Why volunteering ?
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.
- RMIT LEAD offers commitments that will appear on your academic transcript.
- Volunteering Australia links you to resources and opportunities around Australia.
- Volunteering Victoria provides opportunities in Victoria.
- SEEK Volunteer Jobs Search advertises over 7000 volunteer positions.
- Idealist.org offers international opportunities.
- GoVolunteer provides local and overseas opportunities.
- Volunteer Match - Pro Bono Australia helps you find the right opportunity for you, and offers industry news and advice.
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.