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How volunteering can land you a job

Category: Applying For Jobs


When you volunteer your time, you open yourself to a
plethora of job opportunities. If you are currently unemployed, you might ask,
"If I cannot find a paying job, why would I use my time to work for
free?" You'd have a very valid question, and this article will help you to
see why working for "free" may pay you more for your time than you
thought possible. There are many reasons people volunteer their time. Some
people are retired and enjoy spending time sharing their expertise with the
community in their spare time. Other people have a very strong passion for some
issue, whether it is poverty, the environment, civil rights, or some other
issue personal to them, so they spend time working toward improving the
conditions affecting their cause. Working for some goal in that way is
incredibly gratifying in itself; however, there are ways you can work toward a
passion while gaining some powerful benefits outside of improving the lives of

* Gaining New Skills: Volunteering is a great way to acquire
experience that your past jobs or internships did not provide.  Examples could be: Organizing a fundraiser to
gain project management skills or coordinating a project for leadership and
management skills.

By volunteering your time for an agency or a group, you can
not only gain valuable work experience, but you can inherit important points of
contacts as well as a reputation for the good things you do in your community.
Aside from gaining those benefits which can help you acquire a good job, you
may be able to learn what you need to learn so that you can launch your own
business. The contacts you make and the knowledge you gain from your volunteer
work will expose you to key concepts of many types of businesses.

* Make Networking Contacts: You never know who you might
meet while volunteering.  In fact, almost
43% of volunteers have at least a bachelor’s degree—so there is a good chance
you will meet a professional while volunteering.  If you volunteer at places related to your
target career, you may meet people who are working in jobs similar to the one
you want.

If you have a specialty, whether it is music, art, writing,
or a more technical specialty such as computer programming, you can volunteer
to teach a class for one day a week with your local Adult and Community
Education Center. Those centers are usually part of the public school system,
and they generally offer paid positions, but they sometimes solicit for
volunteer teachers. By volunteering your time, you can show that you are adept
at teaching the skill, and you can show that you are an asset to the center as
an instructor. You might gain a paid position with the center, but you will
also connect your skills to the community. A future employer can see that you
taught a class on a subject and may hire you if that subject is in any way
significant toward the skills needed to perform the job you are seeking.

* Emphasize your ambition: Volunteering shows you have a
sense of civic responsibility and that you have a charitable side.  Employers are looking for future employees
that have passion and involvement with the community.

* Add New Experience: Be sure to include your
responsibilities on your résumé.  Mention
duties, accomplishments, results, and awards just as you would for
employment.  Be sure to include the
organization name and dates.

Volunteer experience is also
professional experience. List the organization and dates, and instead of using
the title "volunteer," use your responsibilities as a title --
"project coordinator" or "instructor." Mention your
accomplishments, results, or awards like any other job, without being

Using your time to gain new
skills and help your community -- either while looking for employment or while
working -- highlights your willingness to jump in, learn new things, and do

* Gain Self-worth and Confidence: Volunteering can help you
impact the lives of others.  There are
opportunities to tutor, plan events, coordinate programs, etc.  Volunteering will give you the feeling that
you have made your community a little better.