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Volunteer: Use Your Unemployed Time to Build Your Experience and Enhance Your Resume

September 5th, 2011

Source: winnond /

Have you recently found yourself unemployed? Have time on your hands and not sure what direction to focus on? While you are looking for a new and better job, now is the opportune time to explore ways in which to stand out from other candidates through volunteerism.

Being a volunteer can help you to stay active on the job market, while earning valuable career skills. Additionally, you are likely to enhance your resume, as you will demonstrate the ability to contribute to society while you search for gainful employment. Here are some ways to use your unemployed time wisely as a volunteer.

Get involved with religious and civic volunteer efforts. Every religious and civic organization has the need for volunteers to handle a number of duties. These can range from providing extra people for events, to managing various technologies and projects. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to learn a skill in a certain area, but have not had the time to do so while working full time. Contact a local church or non-profit organization and find out what volunteer roles are available.

Join an industry association and get active. A great way to garner valuable experience in a particular career is to join an industry association and then volunteer to help out on an important activity. This is especially helpful if you are a new graduate, a career changer or hoping to land work in a new career field. Learn valuable work skills and put yourself in the right place at the right time as a volunteer on a new project. The network you develop as a result will help you throughout your future career, and it looks great on your resume.

Participate in community service. In every neighborhood, there are thousands of ways to get involved in community service events. Take part in food and clothing drives, provide a service to less fortunate neighbors, or improve the beauty of a poorly maintained lot through lawn and garden services. By doing this, you are not only making your community a better place to live in, but you will gain positive attention from employers who may be looking for someone with your initiative and creativity. You’ll also learn valuable lessons about managing something yourself.

While you are volunteering, be sure to keep a list of people who can vouch for your service and your performance in this role. Just as you would references for a paid position, you may ask for letters of reference to include with your resume in terms of the volunteer work you’ve accomplished. Add your volunteer work experience along with your paid work experience, including your major accomplishments while in that role.

Volunteerism is growing as one of the best ways to earning more work experience and a sense of responsibility that employers look for in candidates. When you list volunteer roles on your resume, you appear to be someone who sees the “bigger picture” about your career, and someone who’s motivated enough to make positive changes in the world.

Want to learn more about volunteer, part time and full time career opportunities? Check out the Concorde Personnel candidate portal for more advice and job listings.





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