Struggling against the fiercely competitive job market? Learn the benefits of volunteering and how it can improve your career prospects.
By Mohammed Abumahlula; With a highly competitive job market, it can be difficult for inexperienced individuals to enter into a new area of work. This may include school leavers and graduates, those looking for a career change and perhaps even those that are trying to enter the workforce again or work for the first time in their later life.
Employers usually want experienced workers, even when they advertise a role as entry level without having experience as a requirement. Many companies want to avoid spending too much time or money training a new staff member when they could find someone who has worked in a similar job. Employers generally prefer those with a clear understanding of the job which is reflected through the applicant’s work history as shown in their CV.
As long as someone can compete on their experience, then it will always put you at a disadvantage even if your CV is very well presented or your interview skills are top notch. Due to this, we recommend exploring the option of volunteering as a means to enhance your CV. In doing so, you can show a recruiter that you understand the job while possessing the skills and experience closely matched to what they are looking for.
There are organisations who accept volunteers. The cost to hiring an employee is greater than looking after a volunteer. Therefore, as long as an organisation can accommodate the volunteer, they will be happy to work with you in building your skills. Due to not working as a contracted employee, you do not have to experience pressure during the learning stages where you are trying to adapt to the nature of the job. This helps to provide an environment in which you can grow at a natural and steady pace.
Once you have gained the skills and experience to build your work history, you will become more appealing in the job market. Not only will you be able to catch the attention of employers that quickly skim through many CVs, but you will also be able to discuss your experiences in interviews with a more fluent understanding on the job due to your experiences. This will make it easier for you to impress the recruiter. This will help you find more success in your applications, helping you to land a job. Furthermore, a lot of companies do recruit internally while considering volunteers or interns.
The advantage of a business in hiring internally is that the volunteer will have experience working in the company with their growth and team integration demonstrated to the employer first hand. External recruitment is based on the limited information gained from interviews, assessments and CVs that may not reflect accurately to the candidate after employment. Internal recruitment cuts recruitment and selection costs while speeding up the employee placement process by skipping the recruitment and selection stages.
Ultimately, by volunteering you will become more employable. Becoming more employable will help you to open the doors to new career opportunities. If you are struggling to get into a job, this is an option well worth considering.