If you’re not currently working, looking for your next job or considering your first job it is definitely worth considering volunteering. A voluntary job is a great way of using your spare time effectively and saves you from the madness of scrolling through the same job specs and adverts over and over again. Job seeking can be obsessive and you’ll soon find your volunteering is a welcome distraction to clear your mind.
Volunteering also help boost your CV; a recent survey shows that 80% of hiring managers prefer candidates with voluntary experience when compared to candidates with no experience at all; this can be great if you are going into work for the first time or into a new industry.
We have put together some of the top reasons volunteering can really help boost your CV and subsequently your job search;
All That Experience
If you can volunteer in the industry where you hope to work then this is brilliant; candidates will often be turned down for jobs as they have no experience, but paid jobs will not give them that experience as they all want the candidate to have experience. Voluntary work gives you that experience to put on your CV and it gives you a chance to make sure you will enjoy working in that industry too; like a trial.
Job hunting is stressful and being unemployed can be depressing for many people; when you’re stuck inside and not doing anything it can make you feel even more down. Volunteering is a brilliant way of beating those job hunting blues as you’re staying active and social throughout the week when friends and family are at work.
Volunteering gives you a great opportunity to learn new skills but also remind yourself of skills you already have. Sometimes you’ll surprise yourself with skills you have that you didn’t even realise you had. For example you may find you’re excellent at customer service, amazing at fundraising or brilliant with children for example.
When it comes to your career and life journey we strongly believe that it isn’t what you know but who you know. Volunteering allows you to create a new network of contacts and this can be really useful if you’re volunteering in the industry that you want to work in. Either way; you can never have too many contacts in your network.
When there are gaps on a CV this can be an alarm bell for some employers and it is not uncommon to be questioned about the smallest or longest gap on your CV. Working as a volunteer is a great chance to fill that gap on your CV while keeping it nice and neat, and showing you’re a reliable and hard worker.
Volunteering can be a fun and rewarding experience that will help build your skills and confidence, while keeping you busy and positive. When a hiring manager sees volunteering on your CV they feel that you are a good, dedicated and passionate person that cares about their job and others.
Be aware though, volunteering can become addictive so make sure you have enough time for job searching as you want to get paid for your hours eventually.