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How Volunteering Can Augment Your Candidacy

How Volunteering Can Augment Your Candidacy

You may have specific reasons or motivations for volunteering. A hiring manager appreciates candidates who have volunteer work aptly placed on a resume. A recent study found that volunteers have a higher likelihood of finding a job after being out of work than people who haven't made the effort to volunteer.

Volunteering and donating your time is a clear display of your intention to get involved and give back to your community. It also shows that you have initiative and enjoy trying new things. From that alone, employers can infer that you're the type of employee who is willing to help out and contribute to the greater good on behalf of their organization.

You might be wondering how do you leverage these sellable traits on your resume? The best way to format your volunteer work depends on your career level and where you are planning to go in your near future. 

Follow these tips to get your foot in the door:

Volunteering for New Graduates

Entry-level candidates with minimal work experience should highlight their volunteer work even if it becomes the main focus of the resume. Make an effort to showcase how you learned to utilize your communication, leadership and planning skills. Don’t forget to mention how these experiences motivated you to become more adaptable to ever changing work environments.

You can incorporate volunteering in the work experience section if you have little to no paid work history. Treat the experience as if it were a paid job, but make sure to indicate your volunteering status in the description or next to your title. 

List the following:

  • Organization's name
  • Location
  • Functional title
  • Date range
  • Accomplishments

Volunteering for Career Change & Reentering the Workforce

Volunteering is an ideal way to develop and showcase new in demand skill sets. Employers will be interested in the fact that you made the distinct effort to acquire new skills. It's a great way to set yourself up for a career change. 

Again, remember to list this work as volunteering and not paid employment. Your experience won't be minimized, and you'll be showing employers that you're not embellishing your actual work history. 

Volunteering for Those On A Steady Career Track

If you have an established career path, you don't need to include your volunteer work. Your professional work experience will take center stage on your resume. 

Don't Risk Including Too Much Information

If you've volunteered with organizations that reveal information you wouldn't want a prospective employer to know, consider leaving them off of your resume. For example, if you've volunteered with religious or political groups, consider listing the skills you acquired rather than highlighting the affiliation with those organizations. 

Target the Employer's Philanthropic Leanings

Dedicate some time researching prospective employers to discover how much emphasis they place on community and philanthropy. Modify the volunteer section to reflect the stance of the companies that interest you. 

If you find out that a company that you're applying to champions a specific cause or organization, be sure to mention any similar companies that you've volunteered with. This demonstrates that you're familiar with the issues and could be a solid cultural fit within the company.

Where can one find hidden job postings these days?

Where can one find hidden job postings these days?

A common misconception about looking for a new job is that all of these indemand positions will be easily visible on sites like LinkedIn, Glassdoor and Monster. Unfortunately, you’re incorrect.

Many available positions are regarded as 'hidden' and are never seen by the majority of jobseekers. Instead of implementing an advertising campaign, employers will fill these available positions by word-of-mouth, headhunting or simply by recruiting internally. Knowing how to get yourself in the loop for these specific jobs could give you a major boost when it comes to finding your next role. 

Getting The Word Out 

By utilizing your network efficiently it could be your main way in terms of sourcing these hidden positions. Past employers, colleagues, friends, family and just about anyone you meet can form your potentially vast network. For serious jobseekers, even the most casual virtual meetings should be treated as a potential job lead. Webinars in particular can provide you the potential career enthusiast with an invaluable opportunity in order to meet a large number of useful contacts to expand your reach. 

If you're looking for your first job after graduation, teachers or professors can be an invaluable source of information about the current job market. As known experts in their field, they are bound to have contacts in the industry and will know your strengths better than anyone. Make the best use of your college career facility, no matter how distant the idea of getting a job appears in the near future. 

Making The Move Forward

Even if an employer doesn't have any available jobs at the moment, they might potentially be willing to create a position if an exceptional applicant comes along. This occurs when you contact companies on a prospective basis to inquire if they have any opportunities for somebody with your specific skill set. 

The most courteous way to carry this out involves giving them a call and then following up with an email and making sure to include a recent copy of your resume and also a cover letter as well. It's generally good practice to get hold of the department manager that you're looking to work for who will then pass you onto the relevant person in the recruiting team to follow up with. 

In addition to searching for hidden jobs, you still need to continue applying for the positions that are already visible through your regular job searching methods. This will let you know the kinds of job descriptions that are currently on the market. 

If you're adamant on working for a certain company and simply can't find a way in, consider applying for a lower tier position and being willing to work your way up. Then you can use your contacts on the inside and be the first to hear about new roles.

How You Can Keep Your Skills Current Through Certification & Continuing Education

How You Can Keep Your Skills Current Through Certification & Continuing Education

Keeping up with the endless number certifications and training available can pay off no matter what field you are in.

Becoming certified has helped professionals earn promotions from their previous positions. In today’s corporate world with ever-changing technology and business needs, it’s important for longtime workers in a specific industry to demonstrate that they are competitive. For some, certifications and continuing education are proof that not only can they do the job, but they are also committed to the work and excel in their career field. 

Jobs have expanded and so has the need for continuing education. Education is a critical component in everyone’s skills toolbox, but certification is the mark of excellence for a specific profession.

Certification Benefits

Certifications have helped many professionals achieve a desired role. If you decide to pursue certification and training, it is a powerful sign and testament to becoming a leader. Studying for the certification exam isn’t the end of training. Every few years, you might need to complete several hours of education, experience and leadership through meetings, conferences and courses to maintain your designations. 

Promote Your Certifications & Continuing Education

If you want those coveted initials after your name, seek additional information. In the time you’ve taken since attaining both certifications, you might come to realize what an invaluable investment it has been for both you and your employer.

Always keep your resume updated with your most recent training and skills. Additionally, you can keep your supervisor up-to-date on any training activities such as conferences, workshops, seminars and webinars.

Use your certification in the job search process by highlighting the areas tested on for certification, such as organizational planning and any additional relevant skills. 

Certified Advice For You

Are you thinking about pursuing your own certification and continuing education? Some key elements to include in your plan are: continuing education, certification, training and don’t forget good old fashioned networking. Explore the options available to you and then give your answer, especially when it comes to taking on new projects in your current role in the workplace.