If you perform charity or volunteer work, you probably do so because you believe in the cause and you have a desire to help others. However, while helping others you could also be helping your own career as well. Volunteer work can be a very important part of your resume and can help you to impress your potential employer, as Forbes discussed last year.
Whether you are volunteering overseas, helping children, fundraising for a charity, caring for the elderly, teaching children or anything else, your volunteer experience will be a very valuable part of your resume. When you are writing your cover letter or going to interviews, your volunteer experience will be a topic that will engage and inspire your potential employers and show them that you have genuine passion, clarity of vision and leadership skills.
Showing Off Your Skills
Volunteering will help you to develop new skills that will make you more desirable to a potential employer. For example, fundraising for a charity requires organization and marketing skills. Writing for a non-profit company gives you a chance to improve your writing and research skills. Volunteering abroad shows that you were able to organize your trip and adapt to a very different environment in another country, demonstrating resourcefulness and flexibility.
If you supervised a committee of volunteers, that requires a variety or skills including motivation and time management. As you build up these skills, you can include them on your resume so that your diverse skill set will attract the attention of an employer.
Reflecting Your Passions
Employers don’t just want to hire someone who has the right qualifications and skills, they want to hire a passionate and driven individual who engages with the world around them. When you have passions and ambitions, an employer will recognise that and respond to it. By spending your time volunteering for a cause that you care about, you will demonstrate this passion and commitment.
It doesn’t matter if you are volunteering in your spare time alongside another job, or if you are unemployed and volunteering. The important thing is that you are getting yourself out there and doing some good in the world for a cause that you believe in.
Choosing the Right Volunteer Project
In order to make the most of your volunteer work, it is important to choose wisely which project you get involved in. For example, if you are studying marine biology and you want to find a job in that field, volunteering at a wildlife conservation centre or helping out with an oil-spill clean-up would be a perfect match. If you are looking for a job in international development, volunteering on projects in sub-Saharan Africa could be the answer.
Take the time and choose a project that will connect your volunteer work with your future goals, so that the time you spend volunteering will enhance your career development. To get you started, lots of well-known charities like UNICEF’s volunteer corner have a lot of information about getting started in local volunteer projects, some of which include helping organize activities and initiatives. This is great for demonstrating effective communication and team management skills.
It’s worthwhile finding out how you could try approaching someone in your field, perhaps a potential employer, and letting them know that you want to volunteer within their field but you aren’t sure where to start. Ask them if they have any suggests about organization that you can volunteer with.
You can also think about what experience or knowledge you want to gain from your volunteering involvement. What new skills do you want to learn? Take a look at the different roles available for volunteers and figure out how these positions would complement your skill set and help you to advance in your career.
Volunteering is a very valuable endeavor that will not only benefit those who you are helping, but will also help you to develop your career in a meaningful way.