We have already mentioned that gaining good work experience is an effective way of boosting your CV. But volunteering outside of working hours and taking part in extra-curricular activities is also a great way of adding depth to your CV.
By volunteering outside of working hours it demonstrates you are both a passionate and dedicated individual. It’s also good to show an employer that you have several “strings to your bow” and helps you learn new skills that may later prove valuable for your career. Depending on the type of volunteering you do, it can also improve your chances of employment.
What is volunteering?
Volunteering is very similar to work experience as you usually give up your time for free. Occasionally someone may offer to cover your expenses but more often than not volunteering will mean working for free. Volunteering is a good way of bulking up your CV but it is also an opportunity for you to take part in something you believe in and help others that are often less fortunate than yourself – obviously this also has the benefit of adding some character to your CV!
When do I volunteer?
Depending on your schedule and where you want to volunteer it could be weekdays, evenings or weekends. Most people that work full time will spend a few hours of their weekend volunteering. If it’s something you can do locally or from home you can even work for a few evenings a week.
Where can I volunteer?
This needs some research and does depend on your local area but generally speaking there is plenty of variety:
- Charity – shops, organisations, trusts & hospices
- Retirement homes
- Youth clubs
- Sports clubs
- Homeless shelters
How long should I volunteer for?
It depends. Most places will be grateful if you help out on one occasion. But many people who volunteer choose a cause they really believe in so you may find you end up volunteering for years. Choosing something you’re interested in will also help you stay motivated throughout the process
so you should consider this carefully when thinking about who you give your time to.