We live in the world when everything happens so fast that we can barely keep up with the tempo offered by this new age of technologies. As a result, people became so impatient when it comes to the job search: they want everything right now even though they do not deserve it. Either it is a student who just graduated from a university or an experienced manager who relocated to a different state - they all want to find a job within days. But usually it takes way more time to find a job that will match your personal aspiration and career goals and many job hunters get upset pretty quickly when they can't get employed. The truth is that the more tools you have today, the more chances of getting hired you have. And one of the most ignored tools among job seekers is volunteering. For some reason, volunteering gets overlooked by many job hunters. There are some who have some experience but they don't think they should put it on a resume.
How Can Volunteering Help?
First of all, volunteering can help you expand your personal and professional networks. If you have a chance to volunteer within an industry you would like to work in - go for it. Even if it doesn't seem like a big step forward. People you will be working with can become a great source of information about future openings or career opportunities. It would be a big plus if your direct supervisor could be your reference when you are going to apply for jobs in the same sector. So volunteering can expand your professional horizons even when you don't think you are progressing. Besides, it is always a great experience to learn new skills as well as apply those you already possess. And it doesn't necessarily matter whether you are a recent graduate or mid-career professional; practical application of skills is something hiring managers to look out to. You can either aim at developing your current skills or focus on attaining some new skills that you know you will need for future employment.
Another way of how volunteering can help you is to explore different fields. You don't have to apply for jobs you just want to try. It will take too much of your time and efforts only to realize you don't like working in this particular field. Joining a company in the role of a volunteer will rid you of this long employment and quitting process. As a result, you won't have any job-hopping on your resume and it will be easier to change the type of activities within a short period of time which is impossible if you are hired. So try to look at volunteering as an opportunity to try different jobs and industries. Maybe it will help you understand what you really want to do. There are thousands of job seekers who have understood their calling with the help of working for companies as volunteers.
Lastly, volunteering can help you fill in employment gaps on your resume. Since most hiring managers prefer reverse-chronological resumes that's what most job seekers deliver. However, this type of resume is focusing on a career progression and any career gap will be easily spotted by hiring authorities. If you worked as a volunteer during the time you spent off work you can freely incorporate it into your resume and list all of the things that you did either for an organization or community.