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The Benefits of Volunteer Work and How It Can Help with Your Career

September 17, 2016 - Posted to Resume Tips

Content the benefits of volunteer work and how it can help with your career

Contrary to the popular online meme that says, “ain’t nobody got time for that,” making time for volunteer work can actually give enormous benefits to you. It can reduce stress, be a venue to find new friends, be an opportunity to reach out to the community, help you learn new skills, and even advance your career. Additionally, it can keep your physical and mental health in check.

Why Volunteer?

  1. To expand your personal and career fields. Volunteer work can be an opportunity for you to meet people who can tell you about job suggestions and even link you to people you should meet to advance your career. Of course, this benefit is on top of the opportunity to actually meet life-long friends, which volunteer work makes easier. After all, meeting new people is not always easy to some. But working with like-minded people makes it easier to warm up to them and eventually make friends.

  2. To learn new and useful skills. Volunteer work can encourage you to develop brand new job and communication skills, as well as use skills that you already have. In fact, you can even discover that you can use these skills in new ways you never knew before. Additionally, studies show that the new skills and experience acquired while volunteering actually make a job applicant more desirable as hiring managers will definitely take notice of these when they see it on your resume.

  3. To find opportunities for career exploration. Volunteer work gives you an opprtunity to try on different organizations and roles, which all add up to your skills and experience, without having to job-hop. While you may not garner in-depth knowledge of these roles, it can nonetheless expose you to the kind of work of these organizations.

  4. To fill in resume gaps. The professional world has gone really competitive and when you have nothing to show on your resume, you might end up not getting the job as compared to those who have sufficient years of experience. If you are not employed or working yet, volunteer work can be a great way to fill in some resume gaps and help you answer the inevitable question on what you have been doing with your time during job interviews.

  5. To enhance creativity. It is well-settled that working at your current job for a long time can stagnate creativity and end up doing a routine. Doing volunteer work can be a breath of fresh air and expose you to a diverse environment and consequently trigger creative ideas. Additionally, volunteering can get you out of your comfort zone, help you see new perspectives, and maybe even ignite something for you to start something new and find a new career that you are actually really passionate about.

  6. To attract and convince hiring managers to hire you. HR managers really value volunteerism and including volunteer works on your resume can help you stand out among the rest of the applicants. In fact, studies show that almost 65% of hiring managers consider volunteer work as important when choosing candidates. It adds value on top of your educational attainments and job experience, and can even be a decisive factor when choosing between similar applicants but with one having volunteer work and the other without.