Graduates leaving university found it harder to get jobs in 2011 than students finishing A-level courses, as youth unemployment hit its highest level since the 1980s, latest data shows 25% of 21-year-olds who left university with a degree in 2011 were unemployed compared with 26% of 16-year-olds with GCSEs.
If you’re one of those unlucky graduates still looking for that dream job, it might be worth considering volunteering to make you stand out from the crowd.
According to http://blog.studylondon.ac.uk, “73% of employers say they would rather employ someone with voluntary experience than someone without”.
But how much will volunteering actually boost your employment prospects?
Volunteering is a great way for students to add work experience to their CV whilst also giving something back to society and the local community, volunteering also helps you to:
• Develop new transferable skills
• Learn skills and get training in new areas of work
• Explore career interests and gain experience
• Make contacts through networking, which could provide job leads
• Build your confidence
• Develop and enhance your CV with team working, problem solving and leadership skills.
So what are you waiting for?
There’s a wide variety of charities, organisations, non-profits and NGO’s out there that are looking for volunteers. You’ll get the chance to gain experience in a role that you may not otherwise had it been a paid position. This skills and life experience you can develop fulfilling this role could be invaluable to your employment prospects.
There’s even the opportunity to travel to parts of the world you’ve never visited and experience different cultures through grass roots independent volunteering.
In choosing a volunteer position relevant to your particular discipline you’ll gain valuable skills and proficiencies with a different perspective, which will help you to stand out from the crowd and make you more attractive to potential employers knowing you have a rounded experience of you discipline.
If you’re job hunting it may not be possible to travel or take a long term volunteer position, however, a flexible volunteer position may be an option. This will keep you busy while allowing you enough time to commit to hunting for your dream job.
This will give you the opportunity to network with others in your chosen industry, which may even lead to a job offer. If you’re considering a career change, volunteering in the sector will help you to make sure the industry is right for you and help you to make contacts in the industry.
Make sure you look at our great grass root volunteer opportunities in the members are.
For something closer to home have a look at opportunities in:
England with Volunteering England http://www.volunteering.org.uk/
Ireland with Volunteer Ireland http://www.volunteer.ie/
Northern Ireland with NiDirect http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/find-voluntary-work-in-the-uk
Scotland with Volunteer Scotland http://www.volunteerscotland.org.uk/
Wales with Volunteering Wales http://www.volunteering-wales.net/index.html