More people are now searching for voluntary opportunities. We take a look at the benefits for employers, employees and job-seekers alike. There’s also advice regarding how to feature your volunteering experiences on your CV…
- 40% of Brits are currently volunteering in some capacity, while 70% have done so at some stage, reports HR News.
- What’s more, Google searches for the phrase ‘volunteering near me’ have increased by 124% throughout the UK over the course of a year.
- Of the UK nations, England has seen the lowest search trend increase, with an 83% rise.
Voluntary work benefits: for employees and job-seekers
The above-linked article explores what’s behind this increased interest in volunteering. It appears that a number of psychological and physical benefits are driving this trend, including:
- Improved mental health
- Reduced loneliness
- Better physical health
- A feeling of ‘making a difference’
- And the opportunity to meet new people
Of course, there are a number of additional benefits that can also enhance your CV, namely:
- The chance to learn something new, both through the volunteering itself and via any associated training opportunities.
- To gain practical experience that can bolster your CV; especially if you’re looking to enter a new role or industry.
- An opportunity to gain new skills and/or to further your existing abilities.
Voluntary work benefits: for employers
It’s not only employees who gain something from volunteering. Employers who encourage their team to volunteer also experience a number of advantages.
Sage People suggests these include:
- Increased employee retention rates through a ‘deeper commitment and connection.’
- Greater external brand awareness and a sense of employee pride.
- Employee empowerment; especially if team members can choose where/when they volunteer.
- Better teamwork and more ‘connected’ teams.
- The development of new skills (as above), which can be used in-house.
- Another opportunity to see who holds internal promotion potential.
- Alongside enhanced morale and reduced sick leave.
How to feature your volunteering experiences on your CV
There are several ways to effectively include your volunteering experiences on your CV. The best option for you will depend on the length of your CV/amount of relevant experience you have for the positions that you’re applying for…
a) If you already have ample industry/role experience (in addition to your voluntary roles):
- Simply include a Voluntary Work section after your Career History.
- Keep this brief. Provide a simple list of where you’ve volunteered (or the most relevant places if this list is too extensive to include in full!), alongside when you volunteered, your voluntary job title, and perhaps a sentence to summarise the most relevant skills or experiences obtained.
- If you feel that your voluntary insights are especially relevant to your application and this method won’t suffice, then either follow the below guidance or consider creating an additional page to detail your Voluntary work alongside your Career History. Only do the latter if it’s particularly relevant to the jobs that you’re applying for.
b) If you have minimal industry/role experience other than your voluntary roles:
- Include these within your reverse chronological Career History. This means listing your most recent role at the top and working backwards down your CV, whether the roles are paid or unpaid.
- However, be sure to include the Voluntary nature of the role as part of your Job Title for any unpaid positions.
- Treat these roles in the same fashion as the rest of your Career History: detailing your employer, your employer’s industry, job title (as above) and dates of employment.
- You’ll also provide a more detailed overview of your experiences, skills and achievements from these positions.
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