When searching for a job, you will want to do what you can in order to find the perfect position. Volunteering can give you an edge over other candidates for a few reasons:
Shows your interests
Your volunteer work will likely show what you are interested in. If you are going to be spending your time doing something for free, it will be something you like. The work you do shows your future employer that you have an interest in building a community and you will be a good citizen.
It Can Lead to a Job
While you are job seeking, your volunteer work may lead to a job. You may be offered a job if one becomes available while you are volunteering for an organization, or you may be recommended for a job because you have gone above and beyond in your work as a volunteer. While volunteering you will expand your network of personal and professional contacts that can also recommend jobs or serve as references, so make sure you always keep a list of the people you meet and their roles in the company.
It Showcases Your Dedication
Since you aren’t ever required to volunteer, your work will show your future employer that you are dedicated to something other than just personal needs. Commitment and loyalty are two qualities that an employer would like to see in their employees. If you are looking for a job, the volunteer work shows that you aren’t just vegetating at your house and actually can care about something.
It Will Help Improve Your Skills
Depending on the work you do you can develop quite a number of different skills, including technical work, communication, problem-solving skills, teamwork, and leadership. An employer will want the qualities that you will gain from volunteer work when they are hiring.
If you have gaps on your resume or if you are just starting out the job search, volunteering will help those areas. Don’t just list that you are a volunteer on your resume, list what your responsibilities are so you can showcase the skills that you are gaining while in the transition.
Help Become Your Best Self
Volunteer work may give you that extra spring in your step and help boost your confidence. If you have been looking for work for a while you may be suffering from a lack of confidence, and doing some good in the community can help improve your self-worth. Nonprofits need volunteers in order to thrive, so you will be doing work that is important and fulfilling. Besides confidence, you may also gain valuable traits like compassion.
The job search can also be very isolating and volunteering can help get you out of isolation. Getting out of the house will lead to feeling better as well as give you activities to do that don’t cost any money while searching for a job.
When searching for a new job you may not know exactly what it is you want to do, and volunteering can help give you an idea. Volunteering will allow you to work for different organizations and try out different positions. You will be able to talk to people in different roles and learn more about the challenges each role presents without having to commit to it right away. If you find that you enjoy doing something different than what you have been doing in the past, then volunteer work will give you those skills you need.
Why You Should Include Volunteer Work on Your Resume
Hiring managers will look at many different resumes, so you will want yours to stand out. Your volunteer work might just be the key to making it stand out, especially if your volunteer work uses your professional skills. Are you a marketer that uses their skills to help develop social media ads for a charity? That is valuable experience you may otherwise be leaving out of your resume if you don’t include it. In addition, adding this to your resume is necessary to showcase all the positive experiences and interactions you have had while volunteering.
Hiring managers and corporations like volunteer experience, but there is a gap of job seekers putting that information on their resume. A recent study showed that 82% of interviewers prefer candidates with volunteer experience and 92% say that the same experience can help build leadership experience. Only about 1 in 3 job candidates actually put the unpaid experience on their resume.