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The Benefits of Volunteering as a College Student

You may have done some community service as a high school student to improve your application for college, but why should you continue to volunteer in college? Believe it or not, surrendering some of your free time to serve others can benefit you as you prepare for a career.

Networking

People of all ages, cultures and industries, volunteer. Depending on where you serve, you will have the opportunity to interact with others who are active in the community, which will enable you to learn more about local companies, popular industries and other networking events. You could end up standing right next to a CEO. Don’t be afraid to talk to people. Get to know them and let them get to know you.

Don’t discount the staff at nonprofit organizations either. If you do a good job, you’ll earn their respect and they can serve as references in the future. They may also have important contacts they can refer you to when you’re ready to begin job hunting. Nonprofit board members are often company and community leaders.

Exploration

Volunteering gives you the opportunity to try out new jobs. You may realize that you want to use your degree to pursue a career different than the one you had in mind. You are rarely locked into a volunteer position the way you are a job, so use your time to explore interests. Offer to help out in different areas that interest you.

Volunteering abroad has become very popular. You can volunteer internationally for as little as 1-2 weeks, and many international volunteer programs include language classes or tours as part of your trip. Volunteering in a new place shows that you aren’t afraid to try something new to support a cause you believe in.

Skills

Volunteering is a great way to learn skills you wouldn’t otherwise. You may have the opportunity to write, learn computer programs , manage a marketing campaign, or plan an event. These are all skills that will be incredibly valuable to a future employer and the hands-on experience you gain through volunteering will not go unnoticed. These experiences can be used as examples in future interview situations.

If you notice another volunteer or a staff member doing something you’re interested in, ask them if you could spend an extra hour shadowing them to learn that particular skill. See if there’s a class you could attend or a certification they recommend. You’ll likely impress them with your eagerness to learn.

A greater purpose

Your volunteer role doesn’t have to be all about the future. It can benefit your life the day you start, simply by giving you something to focus on outside of school. It’s unhealthy to focus so intensely on grades that you forget the world around you.

Use your volunteer time to lift yourself up. As you begin to interact with those you’re serving, notice the difference you’re making just by giving your time. Is the event you’re serving at raising money for those in great need? Is the food you’re passing out nourishing bodies? Is tutoring providing an underprivileged child with the hope that he or she also can go to college one day? Allow yourself to feel good about what you’re doing and to realize that you can in fact make a difference.

Summary

Volunteering may ultimately be about serving others, but the work you do will always benefit you as well. Use the valuable time you are given as a student to learn more about yourself and the world around you.

Craft an Effective Resume

Applying for jobs and not getting the expected response? Follow these simple tips to write an effective resume, which will definitely win you an interview call:

Remember the Basics

Write your name, contact, and email address right at the top before you start writing anything else. Write it down in a bold and larger font than the rest of the information. You don’t want an employer having to search for your number.

Make It Interesting

Don’t make the resume a parchment to land you a job. Most people make this mistake which makes their resume lengthy and boring. Keep your objective of writing the resume to land an interview, which will in turn land you the job. Make it as interesting and engaging as you can. Remember that you are selling your skills and marketing yourself on how you fit perfectly for the job.

List your Achievements

People like to see results. Don’t just list down your qualities. Instead, back them with relevant real life achievements. This will validate your claim of the strengths and qualities you say you possess.

Include Keywords

Figure out the keywords related to the job you are applying for. Most companies maintain a database to search resumes from. If your resume won’t have those keywords, you are missing out on interview opportunities. Find out the keywords and include them in your resume. You can get a hint of what employers are looking for by thoroughly reading their job adds.

Be Clear and Specific

Use attention grabbing titles. Employers usually take 5-25 seconds to pass a judgment on any resume. So try to attract their attention within this time frame. Use bullet points to explain, no employer has the time to read long paragraphs. Convey your objectives, educational background, and experiences in short clear sentences.

Don’t Make a Standard Resume

Don’t make the mistake of making a standard resume and sending it out to all employers and in job openings. Edit and tailor it for the specific job or industry you are sending it out to.

Update Your Resume Regularly

Update your resume after every accomplishment, experience, training program, and academic qualification that you receive along the way. This will ensure that you do not end up sending an obsolete resume to any employer.

Make it Unique

Avoid using any templates which are available on hundreds of sites on the internet. Put in your own effort to create your resume. You don’t want to look similar to many others who may have used the same template. Make it stand apart from the stack.

Keep it Simple and Short

Only list the most relating experiences and qualities that apply to the job. Avoid making your resume too long. It should not be more than 1 or 2 pages mentioning the most relevant and related skills.

Don’t Overdo It

Just write down what you can back up with claim. Don’t exaggerate, and avoid writing material that is not relevant to the job. If you are a fresh graduate, list your internship experience specifying skills you learned and how they apply. If you do not have internship experience, list down courses and skills you acquired and possess during your study period. Skills such as communication, leadership and teamwork count a lot. Don’t just list them but briefly specify a situation where they applied.

Review and Proof-read

Always re-read your resume and read it again before sending it out. If possible, get feedback from friends and family members to improve it. There might be some typos or information that you may have missed. Format it properly, and remember that any errors or typos can cost you the opportunity.

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