Having work experience is an important requirement for most employers. Research shows that companies will prefer to employ a candidate who has work experience over someone who has none with everything else being equal. Work experience, whether paid or unpaid, allows individuals to prove that they have more to offer than a degree at the university. It also lets a person develop a wider range of skills that can come in handy on the job.
There are many ways to get work experience including course projects, industrial placements, part-time jobs, overseas work, vacation work, and volunteering. While a significant number of people would probably prefer industrial placement or part-time jobs over volunteering (because these are paid), this is not always possible. The economic conditions today have made it hard for young people with no experience to get the type of paid work since they basically need to compete with experienced individuals who had been laid-off and are also looking for work. In this regard, volunteering has emerged as one of the best options.
Tips for Volunteers
• Determine what you want from volunteering – new skills, fun, a chance to work for a worthy cause, or simply to get related experience for career advancement?
• Find out which organizations will benefit the most from your knowledge, skills, and life experience
• Work out how much time you can offer and how many times a week you can devote as a volunteer without harming your studies
• Make it a point to record your volunteering activities. For most people, this helps in personal development
Once you know what type of work experience you want, you can now contact relevant organizations to ask for further information. There are a lot of health centers, retail stores, schools, factories, non-profit organizations, and other types of institutions that need your help. Depending on where you live, your city may have a databank of volunteering opportunities.
Going Abroad as a Volunteer
If you’re the type of person who’s always up for new adventure and experiences, it may be a good idea to consider volunteering opportunities outside the country. There are countless possibilities when you widen your horizons. It can provide a great opportunity to gain important experiences you could never get within the country.
The choices that are available to you will depend on your skills and experience. Teaching, engineering, administration, and healthcare are in high demand. If you’re a native English speaker, for example, it is easy to get a job as a language teacher in most parts of Asia. Meanwhile, there are also medical missions that can join in many parts of the world. There are a number of fun jobs in cruise ships, restaurants, and other establishments in the hospitality industry.
Before committing anything, it is crucial to note that there will be costs involved if you decide to volunteer. Some organizations may pay for your travel and accommodation but most will not. Do as much research as possible to find out which opportunity best suits your situation right now.
Consider using a resume writing service to help you incorporate your volunteer experience into your resume.
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