There are a lot of obvious benefits to volunteering for your favourite charity – a sense of accomplishment, giving back to others, gaining perspective and meeting new people. In fact, volunteering can take many shapes and forms – from community involvement that may not be related to your professional objectives, to volunteer work specifically targeting your employment goals.
Volunteering is a great way to gain skills in your chosen profession, providing ways your efforts can help you land your dream job.
Develop new skills
Research and identify organizations that have legitimate volunteer departments and that represent causes that are meaningful to you, and that potential spots where you can gain work experience, and learn and improve your skills and qualifications. Volunteering can be a positive way to get training in areas your current or past jobs didn’t provide. This is especially valuable for those who need additional experience for a particular job or promotion.
Build a professional network
Make an effort to get to know the team and find opportunities to start meeting other people at the organization. You never know who you’ll meet doing charity work. If you choose a volunteer role related to your target job, you may run into people with similar interests or that have jobs similar to the one you want.
Bride resume gaps and add experience
Add your volunteer experience to your resume and social media presence. Employers value candidates who make a difference in the community; it helps you cover gaps in your work history and keeps you busy while you are looking for paid employment.
On your resume, list the organization and dates of your service and mention your accomplishments.
Impress employers with your ambition
Using your time to gain new skills and help your community – either while looking for employment or while working – highlights your willingness to jump in, learn new things and do more. Candidates who volunteer stand out in a positive way because their passion and involvement in the community is evident.
Help others and help yourself
Volunteering helps you get involved in positive experiences, as well as get the positive feeling that you are giving back to the community. It can increase energy and compassion, and helps get that fulfilling “I made a difference” feeling in return.