Fresh out of high school, college or university and worried that your CV is lacking in real work experience? Whether you are working a part-time job or still studying, volunteering presents real opportunities to build your work portfolio and develop marketable skills. This does not go unnoticed by companies, who increasingly require work experience and demonstrable skills from applicants.
“The need for further education or training, internships or solid work experience, is often emphasised to young people. Through no fault of their own, most matriculants and some graduates don’t have this. This makes applying for jobs intimidating and more often than not unsuccessful,” says the CEO of volunteering portal and CSI management tool forgood.co.za, Andy Hadfield.
The forgood platform allows individuals to find hundreds of skills-based volunteering opportunities online. Causes registered on the site are listed according to location and categories of interest – everyone and anyone can find something they are passionate about. You can also post an offer of a specific skill, which is distributed to causes registered on the site.
“In many cases, the job seeker is aware of their talents and skills – be that coding, design, writing or top marks in accounting, but they have yet to find opportunities to demonstrate them. Especially when entering a first job, or coming in at a junior position, a portfolio of work – paid or not – is a big foot in the door. It sets you apart from other candidates with similar qualifications,” says Hadfield.
Hadfield’s job seeker tips:
- Volunteer smartly, with intention – it’s about finding opportunities that present a learning and growing curve.
- See volunteering as an opportunity to chase your passions and challenge yourself – you are much more of an asset to an organisation if you take up a job you enjoy.
- Find something that is meaningful for both you and the cause. This could include reception work, tutoring, proposal writing, language translation, design work, social media, marketing, fundraising, administration or data capturing – the opportunities are endless.
- Feature your activities on your LinkedIn profile – the site reports that 41% of employers consider volunteer work to be as important as paid work. It also makes you a more interesting and diverse candidate.
For a range of real-time volunteer needs visit: https://www.forgood.co.za/campaign/index/get-work-experience-by-volunteering
Distributed by Be-cause Integrated Communications:
021 447 1082 / 060 677 6235
On behalf of forgood:
CEO: Andy Hadfield (@andyhadfield)