8 Ways Volunteer Work Opportunities Can Improve Your Resume

A common misconception in the job seeking world today is that if it’s not completely relevant then it is definitely unnecessary. This does not always hold true, mainly because “relevant” is a subjective term. It’s such a task to cram all your relevant experience onto that one tiny piece of paper that will affect the course of your career, your resume.We often deem our volunteer experience irrelevant and keep it off our resumes, there is your first mistake. A study by Deloitte shows that nearly 82% of interviewers prefer to see volunteer work on their candidates resumes, but if that doesn’t convince you, then here are some reasons why.

Volunteering is sometimes boxed into just a few niche such as viewed as on hand, building homes, playing with children. It can be a lot more than that. You can volunteer in so many different industries today, the opportunities are endless. A study by Deloitte shows that nearly 82% of interviewers prefer to see volunteer work on their candidates resumes, but if that doesn’t convince you, then here are some reasons why.

1. Career exploration

If you are among the many that are undecided about heir futures, volunteering can help you get some clarity. Volunteer work enables you to gain hands-on experience in various roles, companies, and industries, you can use this practical experience to help decide where you feel comfortable or inspired, and you’ll have experience in the field that will boost your resume and chances to get in.

2. Showcases passion and dedication

Why do employers value volunteer projects so much? Being an active volunteer tells your future employer that you have a passion for something, an interest in a certain field, and that money is not your sole motivation for the field. Dedication is a valuable trait in every aspect of life, it means that you keep going when things look bleak, a trait that is never undervalued.

3. Builds new and transferable skill set

Like any ordinary work experience volunteer work helps you build innumerable skills. Teamwork, leadership, effective communication, analytic abilities, problem-solving, event management, to name just a few.  Employers realize that volunteering is no easy task, funds are usually insufficient and it is not easy to get people to care about the problems that plague our world, hence they likewise appreciate someone who has successfully done the above through volunteer work.

4. Networking

International student volunteers and youth volunteer opportunities are becoming more popular today, not just because of the exciting travel opportunities but because volunteer groups have a huge outreach. The scope to enhance your personal and professional network is tremendous. What’s better is, since you are likely to volunteer for a cause close to your heart, with professional connections you can find a job in that field.

5. Makes you an all rounder

Employers like their teams to be well-rounded individuals. Academics alone is no longer enough to guarantee you a job. Volunteer work shows that you have interests outside of your academics and that you work productively towards these interests. You could alternatively include sports or music. Volunteer activities are a great way to prove that you are more than just a big brain that memorizes text well.

6. Demonstrates interest in a specific cause

If you are looking to make your interest in volunteering a full-time gig or if you want to switch careers, then volunteer organizations are a great way to do so.  Your voluntary work shows your employer that you have an interest in that cause or field, and can serve as experience for a career change as well. If you wish to work for an NGO for example and you have lots of volunteer work to your name, then the process could be easier especially if it were in a common field.

7. Fills up the gaps

One of the hardest things you will ever have to explain is why there is a gap in your work experience on your resume. What were you doing? Why so long? Did you learn anything? If you do want to take some time off between jobs, then volunteer work is a great way to go. You can take it easy and escape the 9 to 5 stress, while still gaining valuable experience and transferable skills.  Several students today are opting to spend large portions of their gap years doing volunteer work.

8. Personal growth

This may not be something you can add to your resume. It’s far more important. The beauty of volunteer work lies in the warm fuzzy feeling it gives you, knowing you’ve helped someone. That today, somehow, however little you made some impact, you did some good, and the world right now needs a little good. Voluntaryexperiencess go a long way to boost your morale and self-confidence, it also proves to your employer that you are a person of substance. It will give you that extra spring in your step.

Volunteer agencies are actively searching for new recruits and since people will usually stick around for only a few months, they need people all year round. Easily accessible with tremendous benefits, if you don’t already have a volunteering stint listed on your resume, then browse through this list for potential opportunities.

Need more tips and help finding a job? JobPortalUSA is here for you 🙂

By Rob Madisson
Rob Madisson Marketing Manager