When you volunteer, it goes without saying that you make a difference to a non-profit organisation or charity (and get that warm and glowy feeling at the same time).
But if you’re looking for a new role, donating your time and skills to a great cause can also have a big impact on your job search.
Of course, not everyone can give away their time for free. But if you do need any more reasons to grab a volunteering opportunity, here are six resounding plus points.
Volunteering will help you refine your existing skills and gain some new ones along the way.
And these are things that employers take note of. In fact, when accounting firm Deloitte ran a survey to find out the impact of volunteering, 76% of HR executives said that the skills and experience gained during volunteering make job hunters more attractive candidates.
Plus, you could get some free training at the same time - particularly if an organisation needs someone to do a specific task but lacks the manpower. Result? You’ll get valuable transferable skills for your next career move.
If you’re just starting out, your CV’s probably pretty bare. After all, you need to have experience to get a job, but how do you get your foot in the door without working?
Offering your services for free and beefing up your CV shows potential employers what you’ve been up to, with valuable real-world examples of how you’ve made a difference.
Take note: in one LinkedIn survey, 42% of recruiters polled actually said they saw volunteer work as the same as full-time work experience.
In our ever-increasing digital worlds, meeting new people face-to-face isn’t always easy. Volunteering will give you access to people you might never have met - and help you get to know them in an easy and natural way while you’re all working towards a common aim.
Plus, by expanding your network you’re multiplying the number of like-minded people who may know of a great job opening you’d be perfect for, introduce you to someone who turns out to be pivotal in your career - or write you a glowing reference.
Interested in switching to a new sector? You could launch yourself in a completely different direction. Or you could give your time for me for free in a field you feel passionately about and try it out first.
Volunteering is a low-risk way to explore what it might be like - without committing long term. It also gives you a better idea what your potential new sector is like, as well as which roles could suit you and the extra skills you need to get there.
Volunteer for an organisation whose values align with yours, and you could be doing more than the charity a favour. Being able to boast some serious volunteering on your CV is a great way to show potential bosses that you’re altruistic - plus the type of things you care about.
It also gives them an insight into whether you’re going to be a good fit for their own company culture. Many businesses now run employee volunteering programmes themselves, so significant volunteer experience of your own could help you stand out in the candidate crowd.
We’ve already covered how volunteering beefs up your CV. It also packs a powerful punch during interviews.
Confidence comes from knowing that your skills and experience make you perfect for the job. But if you’re just starting out or have been job hunting for a while, it can be a struggle to feel self-assured in an interview situation.
Yet thanks to your voluntary work experience, you’ll be armed with different talking points and examples of how you’ve used your skills to make a difference. We’ve seen this happen with job candidates we meet through HR GO, and it really does help them stand out.
That’s why volunteering - and all the benefits it comes with - could just get you a bit closer to a fulfilling job.