As well as your degree, employers are interested in your transferable and job specific skills. Volunteering offers a way of acquiring these skills and can help your job application stand out from other candidates.
Volunteering can be be a route to employment, or a way to try something which may help you choose a career. It also provides a great opportunity to give something back to the community.
You can volunteer from a couple of hours per month to a couple of days per week. Find out more in the Student Volunteering Handbook.
Volunteering gives you the opportunity to establish a network of contacts, as you work with and for people. These contacts may provide references, or links to future employment.
Volunteering has a positive impact on your community. Many volunteers give their time in order to give something back to the community they live in or to causes they care about.
73% of employers would employ someone with volunteering experience over someone without
51% of graduates said volunteering helped them to secure employment1
Voluntary work can help you:
- Gain vital work experience
- Gain new skills and develop existing ones
- Gain accredited training
- Go into paid work with the same organisation
- Build up a network of contacts
- Get a professional reference
- Get the edge over other applicants for jobs
Remember, when you graduate you will have a valuable qualification. If you can combine this qualification with the skills, confidence and experience needed for the career of your choice, you will be a stronger contender when applying for jobs.
Volunteering can help you:
- Make career decisions by trying different roles
- Improve your confidence
- Give something back to your community
- Build your self-esteem
- Find out what you’re passionate about
As a volunteer, doing a valuable job in a real workplace can help you see yourself as a professional, and give you extra confidence which you can carry forward into your graduate career.
Quality of Life
Volunteering gives you chance to:
- Join in activities you really enjoy
- Get to know your local community
- Make new friends
- The ‘feelgood factor’ – knowing you’re helping other people
- Have fun
Volunteering isn’t all about improving your career prospects – it’s also about enjoying yourself! You might want to volunteer in a role that’s not related to your studies at all, simply because it’s something you love. Volunteering is a great way to get involved in university life and the local community, and to make friends who share your interests.
1Research by Reeds Recruitment agency for the charity Timebank