02 Jul

Volunteering: Good for the Heart and Soul

Great for college applications and résumés, too!

Want to really put a shine on your college application or work résumé? Consider volunteering!

A 2013 report by the federal agency Corporation for National and Community Service found that those jobless folks who put in volunteer hours had a 27 percent better chance of getting hired than those who didn’t. The reason was attributed to skills and knowledge acquired by volunteering, which can have the same benefit for college applicants looking to set themselves apart from their admissions competition.

Need more convincing? Consider the rewards:

  • You’ll gain invaluable experience and perhaps some new skills, such as fundraising or researching.
  • You may interact with new types of people or engage in a job you wouldn’t normally. Volunteering provides you with challenging new environments and situations, testing you on how you react to each and translating into some pretty impressive work skills.
  • Volunteering offers excellent networking opportunities, particularly if you’re volunteering in a field close to your chosen profession or interest. It’s a great chance to meet people and find out about any job opportunities. Put your heart and soul into volunteering and you’re paving the way for references or recommendations from a supervisor when applying for a job or to a college.
  • You can experiment with a different career without quitting your day job. Volunteering can allow you to dip your toes into the world of nonprofits, research or a host of other realms. You may get to take on different roles or even a leadership position. For college students, it allows you to better visualize whether this is the type of work you’d like to do after you graduate.
  • It can nicely round out a college application in an increasingly competitive admissions process. Give admissions officers a little more insight into who you are, beyond the GPA and test scores.
  • You’re the one getting the biggest payout. Simply put, you’re giving back to the community, helping the less fortunate, and you should feel an immense sense of accomplishment and pride in that alone!