It’s a tough job market out there, and for anyone searching for a new position, new network or entirely new career, the hunt can be difficult. Employers are looking for more than just a good employee; they want someone with experience, good people skills and who stands out from the crowd. So how can you compete in such a difficult market?
When employers are looking for someone unique, make your resume jump out by adding volunteer experience. How can volunteering boost your job search? We’re going to find out.
1. Expand your network.
Volunteering at a local nonprofit organization pushes you out of your comfort zone and gives you the opportunity to meet with other community professionals in a non-work environment. And while networking isn’t always easy, volunteering makes it easier.
Whether you’re volunteering at a soup kitchen or serving on a nonprofit board, you will be introduced to an entirely new field of professional organizations. Where there’s a connection, there’s a network just waiting to be tapped into—that your potential employer could be a part of.
2. Demonstrate community leadership.
If you’ve had a difficult time finding leadership opportunities at past jobs or organizations, volunteering is a chance to show just how much of a leader you can be. In fact, according to Monster.com, 93% of workers surveyed said that volunteering gave them the opportunity to enhance their leadership skills like never before.
Volunteerism shows your employer that you’re capable of recognizing a need, getting involved, taking charge and making a difference. That’s the type of leadership money can’t buy.
3. Learn new skills.
Diversify your skillset by volunteering in new and unique ways. Practice interpersonal skills by working with homeless community members. Demonstrate your management experience by helping to plan and coordinate an event with a nonprofit organization.
Whatever work you do in volunteering, you’re sure to broaden your skills and learn about your hidden talents. These are valuable traits to put on your resume and share in an interview.
4. Show your compassionate side.
In today’s market, employers are looking for more than just an employee. They want an employee who is involved, works hard and cares about his or her community. Volunteering is the perfect way to show your potential employer that there’s more to you than just a job—you want to make a difference wherever you go.
Show your compassionate side by volunteering within your community, and employers will appreciate the value and commitment you can bring to a company.
5. Beef up your resume.
Finally, if you find your resume lacking a little bit in content, volunteering is an excellent way to beef it up with valuable substance. Your resume will catch employers’ eyes not only by its substantial totality, but also through its impressive variety.
If you’re in the market for a new position, help yourself and your community by volunteering with a local nonprofit organization. You may be surprised at just how useful it can be in a world of difficult job hunting.