A common problem for many job seekers is that they possess inadequate experience for the jobs they are targeting. In today’s market, with so many educated workers seeking employment or currently underemployed, job seekers can no longer rely on impressive degrees to land their dream jobs. In order to be competitive, relevant experience is critical.
Many job seekers ask, “How can I gain experience in my field, if no one will hire me without experience?” One answer is volunteer work. The current economy has forced many nonprofits and charitable organizations to cut staff and rely more heavily on volunteers. This provides employees who need to strengthen their resumes with a perfect opportunity to gain the necessary experience —and perhaps even contribute to the community at the same time—needed to land the job they really want.
Volunteermatch.org is a fantastic resource for anyone looking to build their skills through volunteer work. This Web site matches volunteers with organizations all over the United States based on specific needs. For those who are currently working but seeking other employment, there are tasks that would require only a small investment of your time, such as distributing fliers for an upcoming event. And many will allow you to set your own schedule. For those with greater availability, some opportunities allow the volunteer to gain significant work experience by dedicating many hours to the organization of their choice.
Volunteer work offers great resume-building opportunities for stay-at-home moms who know they will eventually return to work, students who will be graduating in the next several years, or anyone who is looking to change the direction of their career. Although many view volunteer work as something that experienced professionals do in their free time, there are also many entry-level tasks that allow anyone to gain valuable experience.
Job seekers targeting a specific industry can also seek out volunteer opportunities directly with businesses in the field. Hospitals offer numerous volunteer activities for those looking to go into health care, while animal shelters are often stepping stones for veterinary workers. Museums frequently seek volunteers for retail and event planning tasks. Nursing homes, churches, and schools often use volunteers to update their landscaping or interior design. Any of these volunteer activities offer a concrete example of your abilities to potential employers.
If you’re not getting results from your current resume, consider adding volunteer experience to help you stand out from other applicants. Thousands of organizations need assistance, and you need a forum in which to prove yourself. It’s a perfect match!
To view samples of resumes visit http://www.greatresumesfast.com/Samples.htm.
Jessica Holbrook Hernandez is an expert resume writer, career and personal branding strategist, author, speaker and President/CEO of Great Resumes Fast. She creates high-impact, best-in-class, resumes and cover letters that transform job searches into interviews and ultimately job offers. For more information about professional resume writing or to read more career and job search related articles visit http://www.greatresumesfast.com or call 1.800.991.5187.
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About the author
Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast
Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.
What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.
You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!
I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!
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