But did you know that if you volunteer not only will you be Doing Good for others, you will be Doing Good for yourself too?
It is acknowledged that volunteering has a ‘Do Good Feel Good’ reputation, but in a competitive job market, prospective employers want to see what makes you different from all the other candidates, and volunteering is a great way of standing out from the crowd. By demonstrating that you take part in meaningful activities in your spare time, you will show an employer that you are a well-rounded person with some interesting life experience. Furthermore, volunteering can help you develop the transferable skills valued by employers such as:
Leadership Time Management Prioritisation Delegation Communication Research & Analysis Teamwork
Instead of saying “I have great leadership skills” you could be saying “I have great leadership skills, demonstrated when I successfully managed a small team sorting donations at a foodbank”.
In the Department for Business Innovation & Skills report ‘Understanding Employers’ Graduate Recruitment and Selection Practices’, in which many large graduate recruiters participated, employers considered many kinds of experience outside study to be helpful, including volunteering. One ‘extra-large employer’ stated, regarding graduate applicants:
‘The standout ones from me are those students that don’t necessarily have part time jobs, but get involved in volunteering activities, and we’re seeing some very good ones. There’re some that you just go, “wow”.’
According to the Deloitte Impact Survey ‘Building Leadership Skills Through Volunteerism’ respondents reported that they see volunteer experience listed on only 30% of the CVs they receive. At the same time, the majority of respondents, 82%, said they would be more likely to choose a candidate with volunteer experience, and of those 85% would be willing to overlook other resume flaws when a candidate includes volunteering on their CV.
The Mental Health Foundation report ‘Doing Good Does You Good’ shows that helping others is good for your own mental health and wellbeing too. It can:
Help reduce stress Improve your emotional wellbeing Give you the opportunity to make new friends
Create a sense of belonging and reduce isolation Help keep things in perspective Benefit your physical health.
So what are you waiting for? Have a look through the current Volunteering Opportunities, or Register as a Volunteer to receive a weekly update of new ones.
If you want to find out how volunteering led one BU student to a fantastic placement opportunity - watch the video below.....