Volunteering for Work Experience

Volunteering for Work Experience

by Kathleen Gerry
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

Maybe you are new to the job scene, or maybe you have a very particular history of employment. Whatever your reason is for feeling that you don’t have enough experience to land you the job that you want – never fear! Employers respond positively to unpaid experiences as well. Perhaps you are looking to be a server in a bar or restaurant and your resume shows all you have is experience that relates to child care. Try searching an online job board for anything that relates to serving that is unpaid. Festivals are a great opportunity to practice serving, for example. Additionally, if you want to be a nanny but have no child care experience why not try looking around to see where you could volunteer your time to gain this experience? Often day cares will accept volunteers or perhaps your neighbour requires someone to watch their children for an hour or two each day.

Volunteering may not immediately cover the exact work that you would like to do. You might have to do other smaller tasks like cleaning the studio or conducting phone calls at the beginning, but do not get discouraged! The more time you put in, the more responsibility you will be given. Each volunteer hour you put in provides you with more invaluable skills that can be put onto your resume.

Become informed about what skills and certifications are required for your job of choice and go about getting those. Whether it is CPR or First Aid, a Red Cross babysitting course, a Smart Serve certification, a personal training certificate or even an NLS lifeguarding certification, it is vital to work on obtaining them. Sometimes a police record check is also required by potential employers. If you can get started volunteering in something of your choice, usually there is an option to get a police record check before you even start. Thankfully, the cost is generally covered by whatever agency you are looking to work for.

Another possibility is to try job shadowing for an excellent opportunity to get to know the job that you would ultimately like to do. Job shadowing can be used in a subsection on your resume as well, an indication of your interest and/or passion for the job. Job shadowing could involve finding someone who is an expert in the field or simply finding someone who is knowledgeable enough to be a good leader. Whatever it is that you want to do, make sure that you start asking questions NOW. There is no better way to learn about something of interest than to get started. Even if it is not what you want to do, at least you will have some new experiences that will help to orient you to the RIGHT path for you.

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