Don't have the experience for the job you want? Are you missing the necessary skills? Not sure what career to choose? Volunteering may be the answer!
People volunteer for a wide variety of reasons. It is often looked at as a form of charity, based on kindness and unselfishness. The best volunteering does involve the desire to serve others but this does not exclude other motivations as well. It's okay to want some benefits for yourself as a volunteer.
What you do in your unpaid time may say more about who you are than what you do for employment. Volunteering makes a statement about your dedication, character, or social awareness, and it can enhance your qualifications for your next job. So if you are:
As you ponder the idea of volunteering make sure to take enough time to find the one that best suits you. Start by considering the following before you take the volunteer step:
Investigate possible volunteer "employers" as you would for paid positions. Be sure that you have found the right volunteer job for the right reasons. Here are some tips to consider:
After you've gained the experience then use it! Obtain documentation of your experience with job descriptions, performance evaluations and letters of recommendation. Put it on your resume or application.
Network! Ask for a referral from your volunteer supervisor. Most employers are well connected in the community. If you do a good job for them, they'll be more inclined to recommend you to paying customers. Word will get out.
Last but not least, discuss your volunteer experience with prospective employers during the job interview. Surveys made to employers show that they are willing to consider volunteer experience in the hiring process yet many applicants don't include it during the interview. If your volunteer experience was meaningful to you, it will come across that way in the interview. It is important to include the following:
Don't hesitate to put all your experience to work for you. If you don't have the experience necessary to obtain your dreams and goals then get some! Find the right place to volunteer. Both you and the employer will benefit from the experience.