5 Ways Volunteering Helps Your Job Search
There are plenty of ways that you can help yourself in your job search. Large efforts – such as getting a degree or taking that great internship in Shanghai – can definitely help your job search. However, simply taking some time out of your day to volunteer can help your chances of finding a job immensely.
It Looks Good On a CV
First and foremost, let’s take a look at the obvious way that volunteering can help you when you are searching for a job. When you volunteer, you are creating a situation that looks fantastic to potential employers.
For one, volunteering shows a lot about your work ethic. Unlike a previous job you may have held, volunteering doesn’t pay you for your time. As such, it shows that you were willing to work purely out of passion for a cause or just to help others.
If you really want to make your résumé stand out, try to take on larger roles when you volunteer. For example, if you participate in a fundraiser, it looks good on your résumé. However, if you hold a higher position – such as organizing or managing a local event, you are showing off leadership skills as well as your initiative.
In addition, if you are in college or recently out of college, you might find that your résumé is a little thin. After all, you haven’t held a lot of jobs at this point in your life and those that you did probably weren’t high profile enough to be particularly striking. To fill out your résumé, though, you can take advantage of volunteering opportunities.
Develop Your Skills
As discussed previously, you can use a volunteer experience to showcase your skills. If you have strong leadership skills, for example, you can showcase that by having volunteer experiences on your résumé in higher positions such as managing or organizing movements and events.
However, volunteering isn’t just for slipping into a role that you are comfortable in. You can also use a volunteering opportunity to strengthen the skills that you have professionally. If you want to take an extra step, though, you can also learn new skills – for example, if you frequently work in lower tier positions, give a higher tier job – like one in management – a try. It isn’t just leadership skills either. You can also use volunteer opportunities to develop and strengthen other professional skills such as time management, teamwork, and resource development, just to name a few.
Create New Relationships
Odds are, at some point, you’ve heard the phrase “it isn’t what you know, it’s who you know.” If you aren’t familiar with it, this phrase basically means that the things you learn are important but knowing the right people can be just as important – if not more important – in many cases.
With estimation of anywhere from 60% to 80% of jobs being discovered through personal relationships, it’s no surprise that forming professional relationships can be crucial to your career.
This is where volunteering comes in. When you volunteer, you will have the chance to meet a variety of people. If your volunteering experience is in your career field, you can meet others with similar professional credentials. However, if you are volunteering outside your sphere, you can still develop relationships with other professionals. The more varied your contacts are, the more opportunities that are likely to come your way.
Find Your Dream Job
Volunteering is also a great chance to find out your professional interests and passions. After all, when you are looking for a new job or trying to find one fresh out of college, you don’t always know exactly what you are looking for. Once you get into a new job, though, you can’t always just quit if you don’t like it.
Volunteering has an advantage here because it is far more short-term than a paying job. This allows you to try multiple different types of volunteer opportunities and positions to see which ones you enjoy or which ones you have a natural skill in.
Due to this, you can use your experience as a volunteer to decide what you want to do as a permanent career choice. This way, you can make decision based on your experiences rather than just choosing based on potential future tasks without trying anything like them, allowing you to more accurately gauge your enjoyment in a certain field before making a permanent or semi-permanent decision.
Build Your Self-Confidence
When you walk into an interview, one of the key things you can do is look confident in what you are promising. If you aren’t comfortable talking about your skills or discussing your own potential, you probably aren’t going to impress your interviewer. Taking the time to volunteer, though, can give you confidence in your skills.