Improve Your CV By Volunteering | Ideas, Tips and Tricks

Your CV is an important document that should form part of your application to university and for any job that you apply for, whether a part-time job during your studies or a career choice that’s full time. There are certain things that you must include on your CV and others, such as volunteering and extra-curricular activities, that can help to make you stand out from the crowd to prospective employers. We’re here to give you a heads up on how important it is to use volunteering to improve your CV, alongside some specific volunteering ideas.

What Is A CV?

someones cv application

Let’s begin with the basics first, what is your CV and why is it important?

A CV (Curriculum Vitae) is a document that is meant to be short and to the point. It is a summary of your unique skills, experience, character, qualifications and achievements. A CV is put together when applying for a job or university place, which makes it an important part of your life.

Why Is A CV So Important?

Your CV will be the first interaction that a prospective employer has with you. It’s your chance to say hello to the people you want to work for. You’ll add a cover letter with specifics about a job, role, or company, but your CV will be the chance to make a good first impression. A badly written CV can severely hinder your chances of getting through to the interview stage.

Things To Remember When Writing Your CV

things to remember about CV

Keep things as simple as possible on your CV, in most cases this means a length of 2-3 pages, no more. Never lie on your CV, as employers will likely run a background check on you. Start with your personal statement at the top and your qualifications later – this is the best way to wow your audience and show off why they should hire you! If you’ve had a gap in employment, don’t hide it, explain what skills and experiences you gained during that time.

Your CV will include your job history, your academic qualifications and specific characteristics that make you a good fit for whatever job you are applying for. Another thing that looks great though is extra-curricular activities and work experience that are relevant to the career you are looking to get into. This is where volunteering ideas come into play. Volunteering is a fantastic way to improve your CV, making you stand out from a crowd of applicants, with real-world experience backing up your academic qualifications.

The Benefits Of Volunteering To Improve Your CV

man interviewing woman with brilliant cv

Your work experience matters for your CV of course, as does your academic history, but adding great volunteering ideas to your life-plan will go a long way to improving your CV. There are a few brilliant reasons why:

It proves you are a hard worker

The problem that everyone faces at some point is that the job they want requires experience, and it is hard to get that experience because you need a job to do so. This is a tricky situation to be in and can be disheartening. Volunteering ideas give you that chance to build experience and prove you are a hard worker, both fantastic qualities to have on your CV.

An easy way to show your character

It is so difficult to put across in words what makes you special. It can be cringey to write about your interests without it sounding corny and just like everyone else. Volunteering experience adds that insight into your interests and personality, showing whether you are a good fit for the company you are applying for a job with.

Improve your confidence

Volunteering also provides you with that confidence boost we all need. As we move through university and step into a career it can be daunting. Volunteering gives real-world experience that allows you to build up confidence, learn how to work well as part of a team and to feel fulfilled.

Expand your skills

Taking on a variety of volunteering options throughout your study, allows you to improve specific skillsets that will come in very handy in your future career, whatever that may be. These skills can be transferred into different job settings and dramatically improve your CV. Volunteering allows you to explore different career paths without the same pressure as a full-time job. A try before you buy approach to your future career and life!

Volunteering Ideas


Now you can see the benefits of volunteering and how it will improve your CV and give you a better chance of funding that job and career of your dreams, how about some volunteering ideas to get ahead with?

Remember, you should enjoy volunteering, get loads out of it, and you can choose to either volunteer in places that help other people and the community without linking it to the specific university degree and future career you are considering, or you can take the approach of finding volunteer work that is suited to what you want to do with your life. There is no right or wrong answer, every person will find the right volunteering ideas to suit them.

Animal volunteer work

For those of you who love animals, volunteering in this sector brings a great sense of fulfilment. Animal shelters are always on the lookout for volunteers to help with cleaning duties, walking dogs, to look after social media and fundraising events. Wildlife conservation is another important volunteering job to undertake.

Conservation work

If you love the outdoors and have a passion for nature, conservation volunteering is a great way to help our environment. It can take many different forms, such as cleaning beaches, litter picking in green areas, reforestation, community garden construction and nature trail management, to name just a few volunteering ideas.

Social volunteering ideas

There are different ways to approach this depending on what you are trying to do with your long-term career. Teaching posts for volunteers give practical, hands-on experience that looks great on your CV and gives you an insight into a potential career. The same can be said for social work and working with children and young people. By working with children in schools, youth clubs, summer camps, and health and mental wellbeing support charities, you’ll have a better chance of succeeding if you want to apply for a full-time job in education, social work, or charity in the future.

Healthcare volunteers

Hospitals and healthcare settings are in desperate need of help, and in some settings you can volunteer in healthcare. One of the best areas to work in is with the elderly, with an ageing population leaving us in need of volunteers to help improve the lives of our older generations. Meals on Wheels, working in care homes, or providing a check-in to chat with the lonely, are all worthwhile volunteering ideas. Many mental health charities and anonymous counselling and talk services are looking for volunteers too.

Sports volunteering

If you are interested in a career in the sporting world, especially a career in large-scale events and want to know how they work behind the scenes, volunteering in sport is a great idea. Volunteers make a big difference in how big sporting events take place, providing support and assistance to sports fans. At a lower, grassroots level, volunteering for a local sport club will help gain significant experience in all aspects of running a club.

Volunteering ideas to help improve your CV

volunteering for CV

As you can see, volunteering is a fantastic way to help improve your CV. Your CV is the first impression you make when applying for any job or academic opportunity. It is a big chance for you to wow the reader, showcase your skills and specific experience, and to get a step ahead in a busy job market.

Volunteering ideas are important for your CV as it shows that you are willing to work hard and put in the hours away from your study, it helps you build connection and improve how you interact with others in the workplace. Finally, volunteering helps to provide hands-on, specific industry experience that is invaluable to a student. Thinking up volunteering ideas will give you a great sense of satisfaction in the short-term, and it will also expand your horizon and widen your appeal for future career options and employers.

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