Volunteering is a great way to support a cause you’re passionate about. However, the benefits of giving back are not limited to warm and fuzzy feelings — it can also help your career. Volunteering is a great way to grow your network with like-minded people who may turn into valuable contacts. Additionally, the experience looks great on paper, as it can make your resume stand out to hiring managers looking for candidates with something special to offer.
4 Ways Volunteering Can Enhance Your Resume
Grow Your Skills
Volunteering is a great way to expand your skill set in a short period of time. If your current job doesn’t offer many learning opportunities, this is a savvy way to branch out. It also gives you the opportunity to apply skills you already have in a completely different setting, which can be very helpful — especially for career changers.
Focus on a Specialty
Many companies want to hire people with very specific work experience, which of course can be extremely difficult to obtain when you are younger or have changed careers. Nonprofits typically focus on a specific cause, so if you can find one relevant to your desired career path, the experience you gain can be resume gold.
Fill the Gaps
Volunteering is a smart way to spend your time away from the workforce, as you won’t be plagued by the dreaded resume gap. Hiring managers understand that people go through periods of unemployment for various reasons, but how you spend that time can make all the difference. Volunteering shows a passion for your work and makes it clear that your skills haven’t had a chance to get rusty.
Put Your Character on Display
It’s difficult for hiring managers to learn much about a candidate’s personality by reading a resume, but when yours includes volunteer experience, it sheds some light on who you are as a person. In fact, a 2012 Idealist survey revealed that nearly 65% of nonprofit hiring managers consider volunteer experience at least “somewhat important” in the candidate selection process.
Make Your Career Goals a Reality
RealStreet is the leading source for career opportunities in the federal, architectural, engineering, and construction communities. Our recruiters are here to help you build a better career. Whether you’re looking for contract jobs or other opportunities in the industry. Contact us to get started!