Volunteer work always looks good on a job application. No matter where you volunteer, or what the cause you’re supporting is, the experience shows potential employers that you’re concerned with your community at large and are willing to go above and beyond to help others.
In any volunteer venture, you’ll learn the skills of teamwork, compassion, and selflessness that will help you in any career you pursue. However, if you want to really stand out on a job application, it’s always best to find volunteer opportunities related to your field of interest. If you need help finding places to volunteer in your community, there are even online services such as VolunteerMatch.org to help find opportunities near you.
If you want to work in the medical field, nursing homes and hospitals are always looking for volunteers to help out. Whether you spend time talking to the patients or helping out at the reception desk, simply spending time in a healthcare environment will teach you how the industry works and prepare you for the ins and outs of working in a hospital or care home.
If you want to be an artist, or even an archaeologist or historian, museums are wonderful centers where you can volunteer your time to hone your knowledge about your craft. Not only will you work with a vast array of historical artistic mediums, you’ll also learn about how to care for art and properly store and display it; things that won’t necessarily be taught in an art or history class. If curating a museum or running an art gallery is your dream, starting out as a volunteer is the first step in reaching that goal.
If you’re a reader or writer interested in the publishing industry, check for volunteer opportunities at your local or campus library. Not only will you learn about how libraries run and the popularity of different genres, but libraries also host visiting writers and general events in the literary community. The networking potential is limitless, and showing your dedication to books won’t hurt your chances with whatever publishing company you decide to pursue. Plus, employers in all fields can always use well-read, competent writers on their team.
If you want to work with animals in your future career, a great place to volunteer is a local animal shelter. Animal shelters are notoriously understaffed, and both the employees and the animals are always happy to have more people around. Working to care for and help pets be adopted is not only rewarding in and of itself, but shows employers you’re responsible and truly care about other beings.
Volunteering at your local church, mosque, or synagogue is a great opportunity to spend extra time in your place of worship if you wish to someday become a religious leader in your community. Places of worship also sponsor and promote their own and other available local volunteer opportunities, and they’re a great place to look if you need some extra ideas for ways to get involved.