Sometimes, people leave their volunteering experience off of a resume or application because they think it looks like wasted time. After all, you weren’t paid for this work, so it shouldn’t be lumped under ‘professional’ experience. Should it?
What you may have realized when you were volunteering is that you have opportunities to lead others and to help make things better for the organization. These are valuable skills and experiences that translate well into other job roles, allowing you the chance to be a better candidate for the position.
Think about how you can also use your volunteering work to gain experience in leadership:
- Sign up to organize an event – By being in charge of the event, you have to coordinate resources, ensure the event is planned well, and you need to oversee other people.
- Work on a grant – This will allow you to gain experience in grant writing, but it will also help you learn more about how to work with others and to lead others, when necessary.
- Take on daily supervision needs – When you walk into your volunteer position, try stepping it up and being the leader to get things done more efficiently. In time, you’ll be called upon to take this role more frequently, helping you be seen as the leader.
While you may not be getting paid, you need to remember that volunteering is a great way to help your community. And that’s often payment enough. You know that you’re making someone’s life better because of your presence.
But while you’re there, you have a chance to become a leader, which can translate well into management positions in your chosen market. The fact that you can lead is a sign of strength. And when you’re affecting change in your local community, that’s even better.
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