Volunteering: good for you, good for communities and great for your CV
3 Jun 2021
Volunteering is a fantastic way to help you feel good about yourself, give you some get up and go, and build your CV. Remember, anything you can do to show you’re a self-starter and that you’re working to add to your skills, shows you’re enthusiastic. Volunteering is a great way to fill a skills gap and boost your employability.
A survey by business consultants Deloitte found that 82% of respondents were more likely to choose a candidate with volunteering experience and were willing to overlook other skills shortcomings when a candidate includes volunteer work on their CV.
That’s because volunteering demonstrates:
- When you are passionate about something you are willing to put in the effort to make it succeed
- You are a proactive person who likes to spend their time wisely
- You like to learn new skills and are adaptable
- You are a team player, or a leader or somebody that can work effectively without supervision
- You are a good person and care about others . . . and who wouldn’t want to employ someone like that?
The best thing about volunteering is that you don’t need to take on anything that doesn’t suit you. Make sure it’s an activity you’ll enjoy and get value from. Whatever you choose, you’ll probably meet like-minded people; volunteering can be a fantastic networking opportunity.
The range of opportunities the voluntary sector offers is huge – from building bat hotels to coding charity websites; clearing litter from beaches to organising the finances of a not-for-profit organisation; encouraging reading among prisoners to social media blogging.
You don’t have to volunteer through an organisation – getting shopping for your neighbours or running a fundraising event for your favourite cause all help to demonstrate a commitment to use your skills to help others.
Looking for volunteering opportunities?
Your local Volunteering Centre
run by the NCVO is a good place to start.
Finally, if you’re putting in the volunteering effort make sure you include it on your CV – preferably on the first page!