Most students decide to pursue a career in public, social, and human Services because they recognize their desire to help others. They find that working with people and serving the community fuels their passion. Knowing this, it makes sense that applicants who have examples of volunteering and community service are more attractive to potential employers.
Why is it valuable to employers that I participate in community service?
Utilizing volunteering to demonstrate relevant or professional experience is a great strategy to consider when preparing your application materials. For example, maybe you are interested in pursuing a career in children and families. Volunteering and giving back to an organization, such as the Boys and Girls Club is a great way to showcase your passion and commitment to that population. Overall, being of service is a great way to give back to your community, build your network, and gain valuable experience.
How can volunteering be used as experience?
The great thing about volunteering is you can do it almost anywhere, and employers value it. Helping others by spending a few hours a week at your local food pantry, library, place of worship, school, or hospital is incredibly rewarding and can also help you develop competencies for your professional career.
Maybe you will have an opportunity to use your conflict resolution skills or learn a new computer program that will grow your digital technology expertise. Perhaps you are placed with an organization that adheres to confidentiality standards which will improve your understanding of professionalism and ethics. These are just a few examples of the types of topics you might discuss during an interview or document on a resume to show how the experience has assisted in your professional development.
How can I find volunteer openings?
There are always opportunities to be of service. Read on for assistance in finding the right fit for you! Visit volunteermatch.org and search for local volunteer opportunities specific to your interest.
Get involved on campus with a club, student organization, or department and seek out information information on how members can volunteer. For example, the Make Your Impact Organization at ASU regularly takes part in service and volunteering, including Changemaker’s Days of Service.
Visit local organizations to see if they have a volunteer program. Most nonprofits, hospitals, libraries, animal shelters, museums, sporting venues, and schools have opportunities for community members to volunteer. Introduce yourself and start getting connected!
Reach out to your friends and family to see if anyone in their network has opportunities for volunteering.
Consider adding the Peace Corps Prep Certificate. This certificate combines sector-related coursework with relevant service opportunities to help students gain the knowledge and skills needed to be competitive for the U.S. Peace Corps.
Other helpful resources.
Click here to access a resume example that utilizes volunteer work as valuable experience. Get connected with Changemaker Central for ways to get involved and volunteer. Finally, follow up with an advisor on Handshake to get advice on how to showcase your new skills during the job search process.