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Why volunteering is a key skill on your CV

written by

Leukaemia Care, Charity

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A study carried out by TimeBank showed that 24% of people, aged 16-25, participated in at least one act of formal volunteering with an official group, club or organisation per month. While 38% took part in informal volunteering, by giving unpaid help to other people that they knew, at least once a month.

There is no question that volunteering can make you a more competitive job seeker. In fact, it has been reported that 41% of hiring authorities surveyed by LinkedIn rated volunteer experience equally as important as paid experience. Nicole Williams from LinkedIn recently said:

Given the current economic climate and the hypercompetitive job market, it’s essential to include your volunteer work on your profile. When hiring managers or business partners are comparing two people side-by-side, volunteer experience makes you a more multifaceted professional and can set you apart from the competition.”

A CV that lists volunteer work is a great way to reveal your areas of interest and skills that you have gained through your volunteering. It’s also a way of showing that you take the initiative to find work that you like. Employers love to see that you are enthused by the chance to learn and not just by being paid.

You need to establish what experience you wish to have on your CV, in order to help recognise a voluntary opportunity that is right for you. Employers are well aware of the positive outcomes of volunteering and appreciate the initiative and dedication that can often be required by volunteers.

Whilst qualifications are very important, voluntary work can assist you in getting the experience you need for the working environment. Also bear in mind, the rewards of volunteering don’t end there - you’ll have the opportunity to meet new people, try different things and are certain to enjoy yourself at the same time.

Including that you were a ‘volunteer’ on your CV might be correct; however it may leave employers questioning how your volunteer work experience will apply to their workplace. Try to think of a title that represents the sort of volunteer work you did. If you are struggling to think about possible titles for your CV, why not ask your supervisor to help you clarify your responsibilities.

If you’d like to get involved in volunteering, you can find out morehere. We also run a successful Student Ambassador programme, which is aimed specifically at 16-25 year olds who want to get involved in voluntary work. If you’d like to take part in some voluntary work, we’d love to hear from you.

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