This week marks National Volunteer Week, and if you read a recent post on theseeker.seek.com.au entitled ‘Pay It Forward Day’ you’ll know that volunteering can be an enriching personal experience when you utilise your talents and passions.
Another great benefit of volunteering is that it can help you gain new skills and experience to add to your resume, while providing opportunities to network and get your foot in the door in a new career path or industry.
Anyone can volunteer their time, pay it forward and do something positive for their community, and with the help of SEEK Volunteer it’s easy to find volunteer positions that relate to your talents and passions, and can easily slot in between your existing lifestyle and commitments.
According to a report undertaken by the SEEK, 16% of working Australians currently volunteer. The report found that senior employees are most likely to be volunteering regularly, demonstrating that many volunteers are successfully managing volunteer work among other commitments. If they can do it, so can you. Here are four career-focused reasons to pay it forward and get involved.
1. You’ll gain new skills
Volunteering is a great way to expand and enhance your skill set, which can translate into greater opportunities at work. You might volunteer your time as an online sales coordinator for a charity, sport club treasurer, admin support for a not-for-profit, or an eco assistant for a conservation project. Volunteering isn’t limited to ladling soup or helping clean up a community garden, and there are tons of roles available that can help you gain new skills and experience.
If you’re interested in making a career change, getting your foot in the door can be tricky. Volunteering within that industry can provide valuable insight, allow you to learn on the job, and demonstrate to prospective employers that you’re serious about making the transition.
2. You’ll impress your boss
Volunteering can be a great opportunity to take on more responsibility, and take ownership of a project that can enhance your managerial skills. If you want to move up the corporate ladder at work, highlighting that responsibility on your resume or in your annual review can be a great way to demonstrate your capabilities to your boss. A good example of this might be demonstrating your governance abilities by sitting on a Not For Profit board, or illustrating your leadership skills as a volunteer coordinator.
3. You’ll make valuable connections
If you want to expand your professional network outside of your immediate workplace colleagues, volunteering is a great place to start. Volunteering can provide many untapped opportunities for meeting new people and networking, which can be particularly useful if you’re looking for new employment prospects.
Building friendships and professional relationships with new contacts can open up a whole new world of career possibilities, and impressing those contacts with your skills and work ethics can put you front and centre in their mind if they hear of a role you’d be great for.
4. It will look great on your resume
If you’re currently looking for employment, adding your volunteer work to your resume can really help you stand out from the crowd. Michael Page Australia regional director Richard Wynn says including volunteer work on a resume is particularly useful for entry level and graduate roles.
“Volunteering participation makes a jobseeker appear more employable, as it helps demonstrate the transition from time spent in school and tertiary education to the world of work,” says Wynn. “It’s vital to present valuable volunteering experience properly in a CV and then discuss it with more detail in the interview. I personally believe it’s more interesting to discuss volunteering work rather than the usual ‘Hobbies and Travel’ section that many people list on their resume.”
Ready to volunteer? You can browse thousands of volunteering opportunities by location, cause and type right now with SEEK Volunteer.