Basically I really did not know about volunteering until about my second semester in post graduate school. Probably if I knew earlier in life I would have done more volunteering while I was waiting to define my career path and would have had a lot to polish my resume with now that I have acquired a lot of certificates. However this is not time to cry over spilled milk but am opportunity to encourage others.
Many young graduate are probably job hunting after graduation looking out for what to polish their resumes with as employers of labour are more interested in your specific skill not really much on your grades even though that can be an advantage as well . Believe me from my experience now, volunteering while studying (holidays best in Nigeria setting) would do the magic for many graduates if only students would take advantage of it. But then volunteering is not just limited to students alone, for graduates who are job hunting, it can be a great opportunity to improve as well as learn new skills.
Volunteering is an opportunity to contribute to your generation and it can also have a major impact on your job search and professional reputation because it provides you with the opportunity to acquire in -the -job -skills.
Ok, much fact established. Here are five basic benefit of volunteering
- It Looks Good on Your Resume
Let’s start with the most obvious one first. If there’s one point that you can’t refute, it’s that volunteer work looks great on your resume. After all, when’s the last time you heard someone complain about a person being too helpful and community-minded? Probably never.
I’m sure that the skills listed on your resume are nothing short of impressive. But, when you’re willing to use those competencies to help with a deserving cause—even when there’s really nothing in it for you? That makes you look not only qualified, but conscientious.
- It Presents an Opportunity to Meet New People
No, networking doesn’t just need to be done on LinkedIn or at a formal networking event. And, it definitely doesn’t need to be forced, uncomfortable, and filled with awkward pauses. So, this is where volunteering comes in. It’s an easy and completely natural way to meet some new connections in your area.
Generally, volunteer opportunities have a pretty friendly, low-pressure environment. This means that you can have genuine, engaging conversations with people who share your interests—without that awkward air of expectations. Chances are, you’ll make more meaningful connections doing this than you ever have around the appetizer table at a networking event.
- It Helps You Determine Your Career Goals
Donating your time to volunteer is also a great way to gather information and find out a little bit more about what exactly you’re looking for in regards to your career. Perhaps you’ve always worked for a large company and are curious about what life is like with a smaller nonprofit. Or, maybe you’re itching to find out a little bit more about what it’s like to work in a startup environment
Beyond company size, volunteering is also an effective way to discover other important tidbits about how you function. Do you like working independently, or as part of a team? Do you enjoy getting your hands dirty, or do you prefer to do the coordination and administrative tasks? Does working with a certain type of organization make you feel especially inspired and fulfilled?
Volunteering presents a non-threatening opportunity for you to figure all of that stuff out. And, that information is undoubtedly valuable when determining your next career move.
- It Allows You to Develop and Refine New Skills
You’ve mastered your current position. And, while it’s great to feel confident and secure in your job, that doesn’t mean you want to be completely done trying and experiencing new things.
When you volunteer, you can try your hand at tons of different skills and challenges, without any threat to your reputation or current job standing. Whether you’ve always wanted to dip your toes into the world of coding or you’ve been meaning to learn a little bit more about marketing, you should have no trouble finding a volunteer opportunity that allows you to do so.
Plus, I don’t need to tell you that volunteering is also an effective way to polish your teamwork skills—which is a quality that virtually every employer looks for!
- It Makes You More Confident
An expanded network. Increased knowledge. Improved skills. They all help you to present yourself as a more impressive and well-rounded candidate. And, strolling into an interview feeling qualified and competent? Well, it’s a pretty nice boost to your confidence.
Plus, your experiences also give you a few different talking points to answer some of those common interview questions. Not only can you provide details on your various skills, but you can also share how you applied them in a real-world setting while simultaneously benefitting your community—which makes you look even more amazing.
We all know that approaching an interview with confidence is never a bad idea. Cheers