make the conversation successful, we highly encourage you to review and negotiate the entire job offer not just salary.

A comprehensive outlook on the cost of living, average salaries, benefits, and more will give you a better idea of what you want to prioritize.

Check out our 2019 Training here.


Growth & Development

Financial planning and wealth management is an often overlooked subject that doesn’t get the attention it deserves, but we aim to change that. Hear from our special guest Gerald Loftin, the President of the Association of African American Financial Advisors, and the Principal of Proficient Wealth Counselors, LLC, share his thoughts and advice for those seeking to build long-term financial stability.

Watch the 2018 chat with Gerald here.

Working in the political sector can burn you out. Listen to our 2018 conversation with Greg Cendana for tips on how you can prioritize your well-being!

Greg Cendana is a Co-Founder of Inclusv and President and Co-Founder of Can’t Stop! Won’t Stop! Consulting. Greg was the first openly gay and youngest-ever Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance and Institute for Asian Pacific American Leadership & Advancement.

Trying to move from a mid to senior level role but don’t know how? Check out our 2017 Q&A with Ophelia Basgal to receive tips and advice!

Ophelia B. Basgal is a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, Terner Center for Housing Innovation and a Senior Executive Consultant with InclusionINC. Prior to her current positions, Ophelia was the Regional Administrator for the U.S. Department of Housing Urban Development and Vice President for Community Affairs at PG&E, a Fortune 200 utility company.

Ashley Robinson, Founder and Principal of the BLUE Institute, covers a diverse set of topics, including the challenges that she has faced as a woman of color and how she’s overcome them, and building your career when you are in a red or purple state.

Check out our 2018 conversation with Ashley here!

Q&As with Leaders of Color

If you ever have to pitch reporters, speak on the record, or create content, this is the 2017 training to watch.

Michele Watley and Jorge Silva are communications rockstars who’ve fought deep in the trenches and have the battle scars to prove it. Jorge is the VP of Communications at Latino Victory Project. He most recently served as National Director for Hispanic Media for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Michele is the Director of Advocacy at the ACLU of Kansas and Founder of The Griot Group. She most recently served as the National African American Outreach Political Director for Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign.

Tune into our Q&A with Michele and Jorge here!

Watch our 2018 conversation with Adria where she discussed the pros and cons of working in the non-profit sector, shared tips for staying up to date on the latest trends in digital advocacy, and answered questions from Inclusv members on how they can make a lateral move into communications from another career field.

Adria Marquez is the Director of Digital Advocacy and Communications at the Motion Picture Association of America.

Human Resources Directors bring a unique perspective to the questions that our members have about the hiring process and handling intra-office conflicts as a person of color. Denelle Robinson, HR Director at EMILY’s List spent an hour answering our members questions on these topics and others, as well as answering questions about the work that EMILY’s List is doing in 2017.

Watch our Q&A with Denelle here.

This virtual training covered the basics of working on Capitol Hill, including an overview of positions in congressional offices and their responsibilities, salary expectations, and the hiring process. We were joined by special guest Sarah Garcia, the Senior Counsel to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Listen to our 2017 chat with Sarah to learn how you can get started!

For this conversation we were joined by Neal Carter, Founder and Principal of Nu View Consulting, the only political consulting firm that is both Black and Disabled owned. We covered a wide range of topics, from getting started in consulting, to Nu View’s history, and the importance of mentoring those coming behind us.

Watch our 2019 conversation with Neal here.

Labor unions have spearheaded the fights for living wages, healthcare benefits, access to higher education, and more. Tune in to hear from veteran political strategist Jai Sookprasert on where the movement is headed, why it is imperative for a new generation of young leaders to join the movement, and how you can get involved. Watch the 2017 Q&A with Jai here.

Jai is the Assistant Director of Governmental Relations for the California School Employees Association (AFL-CIO). He represents 230,000 classified school employees (i.e. school bus drivers, custodians) in public schools and colleges across California.

During this 2017 webinar, we were joined Chuck Rocha. Chuck is the President of Solidarity Strategies and Founder of the National Association of Diverse Consultants. He previously served as a Senior Advisor to the Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign.

Watch our chat with Chuck here.


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It’s no secret that we need more Black women and women of color in the fundraising space! Check out our webinar with Sierra Kelley-Chung, Development Manager at America Votes, to learn how you can get started and what we can do to support fundraisers of color.

Watch our 2018 chat with Sierra here!

Coming soon!

It’s no secret that we need more Black women and women of color in the fundraising space! Check out our webinar with Sierra Kelley-Chung, Development Manager at America Votes, to learn how you can get started and what we can do to support fundraisers of color.

Watch our 2018 chat with Sierra here!

To say that we are living in interesting times would be a monumental understatement. During this webinar we are joined by Sylvia Ruiz, Political Director of Let America Vote, who shares her journey as an advocate and provides guidance and tips for longtime veterans and those new to the fight on organizing in right to work states and the Trump era.

Tune in to our 2017 conversation with Sylvia here.

To close out the year we held a chat to celebrate the work that we did as a movement and as individuals in 2017, and discussed our plans for next year. We were joined by special guest A’shanti Gholar, Political Director of Emerge America, who discussed best practices for managing first time candidates, recruiting someone to run for office, and mobilizing voters, and she shared her thoughts on the states and races to watch next year.

Watch our 2017 conversation with A’shanti here.

Fellowship and Training Opportunities Q&As

Emmy Ruiz talks to Inclusv members about the Blue Leadership Collaborative, a paid, pilot fellowship that trains women and people of color for a period of three months on how to become campaign managers.

Watch our chat with Emmy about the Blue Leadership Collaborative Fellowship! The recording took place in March 2019.

Learn more about the Blue Leadership Collaborative here.

The Kairos Fellowship is a eight-month, paid, digital-tech fellowship for people of color! During this Q&A, we spoke with Kairos Program Manager, Eric Borja, and 2018 Kairos Fellow, Shireen Nori.

Watch the Kairos Fellowship Q&A here. This was recorded April 2019.

For the latest details on the fellowship, visit Kairos Fellowship here.

All photos used in the Training Hub are accredited to People of Color in Tech.