According to a recent study, volunteering makes job candidates more appealing to future employers. If you are in college, what can you do to help others which could end up assisting you in the long run?
The Deloitte Volunteer Impact Survey found that around “81 percent of hiring managers felt that volunteer work makes graduates more attractive job candidates”.[i] An interesting contradiction is that “only 46 percent of the surveyed college students felt that volunteering would help them secure future jobs”.[i] If volunteering has the potential to “make someone stand out in a competitive job market”[ii], then what can college students do while they are earning their degrees to help them gain volunteering experiences?
What are some perks of volunteering as a college student?
Networking. If you volunteer in college, you have the chance of making some solid connections that could help you down the road when you are job hunting. Not only should you meet some other students with similar interests, you will probably interact with program coordinators who may be able to give you advice or even job recommendations when the time comes.
Making a difference. You shouldn’t minimize the impact you could have by volunteering. Combined with the efforts of other students who are involved, you could help bring joy or comfort to other peoples’ lives by your actions.
Life skills. You should hone life skills through volunteering. Whether the volunteer work entails making phone calls or speaking in another language, volunteering is one way to gain hands-on soft skills that could translate in the work place later on.
What should you consider before volunteering?
Before you make your first phone call or sign up to build houses, think about the future career you’d like to have. If you hope to become an attorney and you plan on practicing law, maybe you could volunteer with a firm that is aiding your local community. Here are some other questions you should ask yourself:
What type of people would you like to volunteer with?
What do you want to learn the most from volunteering?
What hobbies or interests do you have that you could incorporate into volunteering?
What activities do not interest you at all?
How much time are you going to be able to volunteer if you are earning your degree and working part-time?
What are some of you talents?
Where should you begin to look for volunteer opportunities?
Ask around at local organizations such as the library, churches, temples, or even your college.
Call specific programs in your community and find out if they need volunteers.
You might even track down opportunities online by vising websites like Network For Goodor VolunteerMatch.
Volunteering might just pay off in the long run when you begin interviewing for jobs. In the meantime, you could make invaluable connections, help improve other peoples’ lives, and hone important skills that you could use in the workplace. Remember the Deloitte Volunteer Impact Survey and what hiring managers are looking for – and then find something you’re good at and can enjoy while volunteering!