tips for yees part 1: working for encompass

Employment Spotlight—Tips for Young and Emerging Evaluators (YEEs) Part I: Working with EnCompass

EnCompass is proud to serve as a regional partner in the P2P+ effort. P2P+, founded by the World Bank Group, UNFPA, GEI, and others, seeks to address the technical and career advisory needs of young and emerging evaluators (YEEs) through a network of peer support. For EnCompass, this partnership demonstrates a continuation of our ongoing commitments to Eval4Action and support of the YEE community.

At P2P+’s first employer spotlight session, our EnCompass team members shared information on professional development opportunities and tips for those who are looking for work, as well as information about EnCompass, our many open positions, what we look for in candidates, and our unique culture of employment.

We work in numerous sectors, including Global Health, Gender and Inclusive Development, Education, Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance, and Agriculture and Food Security. In addition to our growing team of staff members, we regularly draw upon the talents of our global consulting network.

If you are a YEE wondering where to begin looking for work with EnCompass, here are some of the takeaways from our session.

Working with EnCompass

Please review our many open positions and apply for roles that are a good fit for your background and level of expertise. You should also join our Consultant Network. The consultant database is one of the first places our talent team turns when looking to fill new positions. You may also want to consider our internship program.

We also want you to be sure that EnCompass is the right place for you. Learn more about us and the approaches that make us unique, including the range of services we provide and our commitment to Appreciative Inquiry and whole-systems, participant-centered, and equity-focused work. The best positions are ones where you find not only the work you are interested in, but also an organization where the culture and values align with your own.

How to stand out in your employment application

YEEs are often asking what can set them apart when applying for a position. Here are some things we look for when screening candidates for our monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) work:

  • Experience working on MEL projects—all experience counts, e.g., short-term technical assistance, volunteer work, a MEL project you supported in an administrative capacity
  • Experience working with our clients—for EnCompass, this means the U.S. Government, particularly with USAID, the U.S. State Department and Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), UN organizations, and foundations
  • Strong qualitative or quantitative skills, with demonstrated ability to synthesize data
  • The ability to work with virtual and cross-cultural teams
  • Superior communication and facilitation skills
  • Comfort with the technologies such as Microsoft and Google applications, Dedoose, Survey Monkey, Zoom, and others
  • Attention to detail and quality
Education and experience required

Each position will share information on the educational background and years of experience that are desirable for the role. Our candidates come from a variety of educational backgrounds, including international development, public health, evaluation, economics, social work, agriculture, and business. Each position is unique, review the job description and tailor your application.

CVs and cover letters: How long should they be?

We generally recommend having a full-length CV that you keep on file for yourself and submitting a tailored CV that is no more than a page or two in length highlighting the most important and relevant expertise you bring. Use your one-page cover letter to elaborate on one or two aspects that are most relevant to the job. Be sure to copy edit and use good formatting principles as this is your chance to showcase those communications skills we know are so important.

Mistakes to avoid

Many times the reason someone is not selected for a particular position is simply because there was another candidate who was a better fit. We would love to have a position for the many wonderful applications we receive, but we unfortunately do need to make hard choices sometimes.

To give you a leg up, here are some things that could hold an applicant back:

  • A lack of fit between the requirements of a role (often client-imposed requirements) and the applicant’s background or expertise. If you are close to what is required, apply. But, if a job asks for 10+ years of experience and you only have a few, or if it asks for experience in a particular sector or client system, and you don’t have that, then your application will not move forward.
  • Location expectations: Some roles are flexible in terms of where candidates should be located. We are registered in more than 20 states in the U.S. and have country offices in Ethiopia and Peru, but location can be a factor if someone is seeking to be sponsored for a position in the U.S. or to be relocated. Be sure to check for location requirements before applying.
  • A poorly written cover letter or a CV: Help us know why you would be a great fit by sharing something that is succinct, targeted to the position you are applying for, and well written and formatted.

Our recruiters do not use software programs or AI to review applications, they look at every application that comes in for a position. It’s important to put your best foot forward and to make it easy for our team to see how you could be a good fit.

Stay tuned for the next blog post in this series, where we will share information on the broader job market and how to make connections that will help you in your professional journey. In the meantime, learn more about Eval4Action regional consultations, our EnCompass Learning Center scholarships, our support of the AEA GEDI network, and our services with Voluntary Organizations for Professional Evaluation including collaboration with American Evaluation Association, Washington Evaluators, and EvalPartners.

Beeta Tahmassebi

Vice President of Strategic Initiatives

Beeta Shadman Tahmassebi, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, oversees EnCompass' knowledge management and communications teams, manages enterprise risk management, and is Executive Director for the EnCompass Learning Center (ELC). From 2017 to 2020, Ms. Tahmassebi was also Director of Operations for The Evaluators' Institute. She has managed evaluation and development programs for a range of clients, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, National Institutes of Health, USAID, Save the Children, Lutheran World Relief, IREX, American Library Association, Institute for Museum and Library Services, U.S. Department of Labor, World Food Programme, International Fund for Agricultural Development, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Marriot International, and Daimler AG. With many years of experience designing, managing, and evaluating capacity strengthening and learning programs, Ms. Tahmassebi is excited to provide high-quality professional development in evaluation, management, and international development to a global audience of learners through the ELC. She is a champion for young and emerging evaluators, bringing a strong commitment to lifelong learning to EnCompass' clients. Ms. Tahmassebi serves on the Board of Directors (2020 President-Elect and 2021 President) for Washington Evaluators, the largest local affiliate of the American Evaluation Association (AEA). She is a frequent presenter at special events and conferences, serves on the AEA Working Group for Evaluation Professionalization, and is an active member of the AEA local affiliates collaborative. She has an MBA from Georgetown University’s McDounough School of Business and is proficient in Farsi.

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