You Need to Volunteer - Here's Why
You've probably heard this many times before but let me reiterate - work experience is an invaluable addition to your CV! It's like a sprinkle of glitter on the page (minus the annoying, sticky, how-did-this-end-up-everywhere situation). From demonstrating your motivated work-ethic to helping build useful networks, undertaking work experience can be a total game-changer in how to be a stand-out candidate for any job.
Specifically, I'm going to discuss volunteering. So what's the difference? Well not much, truth be told. The difference is marginal but essentially volunteering is a way of giving back to society in some way. Aside from skill-building and being an upstanding citizen, volunteering can also be immensely enjoyable if you find the right sector.
There is a plethora of options available when it comes to volunteering. Which is exciting but also pretty overwhelming. Off the top of my head this may include construction projects abroad, international summer camps, working with animals, ecosystems, politicians, charities, activists, archivists, media, community groups etc etc. The list goes on and on!
With all that possibility, here's why I recommend volunteering as the perfect CV boost:
Only got a month to spare? You can undertake a month in the Galapagos these days if you like! Short-term placements abroad or at home means volunteering doesn't have to be a major hindrance and can even be an adventure. Likewise if you only have a couple of hours spare a week to help out at your local community centre, it's really not a lot of time to spend giving back.
Volunteering is the perfect opportunity to get outside your comfort zone and boost your confidence levels. And it certainly doesn't have to involve going halfway across the world (although I can recommend it helps). Whilst in third year of university, I became a volunteer tour guide at a local museum. My motive: to overcome shyness. And that I certainly did! Employers love confident, engaging candidates who can demonstrate their potential and push themselves outside their comfort zones.
What do you want to learn? How do you want to give back? Whether you have a skill to teach (hello, sporty people unlike myself) or want to delve into something entirely new (one of my fellow Roman exhibitors was a Chemistry PHD student), the chance is there with a volunteering placement. Public speaking, community engagement, events management etc are all skills listed on my CV as a result of volunteering. 'Variety is the spice of life' as they say.
You might think you're completely satisfied living life with time too precious to do much else but go out, study, work etc. But when you find something worthwhile to dedicate time and effort to, it provides purpose, perspective and a real sense of accomplishment. Whether you're an eco warrior or social justice activist, volunteering can enrich your views of the world and those of yourself. Kindness is always so much easier. You'll be happier for it, promise!
So, what are you waiting for? Go on out there and give it a bash. Happy volunteering!