1st – 7th June is National Volunteers Week and there are now more ways to enhance your CV than ever before. Volunteering is one of the options you might consider: so how exactly can volunteering help you get a job after graduating?
Volunteering is a fantastic way to gain a variety of transferable skills. Skills such as communication, organisation, and the ability to build relationships, are immensely important and often come up as part of job interviews.
We asked some University of Derby students about their experience of volunteering, and the ways it has helped them secure jobs. Alexander, studying a Law degree, said: “In a job interview, I feel I can answer almost anything I might be asked; there’s not a skill an interviewer could ask about that I haven’t developed through my volunteering!” Sarah, studying Child and Family Health and Wellbeing, added that the “transferable skills [she] developed through volunteering, such as team working and quick thinking, have helped get previous jobs.”
It is extremely important that when choosing where to volunteer, you choose a project that you are passionate about. Volunteering can be difficult and requires hard work, especially if volunteering with a hands-on company. By choosing a field you enjoy, you are bound to feel more positive and excited about the time you spend volunteering with them. Juliet, who studied Criminology, also pointed out that volunteering “gives you real-life experience of things you study and an insight you would not otherwise get. This is without doubt a huge bonus to employers, who will look for where you are able to apply your study to work situations.”
On a more personal note, volunteering has also been proven to reduce loneliness and isolation and make us feel a sense of belonging. This promotes positive mental health and increases personal resilience. This is bound to make you a more confident, self-sure person that any employer would be lucky to have.
Volunteering can also be a fantastic opportunity to travel overseas, which looks great on your CV. You can find overseas opportunities through websites such as International Volunteer HQ, Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), and Volunteer Abroad. Traveling overseas to volunteer equips you with the same transferable skills as other volunteering opportunities, but also highlights how independent and confident you can be through taking on such challenges.
Not all volunteering has to be done in person either! You can find virtual volunteering opportunities that are just as important, and just as good to have on your CV. You can find hundreds of volunteering opportunities through websites such as Volunteering Matters, Volunteer Now and Reach Volunteering. We also want to say a huge thank you to the students at University of Derby and Georgie Lazzari (Careers Experience Assistant) for their willingness to support us in writing this post.
Author: Karolina Tauer