Volunteering was once seen as a way to beef up your resume when it was lacking in other areas, but not something that really made a difference to employers in the hiring process. These days, employers are viewing volunteering in a more positive light and considering it to be a valuable component of a candidate’s background. This change means that you can now do something that makes you feel good, while truly gaining valuable skills that will round out your resume.
What’s more, by finding volunteer opportunities in your field of study,
you’ll have a chance to meet people already working in your area and build your network while gaining insight into career options and developing an early perspective on whether this is the career you’d like to pursue.
In addition to being an opportunity to contribute something positive to your community, volunteering will also make you a well-rounded individual through new experiences and skill-building. To prove the point, here are a few skills that you can develop and improve through volunteering:
- Event planning
- Community development
- Social service
- World language skills
- Tutoring or teaching
- Public speaking
- Project management
- Grant writing
- Public relations
- Customer service
Where to start?
There are so many organizations out there, and thankfully there are a few websites that will give you some options based on your geographical location, availability, interests and special skills.
Volunteer Match– Finds a cause locally, or in cyberspace, that interests you
Catch A Fire – Matches professionals with nonprofits that need their skills
Volunteer Guide – Encourages you to donate 15 minutes, a few hours, or a volunteer vacation
All For Good – Locates volunteering opportunities based on geography and interest
Volunteering Apps for iPhone
Short-Term Volunteering Ideas
One-time events (charity races, Habitat for Humanity, volunteer vacation)
Off-site volunteering/skill donation (graphic design, proofreading, writing, website help, photography, videography)
Skilled maintenance work
Long-Term Volunteering Ideas
Serving on a board of directors
Reading to elementary students or senior citizens
Mentoring at any age