How Volunteer Work Can Supercharge Your Resume

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Most school counselors recommend students engage in some sort of extracurricular volunteer work in order to improve their resume. The logic is that somehow by showing up to ladle soup for homeless people or grooming stray cats and dogs will showcase your dedication and work ethic. This in turn will impress employers and hopefully give you an edge up against the competition. Does this actually work in practice?

Almost half of head hunters on LinkedIn said that volunteer work does factor in when reviewing an application. Almost half? Not impressive sounding? Well, considering that the remaining half doesn’t hold volunteer work against you, what’s there to lose? You might be able to hook at job by devoting a few extra hours and you never know, you might be rewarded by your kind deeds. Not all rewards are money, mind you. Volunteer work can quickly lead to other opportunities, even employment opportunities down the road.

So, the question is, what type of volunteer work should you pursue? This can be a tricky question to answer. Most jobs don’t have a clear volunteer analogue. For instance, if you want a job in finance, what sort of volunteer opportunity is open to you? The answer here is that really all opportunities are open. You don’t need to have a straight one and one match between what volunteer work you do and what job you want. The thing that really matters is that you take the time and volunteer.

Common volunteer positions, as mentioned earlier, include spending time with stray animals or at soup kitchens. These charity efforts are not only gracious ways to spend your time but speak highly of your generosity and kindness towards others. Plus, it also demonstrates how you can work as part of a team and put the job before personal needs. Employers pay you every two weeks but like to think you hang around the workplace for reasons beyond cold hard cash.

So listen to your school counselor. Get an early start. The sooner you start, the more experience you can log in and the better your chances of having this investment pay off. Plus, starting your volunteer work in college enables you to have access to a wide range of programs that match you up with volunteer activities. Indeed, college is the ideal setting for volunteer work because you usually have some extra time on your hands. Volunteering in the professional world is somewhat tricky since you often need to keep yourself afloat financially.

Give back and you’ll never know what you’ll get in return.

Any instances of a volunteer opportunity turning out to by career bolstering gold? Sound off in the comments section below.

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