9 Reasons To Consider Volunteer Work for Job Search Success

Volunteer work is a great way to gain job experience, build transferable skills, network and obtain references, and increase your chances of getting employment.

According to a study by the Corporation for National and Community Service, volunteering increases your odds of getting a job by 27 percent compared to job seekers who don’t.

Also, instead of having no work experience in your resume, you can fill it with volunteer work. 

Related: 5 Reasons Employee Referrals are the Top Source of Employment (Tips)

Here are a few more benefits of volunteering.

1. Fill in the Gaps on Your Resume:

Job seekers with resume gaps may face greater competition from candidates with no gaps. Recruiters tend to favor individuals with industry experience over those without.  Volunteering is a great way to show that you’ve been active and engaged and give you something to list on your resume if you’re unemployed for a certain amount of time.

2. Grow Your Network:

Volunteering connects you with a diverse range of people who share your passions and interests. You’ll meet potential mentors, colleagues, and even future employers. These connections can be invaluable when it comes to job hunting, providing you with insider information, referrals, and even opportunities you wouldn’t have found otherwise.

3. Practice and Apply New Skills:

Volunteering not only allows you to use your existing skills, but also to acquire new ones. Whether the work is paid or unpaid, volunteer experience still counts, and it can be emphasized on resumes and LinkedIn profiles to attract potential employers. 

For example, If you are transitioning from a career in event planning to a career in public relations, volunteering to manage the social media accounts or public relations efforts for a non-profit organization can help you gain relevant experience and showcase your skills to potential employers.

4. Add Experience to Your Resume:

Volunteering isn’t just about working in a team. It’s about gaining genuine experience that you can showcase on your resume. This is especially true if you’re still developing your work experience and possess the attitudes and skills employers seek.

Moreover, it can demonstrate to potential employers your ability to effectively manage your time and accomplish tasks despite limited or no professional history.

5. Boost Your Confidence:

Volunteering allows you to step outside your comfort zone and try new things. You’ll learn from your mistakes, overcome challenges, and achieve goals you never thought possible. This newfound confidence can increase your confidence when approaching future professional situations, such as job interviews, career fairs or networking events.

6. Prepare Yourself for a Career Change:

Unsure of where to start when it comes to changing careers? Volunteering in a new field is an excellent way to explore your options. You’ll gain exposure to different industries, acquire relevant skills, and build a network in your target area.

For instance, many leadership positions may require previous managerial experience, which can be challenging to gain within your current job responsibilities. Volunteering in a leadership capacity can provide you with the opportunity to develop the necessary skills to demonstrate your readiness for a managerial role.

Related: Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs in Nigeria 2023

7. Develop In-Demand Soft Skills:

Soft skills account for 85% of job success, while technical (hard) skills account for 15%. Employers are hungry for soft skills like communication, teamwork, and problem-solving. 

Volunteering is a breeding ground for these abilities. You’ll collaborate with diverse individuals, navigate challenging situations, and learn to communicate effectively under pressure. These are the skills that make you stand out in a sea of resumes.

8. Find a Mentor:

A mentor is someone who can guide and encourage you in your career. volunteering often brings you face-to-face with experienced professionals who are passionate about their field. Do not hesitate to initiate conversations and ask questions. You might just find yourself with a valuable mentor who can offer guidance, support, and even open doors to job opportunities.

How to Find Volunteering Opportunities 

If you are keen to get involved with a volunteering opportunity, here are a few ways to get started.

1. Determine your goal

What do you hope to achieve by volunteering? Do you want to help others, learn new skills, or gain experience in a particular field? Knowing your goal will help you narrow down your search for volunteer opportunities.

2. Determine your time capacity

You need to be realistic about how much time you can commit to volunteering. Some opportunities may require a few hours a week, while others may need a more significant time commitment. Understanding your availability will help you narrow down your options.

3. Evaluate your skills

Finding volunteer opportunities that fit your specific skills will help you narrow down the types of companies you are interested in working for. Whether it’s communication, organization, or technical abilities, understanding what you can offer will guide you in finding the right volunteer role.

4. Find Volunteer Opportunities online

Many organizations are recruiting volunteers, but if you are a fresh graduate, you may not be aware of where to find the available opportunities. There are websites and online platforms like jobsregion that list volunteer opportunities available in many companies. 

Click here to see list of volunteer opportunities available.

5. Find Volunteer Opportunities in person

Many organizations do not advertise volunteer opportunities online. Instead, consider visiting local businesses in your community and expressing your interest in volunteering with them. You may discover that many companies have available volunteer positions and are willing to bring on enthusiastic volunteers.

Volunteer work offers numerous advantages. It provides exposure to new fields of work, helps in acquiring new skills, and expands your professional network.

If you are ready to start a volunteer work, click here to start remote internship.

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