Volunteering: Good for the Soul, Good for the Résumé
These days, it can be tough to land a great student job or internship. Still, it’s important to add substance to your resume so that you are a competitive job candidate come graduation. It can be frustrating to see entry-level job listings that require “1-2 years experience,” but there are many ways to gain that experience aside from traditional employment.
Volunteering can be a fantastic way to add to your resume and work experiences, especially if you form a long-term partnership with an organization you care about. Just because work is unpaid doesn’t mean you aren’t learning valuable organizational, leadership, and teaming skills. Volunteering also shows that you are motivated and willing to work hard, and if you do a good job, you may be able to ask the program supervisor for a letter of recommendation or to serve as a reference.
There are innumerable sites out there that can connect you with great volunteer opportunities. Take a look at VolunteerMatch.org for a start, or Google a cause that’s close to your heart and look for opportunities in your area.