Graduate Blog

How To Enhance Your CV Through Volunteering – Advice From A Professional

Untitled-3

Writing a CV involves time and effort. Not only does your CV need to include your work experience and qualifications, it needs to accurately portray who you are and what you can offer. If your CV does not sell you as a person it will fail to attract a positive response from employers.

The thing is, many people do not have any work experience at all. It is this inexperience which can lead to a CV being binned by somebody working in human resources. So, you might be a very likeable person and you may be able to solve a Rubik’s Cube within one minute, but the fact remains; you’re not valuable to certain employers due to your bare CV.

Volunteering is one way that you can enhance your CV and make yourself more employable.

A good definition of volunteering comes from http://www.ncvo.org.uk/, who define it as “any activity that involves spending time, unpaid, doing something that aims to benefit the environment or someone (individuals or groups) other than, or in addition to, close relatives.”

Volunteering requires strong will and good character. People often volunteer to give something back to society, make a difference to the lives of others, help the environment and gain confidence. It is the very last reason, to gain confidence, which can easily be achieved through volunteering and it is something which employers look for in a candidate.

So how can you enhance your CV through volunteering?

For some, volunteering can be a direct route to paid employment or a trial towards a career change.

Volunteering will enhance your CV as, depending on the volunteering work you carry out, it demonstrates an ability to work within society or a professional environment and function at the same level as those who pick up a wage slip. Your CV will benefit from this by including:

New skills and experience

This is the biggest reason individuals go in to volunteering. There is no shortage of charities, councils and businesses looking for volunteers to carry out work, and so the world is your oyster; break the mould by volunteering for jobs which you have never worked in before and gain both work and life experiences worth talking about.

Achievements made or contributed to by yourself

Just like any regular employee, volunteers will be expected to meet certain standards and operate at a certain level. You may even be given targets! This isn’t a tactic for employers to stretch your unpaid socks as far as possible, it’s simply a way for an organisation to track your success. Hitting your targets and making a fantastic impression cannot only lead to credited achievements, but vital employment testimonials in the future.

Passion and drive

Potential employers want candidates to be passionate about their industry. After all, passion and commitment is what drives growth. Volunteering shows a passion for an industry that an employer can connect with, and your own drive to learn new skills and discover new things will stand out from the crowd.

Image credit.

About the Author

Samantha Dunbar Samantha Dunbar

My name is Samantha, I have been working at Grads.co.uk since January 2013. I run the day to day management of this blog :) If you need to contact me my email address is samantha@grads.co.uk

Have your say...