Whether you have recently left university, are a school leaver or are in between jobs, having volunteer experience on your CV will help you stand out from the crowd. Volunteering shows you have a social conscience, that you do not shy away from hard work and that you are devoted to a good cause and the local community.
If you have no prior work experience, it will help you gain confidence and personal growth, and will assist you in feeling less nervous about entering the work force. It will also provide good talking points in your first interviews.
According to the 2013 Deloitte Volunteer survey, a whopping 76% of HR professionals said that volunteering makes an applicant more desirable. Furthermore, HR professionals responded positively when asked whether volunteering to improve skills would be valuable or recommended to graduates and school leavers.
So, with that in mind, it is always worth including any volunteer work on your CV, outlining the duties/responsibilities undertaken. Highlight all of the skills you gained during that time, whether it be communications, planning, administration, teamwork and/or time management.
74% of people believe that volunteering provides an improved sense of purpose. Hear from our staff about how volunteering made them feel:
“I have worked at the Cheshire home previously. We helped clear out the garden and loft. The experience made me feel accomplished once the task was completed and it made me feel good knowing that I had helped others.” – Nadine Gavey
“As my mother is heavily involved with The Teenage Cancer Trust, I have often volunteered for this wonderful charity. I have assisted with the set-up of events, selling raffle tickets and flag days, where we stand outside shops collecting donations. In terms of the ways that volunteering could help improve your CV, it is great to show potential employers that you are willing to help others and lend a hand even when you are not directly benefiting. It lets businesses know that you are happy to help where you can and really get stuck in. In a personal sense, volunteering is rewarding as it gives you a feeling of pride to know that you are doing your part to help a worthy cause. It is also a great way to be part of a positive community of people who are all working towards the same goal.”- Evie Smith
70% of employees believe that companies who sponsor volunteer activities have a more pleasant work atmosphere. So, if you love volunteering, we would recommend looking at a potential employer’s website to review the charities that they support. It is always good to ask in an interview about the company’s core values and chosen charities.
If you are wanting to fill your spare time with volunteer work and not sure where to start, below are some local charities and websites to help you get started: