Top Tips to Gain Work Using Volunteering Experience
16 September 2013 at 10:48 am
Volunteering shouldn’t be left off a CV, says Lattitude Global Volunteering – an international youth development charity.
The charity says job seekers can make their volunteer experience work for them when applying for a job, it’s just a matter of thinking about using that information to make an application stand out from the rest.
First of all, the charity suggests jobseekers give a description of the work placement and the experience gained. It also suggests job seekers outline what they achieved, including any positive outcomes and feedback that was a result of their work.
The volunteer charity also suggests job seekers use what they learned and how they developed when addressing the skills the employer is looking for. For example, if the skills and attributes the employer is looking for is adaptability, an example could be “Adapted to a new culture and way of life while living overseas” or if they seek decision making skills, an example could be “Improved decision making ability by being independent, using own initiative and weighing up different options before taking decisions”.
The charity also offers its top six tips to creating a CV that will gain a job seeker an interview:
Keep it short – ideally two pages of A4 for a CV plus a cover letter. Applicants should address the letter to the recruiting manager by name and job title but not by calling them by their first name at this stage. The letter should include why the applicant has applied and why they want the job.
Keep the CV layout clean. If employers are seeking someone with strong communication skills then they will assess that by looking at how well a job seeker can communicate that in their application form. The applicant should use common sans serif fonts such as Ariel, Calibri, Tahoma and Verdana. The application should be sent as a PDF not as a word document to ensure it prints as intended.
Research what the employer is looking for and address the criteria specified. Applicants need to provide evidence to claims to meet the criteria asks for strong customer service skills, give some examples of experience. If employers have listed specific criteria for the job, applicants should address each of these in bullet format or in a table.
Keep it relevant and succinct. Applicants should not include things that are not relevant and if hobbies and interests are listed they need to be interesting. Socialising as a hobby should not be listed. A photo should not be included, as the employer is more interested in skills and experience than looks (or at least they should be).
Applicants need to be careful with humour as it’s very subjective and don’t be negative. Also applicants should not be over confident and should not say they have vast experience in something that they’ve only done for a short amount of time.
Finally, applicants should send their applications from an email address that sounds professional and should consider using a different email to the one used for social media. Some employers may look at social media such as Facebook so privacy should be at the highest settings.