Volunteering has many benefits both to you, your community, and your CV. Whether you do it alone, or with a friend, it is fantastic way to spend your spare time. Volunteering covers a wide range of activities. You can use your experiences to boost your CV, whether you volunteer with a charity, a nursing home, or international business.
One of the main characteristics employers look for in a candidate is the ability to use your time wisely. Students often have little free time and showing an employer that you are more likely to spend that time volunteering than out drinking shows them that you know how best to use your time to your advantage. Spending your free time volunteering shows that you're an active person who takes up the opportunities available and doesn't waste time. Not to mention the related skills, such as; ‘Time management’ and ‘Working with deadlines’ that you can add to the special skills section of your CV.
Whatever the reason you volunteer, you'll always receive valuable work experience. Students who have never had a job before or only a few may be at a disadvantage both as a potential candidate and as a new employee. Volunteering allows you to earn experience, either in general or in a particular. This can give your CV the edge over other candidates. In addition, if you volunteer within the profession you would eventually like to apply to, you can gain relevant experience as well as expanding your professional network.
Volunteering, in most examples, requires a significant amount of team work. If you volunteer with a charity not only can you show that you can present a professional and friendly face to the public but also that you can work with a team towards a common goal. People who volunteer are often regarded as more generous with their time; employers may see this as a willingness to go above and beyond in the workplace. Volunteering for an extended period demonstrates dedication and suggests you can stay committed and won’t quit after a few months.
No matter the type of volunteering you do, you're bound to learn a lot of skills. Even the simplest tasks could impress a potential employer such as proficiency in Microsoft programs, money handling, or stock checks. Every skill you learn should be added to your CV, employers love candidates who show a wide range of transferable skills. Due to volunteering being such a wide term, that covers many activities, there’s an equally large amount of skills to learn whilst you volunteer. If you can provide proof of your achievements, for example a portfolio, that will show you’re organised and dedicated to your potential employer.
Finally, the most important thing to consider when asking “How can volunteering help my CV?” is that all experience is relevant and can be phrased to impress a future employer. Volunteers don't gain money while they work so you need to highlight the things you do earn from volunteering. Experience and transferable skills are highly valued by employers so you should put everything you take part in and learn on the job into your CV.
Johanne Gorman is a StudentJob blogger, she is currently studying Marketing and Events and Festivals Management at Edinburgh Napier University. Check out her LinkedIn profile!
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