In this post we’ll explore why volunteering is good for your CV and how can it benefit your career in general.
Surely volunteering takes up too much time?
People are often put off by volunteering because they don’t think they will have enough time. You can often volunteer as and when it suits you. It could be as little as one hour a month, or sometimes even less! There are lots of remote volunteering opportunities you can do too. Most charities realise that in order to benefit from your talents they need to be flexible.
How volunteering can boost your CV
1. Demonstrate social responsibility
The majority of voluntary opportunities are with charities or social enterprises. By volunteering not only do you gain, but the wider community benefits too. More and more businesses are becoming socially responsible. Customers are becoming more discerning than ever about which companies they will buy or receive services from. By listing voluntary work on your CV you demonstrate that you have altruistic values, which helps to demonstrate that you would fit well within a purpose led business.
2. Learn a new skill
You can use volunteering to learn new skills, or develop ones that you already have. For example leadership, team working, problem solving, adaptability, planning and prioritisation, communicating with clients or stakeholders, time management, interpersonal skills and many more. Volunteering demonstrates your commitment to your personal development. Reach volunteering share skilled short and long term voluntary roles. Don’t forget to highlight these skills on your CV to help differentiate you from other candidates.
Careers Springboard is entirely run by volunteers and we are always looking for more support. Find out how you can get involved.
3. Voluntary work experience
If you are looking to change career direction volunteering is a great way of gaining experience within a different sector. This can benefit your CV, demonstrating your transferable skills and your commitment to the sector. It is also a good way of testing out whether you actually want to make the move before committing.
4. Develop your network
By volunteering you can build contacts within the industry you’re working in. As a volunteer you can join relevant LinkedIn, Facebook groups and webinars to widen your reach further. Write articles about your volunteering and share them on your LinkedIn profile. Remember to add the link to your LinkedIn profile on your CV. Many recruiting managers will look at your LinkedIn profile as part of a job application process.
5. Build your confidence
Redundancy and job loss can have a huge effect on your confidence. Yet, one of the most important elements of job hunting is presenting yourself with confidence, within your CV, via LinkedIn and during interviews. Taking on a voluntary role enables you to regain the confidence that you may have lost. It gives you a focus. Charities are hugely grateful for your time and energy in supporting them. Evidence shows that helping others can also help your mental health. It can reduce stress, improve self esteem and your happiness.
6. Fill a gap on your CV
If you have been unemployed for a while volunteering is a great way of filling a gap on your CV. It shows that whilst you were job hunting you were proactive in using your initiative to create opportunities for yourself.
Useful volunteering links
Community Impact Bucks– nationally accredited Volunteer Centre for Buckinghamshire
Reach Volunteering – Short and long term skilled opportunities
Do-it.org – A National database of opportunities
V-inspired – The UK’s leading volunteering charity for 14 – 30 year olds
Volunteering Matters – A National database of opportunities
Studenteer – Opportunities for students and recent graduates