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Monthly Archives: March 2014

Build Your First CV with Volunteer Work

Not only does volunteer work serve humanity and the world, helping people who need it and contributing to your community, but choosing to volunteer will yield countless personal benefits as well. Depending upon the work you do, volunteering will likely give you first-hand experience and develop a new skill set; volunteering will empower you and make you more aware of the world around you; and your personal commitment to service will appeal to potential employers, as well as demonstrate to them your abilities, leadership, and skills. If you haven’t yet had a paid job or experience in a field you’d like to pursue, volunteering will help you build a CV to get your foot in the door.

New Skills

Volunteering can potentially provide you administrative experience, as well as applied experience in the field. As a volunteer, you will often work with a team, so you’ll be able to develop your ability to coordinate with others, along with improving your interpersonal communication skills. You will also likely be responsible for independent work, requiring you to demonstrate initiative, the ability to meet deadlines, and competence in completing various assignments, both simple and complex. The opportunity to apply your new skills in the field will allow you to improve upon them, which will not only be an asset to you and your CV, but will build your confidence, making you more assertive and ambitious.

Community Development

As a volunteer, you can better the environment, through taking part in a recycling program, planting trees, or picking up litter; you can help support your fellow citizens by spending time with the elderly or taking care of children; you can educate, through tutoring or improving literacy; you can become a mentor and role model to the youth by being involved in after-school programs; you can assist the less fortunate by organizing a food drive or building houses. There are so many great opportunities to volunteer, so many ways to serve your community. And you will only grow through the experience.

Personal Growth

If you’ve never before had a job or career, volunteering will be your first professional experience. You may feel intimidated or unprepared when stepping into this role, working with a team and being responsible for completing tasks on target and on time. However, asserting yourself as a volunteer won’t be scary; it will be beautifully life-altering. As a volunteer, you will be made aware of your community’s needs, and you will develop empathy, which will improve the way you relate to others. Volunteering will build your confidence and increase your knowledge, making you a better candidate for future employment.

The knowledge you glean from volunteering is infinite. By working with non-profit organizations, volunteers learn about how a business is run and about how the government operates. You’ll be made more knowledgeable about the resources available in your community, thus, you’ll be able to take initiative in solving community needs. And, along the way, you will discover what is most important in life. You will feel a sense of purpose. Your priorities may even change as you become more involved in the world around you.

Network Building

As a volunteer, you will meet many people from different backgrounds and different walks of life. Your fellow volunteers will be some of the best people you’ll ever meet, because they, too, wish to change the world for the better. The communal ideology ingrained in those who choose to volunteer will allow for easy friendship and because of the diversity of those who are attracted to volunteer work, often you might connect with someone with whom you would otherwise have never crossed paths. Volunteering brings people together, and that’s a positive thing for both your personal and your professional life.

The connections you make through volunteering will build you a network of contacts. You learn from these contacts, and you can also request a character reference in the future, if you need a recommendation. This network may even put you in touch with other job and career opportunities.

Volunteering and Your CV

Volunteers are more employable, as they’ve taken the initiative to acquire some practical experience along with the theoretical experience provided by education. Presenting this information properly in your CV will give you a leg up when you’re trying to get your foot in the door. So let’s walk through the steps of including volunteer work on your CV.

The most effective way of highlighting your volunteer experience is to include it amongst your paid work, as their importance is equivalent. Your paid employment may even have less relevance to the job for which you’re applying, so if your CV is in chronological order, simply include your volunteer experience amongst your paid employment. However, make sure to note on your CV that it was unpaid volunteer work. Also, if this volunteer work was fixed-length (such as a three-month internship), mark it as such.

The information you should include about your volunteer experience:

  1. Note the name of the volunteer organization, your title and the duration of your work.
  2. Highlight your responsibilities, your tasks, and your acquired skills.
  3. Outline your achievements, such as the progress of your project or money raised.
  4. Tailor your CV to the job placement to which you’re applying. Highlight the achievements and skills which correspond to the potential job placement.

Kate Funk is a passionate coach and writer. She is a part of a team of experienced writers at www.aussiewriter.com, that provides students with quality essays, which help them improve their writing skills.

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How to get a job without degree ?

With the latest recession, a new trend has developed. Companies increasingly ask for degrees or advanced degrees in job applications. It’s not because degrees are always needed, but because there are so many people with these qualifications that companies can use the criteria to wean candidates in the first screen. This screening is particularly hard on three types of job candidates:
  • Laid off Boomers who rose through the ranks without degrees
  • Younger candidates from more rural environments who have only associate degrees
  • Employed Boomers wanting a new job but who no longer qualify for the jobs they currently have much less new positions
For many Millennials the recession resulted in longer education stints as parents encouraged them to stay in school since there were no jobs to be had. Now, many are entering the work force with higher debt, but advanced degrees. Is it Game Over for Boomers? No. Experience still counts for something, just not everything.
When applying for new jobs, here are questions to ask yourself:
  • What knowledge is needed that an advanced degree was desired?
  • Can you demonstrate that knowledge in a different way?
  • Even if you have an advanced degree, is it too dated?
  • What other qualifications might gain attention?
  • How can you get those qualifications or certifications?
Listed requirements in many job postings state: “Degree Preferred or a Plus.” Don’t be deterred. Just because it’s desired, doesn’t mean they’ll get it. Your job is to position yourself as relevant so the lack of a degree is not the deal breaker. One method is continued course work or certifications particularly when you are unemployed. Consider these benefits:
  • Keeping your mind busy
  • Meeting teachers and professionals active in your field.
  • Showing recruiters that you’re a life-longer learner and still in the game
  • Gaining credentials you didn’t previously have
In today’s digital world, some certifications and courses are free while others cost. Some can be done from home, and some require physical class time. Regardless of the certification you seek in your chosen field, the investment is worth your time and effort on many levels.
Employers admire and seek talent who demonstrate a growth mentality – those likely to foster company growth rather than wait to be trained. For Boomers, this means being a candidate dedicated to continued learning/growth opportunities.
Major universities and many organizations now offer MOOCs – Massive Online Course Work. Other groups such as Lynda.com offer trainings with endorsements that can be uploaded to LinkedIn upon course completion. Associations frequently offer industry-specific certifications such as the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation from the American Society of Association Executives.
Certifications vary and some are easier to obtain than others, but don’t get hung up on the word “certification,” either. Just taking a course and listing it on your resume, or using a course to list “X credits towards Y qualification,” lets a recruiter know that you are growth oriented and not just sitting home licking your wounds.
The trick is to start learning something new of any sort that can give your resume a leg up in the job pool. Keep in mind that in applying for a job you’re asking an employer to invest in you. A salary is no longer just payment for work provided. It’s money invested in hoping you make a difference in the company’s growth. The best way to send an alert that you’re worth the investment is to show that you believe in yourself enough that you also have invested in yourself. That’s the true value of a degree or any course completion certificate.