In these uncertain times, many people have “gaps” in their resumes when they’re between jobs. Savvy job-seekers understand there are ways to take advantage of these gaps that benefit the community they live in and look good on their resumes. They know, first and foremost, that when an interviewer asks what they’ve been doing lately, answering “Volunteer work for Habitat for Humanity” is a lot better than saying, “Looking for a job.”
Volunteer work offers great opportunities to build up experience for your resume and broaden your range of skills. If this sounds like a good way for you to plug in some resume gaps, here are tips for making the most of it.
Choose carefully and wisely.
Do you have a love of animals? Like being around seniors? Whatever your choice, there are usually volunteer organizations that would love to make the most of your particular skills and experience. Obviously, the type of volunteer work you choose should mirror your enthusiasm, so take a look around before picking a place to contribute.
Another option: Look for volunteer opportunities in areas where you excel professionally. A public relations or marketing person would make a great fit for any number of non-profit groups seeking more publicity for their cause.
Expand your skills.
Look for a volunteer position where you can learn new skills or expand the skills you have. If there’s an opportunity to travel as part of the volunteer experience (and you can scrape together the necessary funds), you’ll be exposed to new worlds and learn things that were never possible in your “old life”.
Regardless of the volunteer opportunity, you may very well meet people who can help you further your professional career. Everyone knows someone who knows someone else, and you’re increasing your chances of getting to that key individual by helping others in your community. By working hard as part of a volunteer group, you’ll impress others with your talents and enthusiasm – traits they’ll be happy to let others know about. And they can serve as valuable references in the future.
Remember, it’s OK to tell people that you’re looking for a job. You never know where it might lead.
It’s Good for You!
Finding a job is hard and often frustrating. Volunteering, on the other hand, feels good. You’re helping others in need. You’re making the community a better place to live. You’re growing as a person and learning more about the world around you. When you feel good about yourself, you uncover new reservoirs of strength needed to keep the job search going.
So, where do you start? Any number of businesses and non-profit organizations are always seeking volunteers – from community theaters and senior centers to libraries, youth organizations, nursing homes and service organizations like the Lions Club or Rotary club. Start looking today. Before you know it, you’ll have great new information to add to your resume and new skills to boast about at your next job interview.
High Profile specializes in placing job-seekers in administrative positions, including Administrative Assistant, Executive Assistant, Personal Assistant and Project Administrator. Find out more!