Another Job Search Tool: Volunteering

Volunteering in Job SearchIn this tough job market, long gone are the days when you could post your resume online on Monday and have your e-mail flooded with interview invitations on Tuesday. With workers being laid off and so many people looking for jobs, a good way for you to improve your skills and keep yourself hire-worthy is through volunteering.

Volunteering offers a lot of benefits to job seekers, but it also has drawbacks if you don’t take the right precautions. The major pitfall of volunteering is not knowing the difference between volunteering and working for free.

When you get involved in volunteering, you need to draw the line between the two. Knowing the difference between them will help you make the most of your volunteering experience.

Improved Morale

Being with different people helps you be enthusiastic in your job search. When you’re feeling down, it helps to be with other people who may be in the same situation as you. You can talk about things and receive encouragement from them.

Stay Sharp

Volunteering helps you keep up to date with your current skills. You can put these skills to good use in your volunteer work, and you might even pick up some new skills.


A job searcher’s best friend is networking. Sure, the Internet has paved the way for improved job searching and has opened vast opportunities for job seekers everywhere. Still, even with the Internet, it is safe to say that getting leads from people whom you directly know is usually better.

Volunteering also helps you expand your network as you meet new people who may be your next employer or co-worker. After all, a job seeker can never have too many contacts. When volunteering, display a great work ethic, and remember that everyone is important—even the ones standing next to you serving food at a fundraising event.

Put it on Your Resume

Sometimes your job search can be prolonged, and in an interviewer’s mind, this is not a good sign. Volunteering helps you to put something in between the gaps. This shows a potential employer that you don’t waste time; you show that you are ambitious and want to put your time to good use. Besides the volunteering itself, any new, relevant skills and experiences you acquire through volunteering should also go on your resume.

Bonus: Help Choosing a Career

For those who are in college or who have recently graduated, volunteering can help you determine which career path is best for you. By volunteering, you can get firsthand experience to help you decide whether the career suits you and whether it’s what you want to do for the rest of your working life.

Make Sure It’s Right

Volunteering is a good thing to do while searching for a job; however, you need to know if what you are doing is beneficial for you and the organization. It can help you become a better, more well-rounded person for your next interview. Then all you need to do is get out there and ace that interview!

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Alan Carniol

Alan is the creator of Interview Success Formula, a training program that has helped more than 80,000 job seekers to ace their interviews and land the jobs they deserve. Interviewers love asking curveball questions to weed out job seekers. But the truth is, most of these questions are asking about a few key areas. Learn more about how to outsmart tough interviewers by watching this video.