9 reasons why every job seeker should volunteer 22 Jun

9 reasons why every job seeker should volunteer

Whether you’re a student or recent graduate, changing career, looking to fill a career gap or simply looking for a new job, volunteering can be incredibly beneficial. Here are some of the top reasons to consider taking up a volunteering position:

1. It gives you the experience you may need to get the job.The position you are after might call for a certain level of experience, but to reach this level you’ll need to get a job first. It’s a tricky but quite common situation. Volunteering offers a way around this vicious circle, allowing you to build up relevant experience for the role you want.

2. It fills a gap on your CV.Just because it isn’t a ‘regular’ paid job that doesn’t mean it doesn’t constitute as work. Volunteering experience is a valuable addition to your CV, as it shows that you’ve been proactive in keeping your skills up to date and acquiring new ones. 

3. You learn something new.There are loads of interesting volunteering opportunities out there at any given time, boasting an extensive range of different positions. Usually these roles don’t require a great deal of experience and provide an ideal opportunity to pick up new skills. 

4. You can build your network online and face-to-face.Volunteering is a great way to meet new people. Whether it’s other volunteers, clients, customers or visitors or the people in charge, interacting with these people may bring to light opportunities or information beneficial to your job search. They are valuable additions to your network so look after these connections.

5. It enables you to line up credible references in your field of choice.If your experience is limited, references from people who have seen you at work may put you ahead of the other applicants. Volunteering can provide you with those references.

6. It demonstrates your passion.Employers want top candidates who really love what they do, and doing it for free says exactly that. It also shows you are willing to go the extra mile to get the relevant skills and experience you need.

7. You focus on something positive rather than your lack of a job.It keeps you busy and your spirits up as you’re helping others and meeting new people. Talking to others who might be in a similar position as you can also have an encouraging effect as you compare notes and share useful information.

8. You might stumble upon an interesting internal position.Just like internships, volunteering positions might lead to a permanent position if you play your cards right. Of course, it depends on a role being available, but if you show dedication and make a good impression, an employer might just remember you when an opportunity does come up.

9. It will boost your morale and self-worth and help you to become clearer about your career goals.Instead of sitting at home, you are out there working, which can give a much-needed boost to your confidence in both your professional abilities and your chances of finding relevant work. Moreover, it can help you figure out the type of work you enjoy doing and therefore which role would fit you best.

Looking for work can be a full-time job, and although you might feel hesitant to spend your precious time volunteering, the rewards will make it worth your while. The skills and experience you pick up might prove the difference between your being considered for the next job you apply to or not.