Volunteering at a favorite organization is a positive thing to do from a number of different perspectives. Personally, you’ll feel good about yourself and about contributing to the greater good of society. Adding volunteer experience to your resume will make you look like a willing and capable potential employee. The organizations you offer your time and devotion to couldn’t do it without dedicated volunteers like yourself. Whether you want to help kids learn to read or support the environmental movement by making recyclable plate lids, there is a volunteer spot that will make you stand out to future employers.
Before deciding which organization to volunteer for, think about what you enjoy doing and what you might be passionate about. You might like working with kids, animals or out in nature. When you are doing something you love, it won’t seem like work at all and you might even be surprised what kind of career doors might open for you just by being a volunteer. Once you decide how you might like to contribute, start searching for organizations and groups that may need your help.
Meet Potential Contacts
Joining an organization is also a great way to meet new people in your career field. It never hurts to introduce yourself to potential employers or people who work in your field of interest. They will be much more likely to give your resume an extra glance when they can put a face with your name.
Show Your Ambition
Volunteering your time shows a lot about the type of person you are. If you graduate from college and proceed to spend the next several months on the couch, employers might see that as an indication of the type of work ethic you possess. When you can excitedly talk about a volunteer experience you had while looking for employment, it shows you in a more favorable light as a person with drive and ambition.
Learn a New Skill
Volunteering your time is an excellent opportunity to offer the skills you already possess, but it is also a great chance to learn something new. If you’re volunteering to build houses, you might learn the ins and outs of plumbing. Maybe a manufacturing plant needs help designing recyclable plate lids. Think about your ideal job and try to learn new skills that would make you marketable in your career field.
Improve Your Attitude
Finding a job in today’s market can be difficult. Instead of focusing on the tough job market, send out your resumes and forget about it. Spending your time volunteering instead of wallowing in self-pity will help improve your overall attitude toward life. It feels good to help other people and those feelings will definitely shine through during your interviews with potential employers.
Mercedes Potter is a writer who has also completed volunteer work of her own. During college, she volunteered at a homeless shelter and most of all learned a valuable lesson of humility- and her employers praised her on her exceptional aptitude. Follow her @CedesPotter to read other posts she’s authored.