Volunteering brings new contacts, skill sets, and opportunities for work experience to transitioning military job seekers. If you’re looking for work, consider volunteering as an integral part of your job-search strategy.
Consider the benefits:
- Volunteering looks great on a military resume. It compensates for gaps in your work history while you are transitioning from the military into a civilian career. It shows potential employers passion for work without regards to reward and diversifies and expands your experience beyond the military. It also shows initiative in that you have not been idle during the military job search process.
- Volunteering increases networking contacts. It allows you to put in face time with community leaders – people who have the contacts you are seeking and who may be willing to recommend you or have the power to employ you themselves.
- Volunteering is excellent for self-esteem. The military to civilian job search can be emotionally and mentally taxing. Volunteering makes you feel connected and appreciated. Military job seekers with high self-esteem tend to market themselves more effectively and interview well.
- Volunteering can also help you determine if you’re seeking employment in the right field. Many transitioning military job seekers have a difficult time finding their niche outside of the armed services. Volunteering can give you enough exposure to a line of work to help you make the right career decisions.
Select volunteer activities you’ll enjoy. www.volunteermatch.org is a great website that allows you to search for volunteer opportunities by keyword (e.g. mentoring, veterans, environment, etc.) or location. Think outside of the box! Offer to assist non-profits with projects such as designing brochures, organizing fundraisers, or building a website. List this experience on your military resume in a creative way. (For professional military resume writing services, visit www.MilitaryResumes.com.) Then at your next interview, show off samples of your work being used in the real-world.
The more you volunteer, the more people you’ll bring into your networking circle. Just be sure to do enough quality work for each organization so they get to know you, and that you are gaining knowledge from the experience. Solicit feedback from the organization you’re volunteering with about your job-search process. And let people at all levels within the organization know you’re looking for full-time work. You never know who will have the contact you need to land a job.
Use volunteering to establish credentials, gain real-world experience, and broaden your circle of contacts. Studies have shown that volunteering can be a direct route to employment, so add this profitable tool to your military to civilian job search strategy kit.