How Can Volunteering Experience Enhance Your CV and Career Prospects

Job hunting is often accompanied by a lot of stress and uncertainty. After all, you are competing for a chosen position with another untold number of candidates, and your goal is to make it immediately obvious that only you are the best choice. With even the biggest companies announcing thousands upon thousands of planned layoffs, the job market is likely to become even more fiercely competitive. To stay on top, candidates will need to utilize every possible advantage on their side, including an often neglected piece of information – their volunteering experience! 

How Can Volunteering Experience Enhance Your CV and Career Prospects

When applying for jobs, it is strongly recommended to craft a separate CV for each one you have chosen. Take note of any essential responsibilities, requirements, or keywords used in each job description and try to match the information presented in your CV to them. For many, the CV crafting process could be yet another daunting challenge as they painstakingly muse over each small detail. However, this doesn't necessarily need to be the case. With the help of experts like PurpleCV, you can be sure to get a personalized resume that will represent both your professional experience as well as your individual character and traits.

Volunteering Can Be A Valuable Boost to a CV

Having volunteering experience could be a pivotal addition to a CV. Even more so in cases where the candidate doesn't have extensive work experience or career history that is relevant to the open position. Indeed, having volunteering experience can be of tremendous help for fresh university graduates who are just starting their professional careers to have a stellar resume. In addition, many employers are likely to view the listed volunteering as a prime example of the applicant being a driven and self-motivated person, qualities that are highly sought in nearly every industry and market sector.

The Benefits of Volunteering

Including volunteer experience as part of the CV could be a great way to showcase numerous important soft skills. While the emphasis would naturally be on the hard skills acquired through formal education and work opportunities, the soft skills of the candidate could be the factor that will get him hired. Skills like decision-making in a dynamic setting, critical thinking, teamwork, interpersonal skills, communication, creativity, and many more can be polished only through experience. Volunteering can be the perfect environment to develop such skills as it offers an almost unique setting that is both professional and personal.

Participating in charity or volunteer work will often result in chance encounters with people from all walks of life. You can't really know who you might meet at such an event, creating an opportunity for participants to meet people who they might have otherwise never come in contact with. People can get different viewpoints, exchange opinions, expand their horizons and their network, and acquire valuable insight. Detailing your volunteer experience will also serve to make the submitted CV feel more personal by demonstrating your particular interests, and passion to help others, and that you are not driven solely by financial motivations. 

How To Include Volunteering Experience on a CV?

The exact position or section of the CV where you might want to add your volunteering depends on how relevant it is to the specific job listing. For example, the professional work section will typically include between 3 and five of the candidate's recent jobs. However, if your work history is not that extensive, you can easily include your volunteer experience. Format the volunteer work exactly like a normal job by describing several of your main responsibilities. Also, try to connect the skills you used during volunteering to the ones needed for the position. Make sure that the listed role can be easily identified as being a ‘volunteer' job.

Alternatively, if you have free space on your CV, you could include a section dedicated specifically to volunteer work. This could be a good idea if the volunteer experience is not necessarily relevant to the chosen position but is still important enough to help set the candidate apart from the competition such asĀ teaching English online. Keep in mind that while volunteer work could bolster a CV that lacks valuable work experience, it may not be worth it for candidates with sufficient professional history. In these cases, it may be best to leave the volunteering jobs out of the CV in order to sufficiently showcase your professional achievements that are more directly connected to your current career aspirations.

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