It can make you a more competitive applicant – employers value resumes that include voluntary experience.

It’s also a good way to contribute to the community, make new friends and try out a career.

Volunteering positions are offered by not-for-profit organisations. Volunteers have specially designated positions which are unpaid and provide benefit to the community.


Employers look for graduates who already have transferable skills, such as team work, leadership, problem solving and communication. In a similar way to paid work, volunteering gives you an opportunity to develop these skills.

Through volunteering, you can:

  • gain experience and demonstrate your employability
  • show commitment to your chosen field
  • explore new career opportunities
  • develop networks
  • build confidence
  • potentially obtain a referee for future job applications.

Some popular areas include:

  • education, e.g. mentoring, tutoring, helping with school holiday programs
  • welfare and health, e.g. telephone counselling, social support
  • environment, e.g. biological research, conservation work
  • arts and cultural activities, e.g. performing, helping with exhibitions and festivals
  • human rights and social justice, e.g. campaigning, public education, advocacy
  • sports, e.g. coaching, committee work, fundraising
  • media, e.g. community radio and television, writing educational and promotional materials.

You can usually negotiate your commitment with the organisation where you’re volunteering. But treat the experience like a paid job: be honest about your availability, and always be reliable and punctual.


  • Suitable training and support.
  • A clear role description.
  • A role that doesn’t exploit you.