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Supercharge Your Resume With Volunteer Experience!

How Volunteering Can Transform Your Resume

When taking the first steps towards your dream job, it can be tricky trying to pull together a resume. After all, we all start out with no experience, right?

To curate a CV that’s padded with impressive skills and practical know-how, you’ll need a starting point, and there’s no better initiation than a volunteer job! Unlike career-ish paid positions, volunteering roles don’t usually require any experience, which means you can get started today!

What’s more, future employers love to see volunteer experience on your resume. A.K.A., by picking up a volunteer job today, you’ll be better positioned to land a career tomorrow.

What is a Volunteer Job?

Technically, volunteer experience refers to any unpaid work that you’ve chosen to undertake, but truthfully, it’s so much more than that! By donating your time to a good cause, you’ll be showing the hiring manager that you value community and responsibility, and that you don’t shy away from a bit of hard work.

What’s more, you’ll be giving back to those who need it while gaining valuable volunteering experience; how good is that?

Why Should Students Volunteer?

Answering this question is tricky, only because there are so many good reasons to volunteer! To get you started, we’ve put together a list of our favourites. However, be sure to note that this is not exhaustive; the pros of gaining some volunteering experience for your resume are truly endless!

1. Volunteering Makes You Incredibly Hireable!

Don’t just take our word for it; ask the pros. In a super-academic study done by the Centre for Economic and Policy Research, they figured out that those who volunteer were way more likely to land a job (and get paid more, too)!

The value of volunteering isn’t a passing trend. Hiring managers have loved seeing volunteer experience on resumes for a very, very long time. Just check out this New York Times Article from back in 2011. According to their team, people working in tech, marketing, design, communications, event planning and consultant work reap some pretty impressive rewards from volunteering. The best part? You can too!

2. Volunteering Helps You Network with Pros

A possible reason that people with volunteering experience keep getting hired is their exposure to industry pros with similar interests. When you’re starting out in your career journey, opportunities to network can be pretty limited. After all, your high school and university circles are likely made up of other job hunters.

When volunteering, you get to meet potential employers, references, colleagues, mentors and business partners. You know the saying “it’s all about who you know”? It might not be totally fair, but it’s pretty accurate, so you better get networking!

3. Volunteering Teaches You Valuable New Skills

Volunteering is a fantastic way to learn new processes and vastly expand your skill set. Many of the tasks you’ll be doing for a non-profit are the same ones you might be asked to take on in a professional paid environment. Take this opportunity to learn as much as you can; your future self will thank you for it!

Some of the most valuable (and highly transferrable) skills that you’ll get through volunteering are time management, leadership, communication and teamwork. So, make sure you’re making the most of it.

4. Volunteering Helps You Figure Out Your Future

By diving into all the opportunities on offer in volunteering environments, it’s a whole lot easier to get an idea of what you’ll want to be doing in the long run! It can be especially helpful if you land a volunteer position in an industry you’re interested in joining, as it’ll allow you to get a feel for it.

However, if you’re not set on any particular industry, volunteering in a few different environments can help you narrow your passions down. Essentially, volunteer experience will help you figure things out, regardless of where you’re at in your career planning journey!

5. Volunteering Looks Great On Your Resume

Last, but by no means least, volunteering looks incredible on your resume (and hiring managers eat. it. up). By including volunteering in your CV, it shows employers your skills and experience, communicates your values and passions, and suggests that you’re the type of candidate to take initiative!

That being said, it’s important to include it on your resume in the right way. You have to know what type of work to add, and where to include it, too. This might seem a little daunting if you’re new to job applications but don’t worry; we’re here to help!Female teen at home office researching jobs

How Do I Include Volunteer Experience In My Resume?

There’s a common misconception that volunteer work isn’t really real-world experience. While paid positions are a little bit different to work experience, you’ll likely be taking on the same kind of jobs, so it’s definitelyrelevant!

When you’re ready to add volunteering to your resume, you can do so in a couple of different ways, depending on the role and your other experiences. For example, you could write about it in your personal statement or put it under professional experience. However, our favourite method it to create a whole dedicated section for it.

Resume Example

If you’re not sure how to do so, feel free to steal our example and fill it with your own details:

Volunteer Experience

Explore Careers | August 2022 – December 2023

Student Engagement Volunteer

  • Attending school open days to help students discover their dream jobs
  • Running resume workshops with young job-hunters
  • Taught high schoolers about the value of volunteer experience

How to Land Volunteering Experience

The best way to get some volunteering experience is to check out the opportunities on offer and figure out what inspires you most! Maybe you want to spend your days looking after animals in need, chatting with the elderly over tea to keep them company or selling the coolest second-hand finds in an op shop. Regardless of what you’re into, we’re fairly certain you’ll be able to find your perfect fit!

Group of teens in a huddle putting their hands together

Discover Volunteer Opportunities with Explore Careers!

If you’re ready to dive into the exciting world of volunteer experience and line your resume with some impressive skills, there’s no need to wait. Here at Explore Careers, we’re lucky enough to partner with some altruistic companies that would love your help.

DESI: Department of Environment, Science and Innovation

By volunteering with these conservation superstars, you can expect to spend your days:

  • Caring for and rehabilitating sick or orphaned animals
  • Planting native trees
  • Monitoring and relocating turtle nests
  • Assisting in park-related projects
  • Monitoring migratory birds, snapping turtles and yellow-bellied gliders
  • Assisting with guided tours at historic sites

Find out more: visit their employer page or their website.

Western Health

As a volunteer member of the Western Health team, you’ll be helping out your local community by:

  • Guiding visitors around the hospital
  • Transporting patients to where they need to go
  • Assisting with food prep
  • Providing social support to those in need
  • Manning the Western Health opportunity shops
  • Working on administrative tasks to keep everything running smoothly

Find out more: visit their employer page or their website.

CMV Group

Start your engines for a volunteer experience with CMV Group where you’ll be working on their community focused initiatives. Work alongside their passionate team to provide those in need with:

  • Food
  • Showers
  • Housing
  • Education
  • Employment
  • And the opportunity to get ahead again!

Find out more: visit their employer page or their website.

With all of these incredible opportunities to kickstart your volunteering journey (and make a real difference, to boot), we’re sure you’ll find the perfect fit for you! Don’t put it off until tomorrow, get your application in today!


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