Volunteering is a great way to fill gaps on your resume or build work experience for a first-time job seeker.
If you can't think of anything at all to put on your resume under experience — maybe you're looking for your first job or maybe you've been out of work for a little while, either raising a family or you've been unemployed for an extended amount of time — and you need some things to fill those employment gaps, volunteering can be a really great resource for you.
Volunteering does three important things:
1) It builds work experience. You learn a lot of things on the job and they're all valuable.
2) It builds references. The people who you can add to an application or resume who will speak about your work skills and work ethic.
3) It builds your job search network. People who you can call on when you're looking for a job who have different connections throughout the community and might be able to give you a lead on a job opening.
If you're a student, your school guidance counselor should be able to point you in the direction of some volunteer opportunities. Otherwise, check local nonprofits in your area that will probably be needing volunteers to help run operations.
It is always a good idea to volunteer in an area that interests you. For example, Gayle reached out to us on our Facebook page and asked how she could gain experience in something other than retail. After realizing her love of history, she is now volunteering at a local museum. This will help her out with all three points listed in this post!
Don't forget to include your volunteer experience on your resume. And don't forget to ask your fellow volunteers or your volunteer supervisor to provide a reference for your job search.
Have a question? Head over to the Snagajob YouTube channel and leave us a video response with the question you want answered. If your question is selected, we will send you a gift card and include your video in our response!