Anytime you are unemployed or underemployed, volunteering is a great way to add value to your resume and to show your work ethic by keeping busy and adding value. Volunteering can also be a great opportunity to build critical skills and gain relevant experience. Rather than volunteering for the sake of volunteering, consider the following:
- Many non-profits are looking for experienced business people on their boards.
- Find a board that would benefit from your experience
- Seek opportunities to gain experience and make connections that could be valuable in your job search
- Board membership shows leadership on your resume
Focus on Mission
- If you are not able to identify a board position, volunteer with an organization whose mission is important to you
- Try to find a relevant mission but avoid missions that would be considered highly controversial or politically charged, don’t give someone a reason not to review your resume further
- Try to identify volunteer opportunities that utilize your marketable skills
- If you are seeking to make a career change and are having trouble getting attention of hiring managers for the new field, consider building your skills by volunteering.
- Seek opportunities that help you build experience in your new field, fundraising if you seek sales experience or maybe marketing or PR experience for example
- Track your accomplishments and build references
For all volunteer opportunities, you want to be sure to cultivate references for your future job search, you can also identify great networking contacts through your nonprofit work.