Add value to your CV with volunteering

Adding value to your CV with volunteering

The current job market can be incredibly competitive, particularly for graduates. Voluntary work can really give you that little bit extra to ensure that you are favourable above other candidates.

Bullet Point those transferable skills:

When writing your CV, never put an experience down without bullet-pointing at least two skills that you developed during it. Unpaid work generally demonstrates that you have good organisational skills and can balance your time effectively as it is evident you will often be doing this alongside paid employment or study.

If you are efficient and organised that’s great. But if you can demonstrate that because you’ve recently overseen a successful charity evening raising money for a local community group so much the better!

If this is in a caring capacity (voluntary work at a school or nursing home) it demonstrates that you are a well-rounded individual – a caring people person. A hiring manager is looking for a personality that will be a good fit for their team, and these qualities will really demonstrate that.

If you are struggling to gain some form of professional experience (internship, industrial placement),  then voluntary work experience can be a good way to get some really valuable skills onto your CV. Again, this demonstrates that you’re not only proactive but selfless, and really committed in going the extra mile to doing well in the sector you are interested in.

Having a wide skill set and a high number of attributes count when it comes to employment. It demonstrates that you can cover a wide number of skill areas within an organisation, which employers are always keen to see because they will ultimately aid that organisation should you get the job.

Struggling to think how your experience links to the position that you wish to apply for:

If you are struggling to think of any skills that you may have developed, a good place to start will be to think about: what motivated you to take on the voluntary placement in the first place?

Who did you work with?

What did you do?

What did you learn?

Has this built on any skills you have gained from previous employment or study?

How much time did you spend there / donate to this cause?

These questions are always an excellent place to start.

Whilst you are volunteering try to gain valuable contacts you may be able to use in the future. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions to further develop your knowledge and for advice on what they can offer. You never know, it could lead to paid work or a potentially a full time position.

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