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What is the difference in having volunteer work or paid job experience - besides the factor of money - in applying for a non-temporary job/career-related job?

I am debating whether to volunteer frequently, which would be easier to do over the summer before I go off to school, or to apply for jobs in my area, which I will have to quit before I leave. #career #resume #volunteering #college-jobs #employment #volunteer #job-applications

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Subject: Career question for you

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Charlotte’s Answer

I agree with the earlier response - what matters most is the experience you've gained and the skills you've developed. The other thing I would add is that volunteer experience can be a great way to learn about jobs and tasks that you like, as well as things that you may rule out from your future career goals. You could also benefit from volunteer work in non-monetary ways - you might meet people in the industry that interests you, and you could potentially leverage those relationships for information and/or resources for your next job.
Good luck!

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Katy’s Answer

It depends on the field you are going into. Always include, degree, major, minor and/or focus area. Scholarships/awards and special training or certificates. GPA can also be a plus if it's a good one. If you don't have a lot of experience, I would also suggest listing classes which pertain to your desired field. I.e. if you are going into Accounting, you could list Accounting and Finance classes.

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Katie’s Answer

From a future employer's perspective, what will matter more is what you actually did, what skills you developed, and how you can apply those skills to different settings. Volunteering can be ripe with opportunities to vastly expand your skills, network, and potentially even discover your passions. Not all volunteer opportunities are created equal though, so it'd be important to make sure you understand what volunteering would look like on a day-to-day basis. Working in your area may or may not develop the same breadth of skills.

Thank you comment icon Thank you for taking time to answer my question. It has cleared up some of my confusion/hesitance about volunteer work/job experience. I've always had the belief that it was probably more superficial appearances (a lot of work/job experience), which is true in many aspects, but I haven't really thought much about the skills/lessons learned from these experiences in relation to a career. It may also have made me think more about WHERE I volunteer rather than HOW LONG. Maggie
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Katy’s Answer

It all depends on where you will get the skills for the path you wish to take in the future. When looking for a job or volunteer experience, think about career paths you want to explore and could see yourself doing in the future. Choose the best fit for that. I.e. if you want to work in an office, volunteer in an office setting or if you want to work with animals, volunteer at the humane society, kids, try a camp program or be a PCA. Short term work or summer jobs are fine too and like you said above, bring in needed money for college. If you are looking at paid work, I would suggest a temporary job as you know you will need to leave it at the end of the summer.

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