A persuasive grant writer resume does exactly what a persuasive grant proposal does. Instead of asking for funding for your cause, this time you're convincing hiring managers that you’re the person for the job!
You’re ready to make a move and we are here to help. Resume.io offers a full range of resources for any job seeker, including writing guides and resume examples for 300+ professions. We also offer an easy-to-use resume builder.
This resume guide, along with the corresponding grant writer resume example will cover the following topics:
- What do grant writers do?
- How to write a grant writer resume (tips and tricks)
- The best format for a grant writer resume
- Advice on each section of your resume (summary, work history, education, skills)
- Professional resume layout and design hints.
What does a grant writer do?
Grant writers are people who work to help organizations or individuals receive grant funding. They research potential funders, write reports, and write proposals to try and secure grants. Grants may be offered by a government agency or a private organization.
Many grant writers work for nonprofit agencies that rely on grant money to continue to offer their programs. These nonprofit organizations may be schools, museums and arts groups, environmental and animal welfare agencies or any other social services or community-based program.
There are about 1.3 million charitable nonprofits in the United States the Council of Nonprofits reports. Grant money from foundations accounted for 16% of their budgets and corporate giving accounted for another 5%, GivingUSA found.
Grant writer job market and outlook
The median salary for a grant writer is about $50,000 a year working full time, according to Zippia. Some grant writers work as contractors and are paid a project fee for each complete grant proposal. Freelance grant writers who are in high demand and have expertise and experience can earn up to $100 an hour, but beginners can expect to start out at about $25 an hour, the Write Life says.
While there is no separate data for grant writers, take a look at these opposing facts, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:
- The market for writers overall will decline 2% from 2019-2029
- The market for technical writers will grow 7% in that same time period.
- The market for public relations and fundraising managers will grow 9%.
How to write a grant writer resume
Just like a grant proposal, a grant writer resume is a structured document. Before you get into the details, you need to know what sections compose your resume. Here are the elements your CV should include:
- The resume header
- The resume summary (aka profile or personal statement)
- The employment history section
- The resume skills section
- The education section
Before you start writing a grant, you do your research. Apply that principle here. Look into the organization you wish to write for. Find out their philosophy, focus, how they get their money and how they spend it. Learn about the staff, the hiring manager and your prospective boss. This information will help you direct your message appropriately and write in a tone and style that matches that of the organization.
The time you spend doing this will not only improve your application, it will help you leap your first hurdle: the Applicant Tracking System (ATS).
ATS software programs scan, sort and assess resumes for human resources departments. There are dozens of these designed specifically for nonprofits. The organizations you apply to are likely to use one of these systems to narrow the range of candidates to a manageable few.
There’s no guaranteed method of leaping this hurdle, but there are ways to improve your chances. This is where your research will help you. Review the listing or the organization’s website looking for the job requirements. Organically incorporate as many of the same nouns, verbs and modifiers in your resume text as possible. Make sure you use your own language and context. You want the text of your grant writer resume to flow naturally and to have your voice.
Choosing the best resume format for grant writing
Unless you have a compelling reason to do otherwise, the standard reverse chronological order resume format is your best choice. That means that within your employment history section, you will begin with your most recent position and work your way backward. If you have a portfolio and you use Resume.io’s online resume builder tool, you can link the two documents directly.
However, if you have taken a more circuitous path to your current position, you may consider the the hybrid format which begins with the skills section and features a shorter employment history. This alternative are also useful if you are just entering the job market or are a mature job seeker.
Unless you are a scientist or work in a highly technical field, the functional resume format should not be your first choice. It offers a means to emphasize niche or highly complex skills by expanding the skills section and reducing the employment history section in exchange.
We highly recommend that grant writers go with the reverse chronological order resume format.
Resume summary example: persuasive paragraph
Your grant writer resume will consist mostly of bulleted lists, but your summary gives you a chance to show off your persuasive writing skills. You have about four lines of text in which to explain why you are the grant writer who will get the funding the organization needs.
Highlight a successful grant proposal with details including the project it funded, how much you were awarded and how you discovered the grant opportunity. Spend a sentence discussing your field of expertise and why you’re passionate about it. A great grant writer resume summary complements the rest of your document without repeating it and leaves the hiring manager wanting to know something more about you.
If you’re having trouble finding inspiration for your summary (since it’s the most free-form writing section on your resume), you can find additional writing material in our other resume examples . The consultant resume sample is a good alternate example, or if you are looking for a contract position, our freelance writer resume example will guide you.
See the resume example text for a summary below.
Experienced and effective Grant Writer with several years of experience helping organizations secure funds for important causes. Highly experienced in fundraising and networking, with the mission of a company at the forefront of my strategies. Bringing forth a passion for helping companies to achieve goals, and a proven track record of finding and securing funding sources.
Employment history resume sample: proof positive
No matter how great of a summary writer you are, the real proof is in what you have accomplished. The employment history section of your grant writer resume tells recruiters what you have achieved and that you know how to do the job they need to fill.
Gather as many details and data as you can that apply directly to the position you seek. Think about how you can frame your job responsibilities as successes rather than duties. If you were part of a group accomplishment, that counts too.
You can find a grant writer employment history resume sample below.
- Researched and developed grant proposals for foundations, government agencies and corporate philanthropies.
- Helped to raise 900K in funds for new and advanced continuing education programs.
- Maintained tracking systems for submitted proposals, and fostered relationships with benefactors.
- Worked closely with program staff to ensure grant objectives were met.
Resume skills example: the right words
What does it take to be an excellent grant writer? The skills section of your grant writer resume gives the highlights of your answer to that question and takes into account what your prospective employer seeks (which will help you beat the ATS).
This section should contain 4-7 of the skills that distinguish you from other candidates. Try to blend hard skills such as your subject expertise with soft skills like your ability to juggle several grant proposals at once.
Here are the top skills the nonprofit consultancy Richard Male and Associates tell their clients to look for:
- Passionate writing
- Clarity and conciseness
- Limited use of jargon
- Expertise in the organization and issues
- Process orientation
- Good listening
- Able to follow directions
- Research skills
- Management of the entire grant process
You will find a skills section resume sample below.
- Grant Writing Expertise
- Excellent Communication Skills
- Networking Skills
- Financial Planning
- Strategic Thinking
- Project Management Skills
Grant writer CV education example
In your education section of your CV, you will list all your degrees. There are no formal degree requirements for grant writers, but most have some level of education above a high school diploma. If you have earned any degree above a bachelor’s, feel free to exclude your high school experience.
Some grant writers have taken courses to hone their craft and may have earned a certification. If that is the case, add that information to your CV here.
See resume example content below for a formatting suggestion.
- 2009-2011 Washington State University, MBA Seattle, WA
- 2005-2009 University of Oregon, Bachelor of Marketing Eugene, OR
Resume layout and design: make an impression
Yes, you’re a word person, but pictures count too. In fact, the first impression recruiters will get of you is the layout and design of your grant writer resume. Make sure they get to the words by creating a professional image from the start. Here are some guidelines to help you get there:
- Go easy on your reader’s eyes by leaving plenty of white space. Bullet points help, as do varying the line lengths.
- Resist the temptation to narrow the margins or lower the type size to fit in more of your amazing accomplishments. If it’s too hard to read, your carefully crafted bullet items won’t matter.
- Proofread, or use an online resume builder that includes spellcheck.
The header is one of the most important places to make your resume stand out as professional and attractive. The right font choices and color scheme can go a long way in helping you fit in with the company's tone and image. You can get a head start on formatting by using a professionally-designed resume template .
Key takeaways for a grant writer resume
- Your persuasive writing skills will give you a boost in convincing hiring managers to grant you an interview.
- Target your message to your prospective employer and help get your resume past the ATS.
- Make sure to quantify the results of your work in the employment history – success metrics define you as a grant writer!
- Don't forget to make your name and contact information easy to find inside of an attractive header section.
- Check out our grant writer resume sample for more layout and design insights.