The lockdown hasn’t been kind to a lot of people. With many losing their jobs or receiving significant pay cuts, it’s safe to assume that most of the work force is over worked. However, there’s no denying that whatever your current state of employment, you’ve made a few changes to that resume to spruce it up. You’ve probably updated a newly-acquired skill, or perhaps you’ve updated your role and responsibilities, but what if, even after everything, we told you that you’re missing something that will make your profile stand out in a big way?
According to Diya Merchant*, a senior human resource manager with a Mumbai-based recruitment firm, “Incorporating volunteer work on your CV will increase the quality of your application to a certain company or role as it adds to your overall potential as a future employee at the company. It gives an employer a sense that you’re dedicated and committed.”
But don’t take our word for it. Here’s how volunteering can give you that career boost you need:
It looks good on your resumeA potential employer will always choose a candidate with the better resume. And given that nobody really complains about anybody being too helpful, highlighting your time volunteering is a great way to make an impression. Says Merchant, “Volunteering is great and if you include voluntary work that aligns with your area of expertise, it becomes an excellent way to showcase career-specific skills and knowledge.” Besides your volunteer work, your years of experience and technical proficiency proves that you have well-rounded experience.
You get to meet new people and networkNetworking doesn’t just mean on LinkedIn or social media. When you volunteer, there’s a good chance that you’ll cross paths with people from various fields, industries, or experiences. Besides, like social engagements, volunteering makes for pretty low-pressure settings, and there’s a good chance that you’re at ease and not awkward when immersed in conversation. “A potential manager will take your candidacy more seriously if they remember you from your time volunteering, no matter how inexperienced you may be,” explains Merchant.
It helps you define your career goals, no matter your experienceMore often than not, people believe they know what they want out of their careers until they try something different. Volunteering is a great way to help you gather information, and understand what you want to gain from a certain career path. “I had one candidate looking to find a permanent teaching position with a decent pay. She applied to various schools but was always brought on as a substitute. She decided to donate her time teaching underprivileged children, and even held fundraisers for basic essentials for them. She chose to continue down that social path because she felt fulfilled, but her profile stood out after that,” recalls Merchant.
It helps build confidenceWhen you volunteer, you’re not only fulfilled, you have a clear sense of self—your skills, your knowledge in the field, and new-found connections. And the fact that volunteering your time is bound to get you noticed, if a sure-shot way to boost that confidence. Explains Merchant, “Whether your time volunteering is directly or indirectly related to your industry or the company you’re applying to, most hiring managers look highly upon the time and effort you put in for a good cause. This leaves a lasting impression in their minds.”
There’s no denying that volunteering is a beautiful thing. Not only will it help you feel like you’re contributing, irrespective of whether you’re employed or not, it can have a great impact on the overall quality of your life and career. “The best part, no matter how experienced you are, volunteering at any point—age or experience—will always have a positive impact on a potential employer, so don’t hesitate to step up and lend a hand,” says Merchant, signing off.