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With all of the benefits and advantages that volunteering offers volunteers, and the amount of volunteer opportunities that are available to MRU students, it can be tough choosing which volunteer opportunities to pursue. In this article we’re going to try to help you narrow down your list, by applying job-search strategies to volunteer opportunities.
Assess your skills
When you’re looking for a full or part-time job, you need to assess your skills to find a good fit for you and your potential employer. Volunteering is no different, but you can also consider which skills you’d like to improve upon, strengthen, learn, or gain more experience applying. If you have taken an event management class, but don’t have any real-world experience applying it yet, and want to get that out-of-the-classroom learning, consider volunteer opportunities that include event management responsibilities for instance.
Assess your needs
When you’re combing over the help-wanted ads, you consider if you’re looking for a full or part-time position, and when you’re looking at volunteer opportunities similar requirements should be considered too. If you’re going to school full-time, working part-time, and still want to have an active social and family life, your available ‘spare’ time for volunteering might be limited. Look for volunteer opportunities that either offer a few hours a week over a long period, or event-driven volunteer opportunities who will only need your assistance for a full day or evening when your schedule can accommodate it.
Networking is a great way to find your paid positions, but it’s also a great way to find a volunteer opportunity that is a mutual good fit. Talk to your friends, family, and instructors about volunteer organizations that you might be passionate about, where you can gain valuable resume-worthy experience, or where you can have some fun doing things that you enjoy. Ask about their volunteer experiences and if it sounds like a good fit – inquire if the organization is looking for additional volunteers in an area you’re interested in!
Read our article about robust job-search strategies, and see what other techniques can apply to your volunteer opportunity search too! >> http://www.samru.ca/robust-job-search-planning-strategies/
Looking for on-campus volunteer opportunities? Consider volunteering with SAMR! >> http://www.samru.ca/studentopportunities/volunteer/
-By Dawn Linnemoller, Editor & Content Coordinator, SAMRU