What do you gain by volunteering in college?

As a college student, it can often be difficult to find “free time” to volunteer. With involvement in clubs, extra-curricular activities and a demanding class schedule—it isn’t easy to find an hour to spare.

However, as corporations and nonprofits list their summer internships, they are looking for qualified students who have experience and the skill set to get the job done.

What does volunteer experience look like on your resume to an employer?

  1. You’re eager to develop skills—volunteering is the best way to get hands on experience for any future career.
  2. Shows you’re open minded—when you volunteer for different organizations it shows you are willing to do work outside of your area of “expertise!”
  3. You’re a team player—volunteering requires a lot of teamwork and working with people you might have just met for the first time.
  4. Able to gain perspective—by volunteering you gain a better perspective of the world around you which can give you a sense of accomplishment in what you do. It helps you see the bigger picture when you start working in the “real world.”

If you still aren’t persuaded, according to Forbes.com, nearly 30 percent of individuals who had volunteer efforts listed on their resume received a higher chance of finding a job than those who didn’t.

So, even though your class schedule and extra-curricular activities might be demanding, find at least two to four hours each week to volunteer. Not sure where to start? The Central Iowa PRSA Board Members are always willing to help you find the right opportunity to fit your needs. Here are a few other tips:

  1. Ask your professors and peers for volunteer recommendations.
  2. Visit VolunteerMatch.com.
  3. Create a post on your social media accounts asking for your followers to provide their favorite organizations for volunteer opportunities.

Now, go out and make a difference—both in someone else’s life and your own!

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