One popular resolution that people make each year is to "volunteer" more. Not only does volunteering your time and skills help you feel good, but it also can bring other benefits - including being a boost for your career.
Here are 5 ways volunteering can be of benefit for your job search.
Grow Your Personal And Professional Network
Unless your volunteer opportunity is an isolated endeavor, you're going to get out and about to meet new people. If your volunteer opportunity is within your industry, then chances are you'll be able to meet people who can also assist with your job search.
Your volunteer supervisor and coordinator are great people to get to know. Often times these people are the "connectors" - the people who can make introductions on your behalf if there's a good all around experience with your volunteer opportunity.
Make a great impression, go out of your way to introduce yourself, and you never know what contacts you'll make during your time as a volunteer.
Give Your Resume A Boost
Adding something new and recent to your resume stands out to hiring managers. Something that you're doing now compared to what you were doing 10 years ago speaks a little more loudly.
If your resume is getting a little stale, or if you have been out of the workforce for several months, adding recent volunteer experience to your resume shows that you're active.
Express What You Care About
Actions speak louder than words. That's why resumes are such an important factor in your job search. Recruiters are reading words, but they're really making judgments on whether your career actions make you a great candidate for their job opening.
Find a volunteer organization whose mission aligns with your personal cause. By associating yourself with a certain type of organization, you're able to utilize your volunteer experience to communicate what's important to you.
Learn New Skills
Volunteering can help you develop new job skills and apply your current skills. For example, if you're someone who understands marketing, you could help a nonprofit with campaigns to bring in more fundraising. Or, if you've done research assignments in the past, you could help an organization discover more about their target demographics to make more sound business decisions.
Treat volunteering like a mini job search. Getting aligned with the right volunteer opportunity can allow you to showcase your skills to the right people.
Explore Career Opportunities and Paths
A job search can take a turn for the better after a volunteer experience. For example, if you're a web developer who has served corporate clients for the last 10 years, but find that a recent project with a nonprofit left you more fulfilled, then your volunteer experience could totally alter your definition of "the ideal job."
Getting out to volunteer exposes you to all of the different career opportunities that exist, and allows you to explore whether those careers are a match with what you enjoy.
Want more volunteer inspiration? You might enjoy visiting the Taproot Foundation to discover volunteer opportunities and organizations that are in need of your skills today!