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Must your previous volunteer positions be relevant to job application?

Are employers interested in the type of volunteering you? By this I mean, do employers want people that have volunteered in activities that are directly relevant or related to the jobs they are applying for? (specifically jobs in business/management)Or can any volunteer experience help when applying for jobs?
#volunteering #business #job-applications #job-skills #employer

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5 answers

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Traceen’s Answer


I don’t think there is one right or wrong answer to this.

It is possible to volunteer at a particular organization/facility that is not directly related to your job and over time people there will get to know you and your particular abilities and work ethic. A job may be created for you or open up in the course of time (while volunteering or after) and you may be the most likely candidate because they already know you and your capabilities.

A volunteer experience shows an employer that you are a well-rounded person. It can fill gaps in your resume and serve as a job despite the fact it is unpaid. Make sure that you list your volunteer experiences as you would a job so that potential employers know what kind of experience you have acquired (you can make a lot of activities you perform relevant to what field you are going into). Use active verbs, be specific, and quantify your accomplishments. This shows that you just weren't a warm body filling in a space and that you acquired skills that are relevant in the process.

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Jenna’s Answer

Depending on the job and skill set, your volunteer work may be relevant. For example, if you tutor children and you want to be a teacher, those skills are similar. Employers want well-rounded employees with interests outside of work; demonstrating that you are a multi-dimensional human being is important. A lot of the skills directly transfer- team work, organization, etc. So if you have a cause you are passionate about, go ahead and volunteer, and don't worry about what the employer thinks about it. The employer is more concerned about what you bring to your job than what you do in your time off.

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Sheila’s Answer

Hello Teleola:

Thank you for your question. I tend to agree with Traceen and Ritesh' comments. I'd like to add a few of my own for your consideration. I have two (2) young adults. One went into medicine and the other education. They both volunteered while at church and high school. In general, I believe their volunteerism "overall" helped laid the good foundation to their careers. Most of their volunteerism was in a leadership type role. Hope this helps. Best of luck to you!

~ Sheila

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Ritesh’s Answer

I think it definitely helps, however I also think just showing the initiative and engagement in volunteer activities also goes a long way too. It shows that you are willing to volunteer in a wide variety of activities not just job related.

Ritesh recommends the following next steps:

Join a club or organization if your school offers one
Visit a local church, or look online for volunteer opportunities

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Sam’s Answer

Hello Teleola,

Yes, the ideal situation would be that your volunteer work should be relevant to the job you are applying for. If you list the volunteer work on your resume, you should be prepared to discuss with the interviewer how that volunteer experience has prepared you to work for the company. For example, what skills did you gain from the volunteer experience that you feel will help you be successful at the company? So the more similar the volunteer work is with the company work, the more skills you will be able to bring to the company. Thus making you a more valuable employee.