For the fifth day of AFB CareerConnect, we wanted to bring you five ways to turn volunteer work into job experience. The fact is that volunteer experience is important regardless of whether you are employed. But, for those looking for employment, volunteer experience gives a person the opportunity to keep his or her résumécurrent. Besides keeping your résumé current, volunteering offers experience in developing references and connections. Review our tips and advice below on turning volunteer experience into job experience:
5. Treat volunteering like a job, and make the most of your time volunteering. Volunteering can be an opportunity to work hard and have others notice. People take notice when volunteers are working hard, and these same people can be great references for the future. Devote the time and effort that will set you a part from others.
4. Bring your passion and skills to volunteering. Use your volunteer experience as an opportunity to demonstrate your employable skills. Market and demonstrate those skills that offer a value, as this turns a reference into a recommendation and connection toward employment.
3. Pick your organization carefully. Find an organization that you feel will highlight your skills and offer a great name or story. Certain organizations are more well known. The cause might even create a connection with a future interviewer.
2. Develop and mine your volunteer connections. Make an effort to create relationships, friendships, and connections with the organization and the others that you volunteer with. These connections have their own connections, and when job opportunities become available, you want them to think of you.
1. Let people know that you are looking for employment. Don’t state that you are looking for employment within the actual organization, but make sure people are aware you are looking for a job. As stated above, these individuals have their own connections, and if they don’t know you are looking, they won’t think of you when opportunities come along.
- Don’t overextend yourself to the point where it puts a stress on your work or other volunteer commitments.
- Choose the opportunity that highlights your skills most or offers the best connections.
- Pick a cause that you are passionate about.
- Continue to volunteer even after you become employed if you have the time available.
If you would like more career tips and advice, check out AFB CareerConnect. For more on volunteering, read our rock star content developer, Shannon Carollo’s advice on this topic. You can also find lesson plans in the Lesson Plans for Teachers and Professionals section on volunteering.
Take the time to track this blog at the top of the page and look for the last four days of this series. Don’t miss the tip that will get you that next position. You can also access the CareerConnect Blog through the CareerConnect App in Apple iTunes for your iPod Touch or iPhone.