Spoiler alert – volunteering CAN boost your employability and help you get a job. In many ways. In fact, research studies have shown that people who do voluntary work have a 27% higher likelihood of finding a job after being out of work than non-volunteers.
Volunteering basically involves dedicating your free time to help an NGO, a charity or your community towards their goals. It can range from admin work, stewarding, organising events to fundraising.
In this really competitive job market (did anyone say covid-19 pandemic?) employers want someone who stands out, and sadly your education and grades are no longer enough. Now, employers want someone who has extra-curricular activities. They want to see commitment, involvement and dedication to other things than exams and essays.
As you probably figured out, we’re here to tell you volunteering matters and definitely counts as work experience. Here’s some reasons why it can get you a job (and make you feel like a decent human being and all that)…
Volunteering Can Develop Your Transferable Skills
You might be sick of hearing ‘transferable skills’ when it comes to job hunting, but they really do matter! Soft skills such as communication, teamwork, time management and organisation are used in every single job ever. When volunteering write down everything you do (activities, tasks, responsibilities, results) and pick out what skills the experience demonstrates. This is what you can talk about on your CV to get you a job. (For tips on writing up your experience section, have a read of our article: How To Write Your CV Experience Section.
Prove Your Passion For An Industry
What better way to demonstrate initiative and drive than volunteering? It shows ambition and a strong social responsibility, something that loads of employers look for in a good cultural fit. Showing you have a desire to help other people can only count in your favour!
It (Obviously) Looks Good On A Job Application
If you’re lacking other work experience, volunteering can help fill a gap or prove your skill set in order to get that all important job. For example, if the job description of that dream graduate role is clearly prioritising teamwork as a desired trait, you can mention your volunteering and prove to the employer how you successfully collaborated with others towards a common goal.
E.g. During university I volunteered with UNICEF, organising a team of 7 people to fundraise on campus. I ensured efficiency by maintaining consistent communication and splitting up the campus into areas for each team member. As a result of our successful collaboration we raised over £250 for UNICEF.
If you need a hand writing up your experience, why not download our FREE Ultimate CV Guide for Students and Graduates? You know you want to.
Volunteering Can Turn Into A Job
Connecting with other volunteers or team leaders could lead to future opportunities down the line! Take volunteering as another opportunity to network and get to know people better, and who knows where it could lead.
So, volunteering’s looking pretty good now isn’t it? If you’re not sure where to find opportunities check out local charity websites, or ask your university if they know anywhere that needs help.
We do understand however that not everyone can afford to take on unpaid volunteer work, so if you’re after a paid internship, why not check out our 8 week internships – any experience counts after all!