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The Benefits of Volunteering

by Melissa Small
 

There are many benefits for volunteering, from making professional connections who can recommend you for possible job leads, to giving you the chance to practice and refine relevant skills you have in your industry. It can even just be a great way to fill free time in between your other commitments!

Add Them to Your Resume - Volunteering roles can be added in with paid experiences on your resume by naming your heading “Professional Experiences” instead of “Work Experience”. This helps to better identify your commitment and reliability to give back in a meaningful way. In these roles, be sure to highlight your motivation, empathy and desire to help others, as they are valuable character assets that employers look for when making a hiring decision.

Improve Hard and Soft Skills - Volunteering can be a good way to help you get to know yourself and what you have to offer in potential future roles. Practicing your skills in these settings may help you improve your self-esteem and self-confidence, which will shine through in future interviews and paid roles.

Grow it Into a Job - Don’t forget that a volunteer role can flip into paid employment. Beyond being able to get recommendations and have other ears to the ground to help you learn about opportunities, many employers want to hire people that they already know. So, taking the time to build a positive reputation, ambition, and reliability now may pay off down the line if you’re able to stay patient for these opportunities to arise.
Going through the steps to apply to an organization as a volunteer will also provide you with a low-stress practice into interviewing with an employer. You may be requested to complete an application, collect security screening documents (such as a criminal record check or driving abstract), and respond to common questions asked by people within hiring capacities.

If the industry that you’re considering doesn’t allow volunteers, don’t be discouraged! There are some reasons why it can be challenging for employers to allow volunteering; but don’t think that it still isn’t valuable to demonstrate a socially responsible core to your personality and overall better cultural fit to the company needs. You may just need to be more creative.

Have questions about volunteering opportunities? Give us a call or visit www.beemployed.ca to fund out how a staff member at Lutherwood can help you reach your career goals!