As part of your research to find a new job you’ve targeted businesses in terms of their products and services, the skills they need and the sort of people they employ.
But look further down the About us tab on their website to what a business might call its Corporate Social Responsibility, Working with Our Communities or Giving Back. The aim is to show: this outfit has a desire to make the world a better place.
And that’s one box in which you can put a big fat tick if you’re a volunteer.
But what does volunteering have to do with finding you a job? Quite a lot actually.
A survey by business consultants Deloitte found that 82 per cent of respondents were more likely to choose a candidate with volunteering experience and were willing to overlook other skills shortcomings when a candidate includes volunteer work on their CV.
That’s because volunteering demonstrates:
  • when you are passionate about something you are willing to put in the effort to make it succeed
  • you are a proactive person who likes to spend their time wisely
  • you like to learn new skills and are adaptable
  • you are a team player, or a leader or somebody that can work effectively without supervision
  • you are a good person and care about others . . . and who wouldn’t want to employ someone like that?
 Volunteering offers great networking opportunities that don’t involve you having to stand around making awkward small talk to somebody you share no interests with.
The range of opportunities the voluntary sector offers is huge – from building bat hotels to coding charity websites; clearing litter from beaches to organising the finances of a not-for-profit organisation; encouraging reading among prisoners to social media blogging.
You don’t have to volunteer through an organisation – getting shopping for your neighbours or running a fundraising event for your favourite cause all help to demonstrate a commitment to use your skills to help others.
If you are worried about volunteering during the pandemic there are ways to do so safely, from supporting others over the phone to working outdoors. The NCVO (National Council for Voluntary Organisations) has some useful advice you can find by clicking here.
Looking for volunteering opportunities?
Your local Volunteering Centre run by the NCVO is a good place to start.
Finally, if you’re putting in the volunteering effort make sure you include it on your CV – preferably on the first page!