Volunteer your way to a better CV

One of the various things you will want to do during course of a year is updating your CV. This will allow two things:

  • It will allow you to add any new relevant information to the CV
  • It will allow you to clarify or delete outdated information on your CV

One of the many ways to update and add to your CV, and make it stronger, is through volunteering. Gaining job experience through volunteering is one of the most effective methods of keeping your CV current.

When

While there is never a bad time to improve your CV, gaining job experience through volunteering can occur at many points in life.

  • When you are in college - when you are in college you will still have holidays and summers off. This is one of the best times to gain job experience through volunteering. This allows you to test the water of as many fields as you can while still having the safety net of school.
  • When you leave college - directly after leaving school, you will need to start the job search. Finding a job without experience will be difficult. Gaining job experience through volunteering can be part of the solution.
  • When you are between jobs - being between jobs means empty time. Empty time usually makes an empty space on your CV. Volunteering will not only make use of that time, it will also show an effort to stay in motion and stay motivated to prospective employers.
  • When you are looking for a career change - while looking for a new job, experience gained through volunteering can help you gain new skills and contacts which will provide new routes to a new career. It also shows prospective employers in your new career that you are not stepping in clueless.

How

There are two ways of utilizing the volunteer sector to gain job experience.

  • Paid work - while the pay is low, the ability to deal with issues and the skills acquired with paid volunteering work are easily transferable to the private sector. These assets are even more transferable into government or public service work.
  • Volunteer work - this allows you to gain new skills, knowledge or abilities which may be useful to your chosen career. This method also allows you to develop knowledge which you want to strengthen or understand better.

How Long

While gaining job experience through volunteering is a good idea. There is the notion that too much of a good thing can be bad. Volunteering can fall into this category if you let it. Here are some of the possible issues:

  • Spending too much time as a volunteer may show you as being afraid of working.
  • Long periods of volunteering may impact your skills or training, making what you know out of date or inadequate for current paid positions
  • Long periods of volunteering will eventually impact both your finances and your personal goals and life.

Spending time to gain job experience with volunteering will provide many possibilities and positive results. Making the most use of volunteering, while not overdoing it, will be a great advantage to your CV when it is needed.