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Volunteering to Boost Your Resume

It's that well-known job seeker frustration - you can't get a job without experience, but you can't get experience without a job. This is a growing problem, especially for Millennials. Graduating college seniors this year are facing a very difficult job market. College graduates these days earn degrees, but not necessarily jobs, and especially not necessarily jobs in their desired field. Currently, approximately 260,000 college graduates are in minimum wage jobs. An even worse stat, is that those without college degrees between the ages of 25 and 34 that are currently unemployed has risen from 4.3% to 10.6% from 2007 to 2014.

Internships are the number one recommendation to boost your experience to land a job, but many internships these days are unpaid and only available to people enrolled in a full-time degree. And even if an internship has been completed, it may not be enough to set you apart. So what else is there to do?

Volunteering is a great way to boost your resume. Not only can volunteering boost your self-worth, confidence, and skills, but 20% of recruiters and hiring managers consider it as work experience (according to LinkedIn research). Added bonus - volunteering is a great way to meet new people and network. The reality of a competitive job market is that landing a job is not always about only what you know, but also about who you know.

Before you take any volunteer position, think about what hands-on experience will help you land a job in your required field, while also being personally fulfilling as a way to give back to the community. For example, if you want to be a project manager, you may want to volunteer for an upcoming nonprofit fundraising event. If you want to be a nurse, you may want to volunteer for the RedCross. While volunteering, stand out from the crowd and try to help in any way that you can. Make sure to talk to everyone, both those associated with the nonprofit and also those that are in need. You never know who may become a mentor, what doors of opportunities may open, and what you may gain on both a professional and personal level as a result of your volunteer involvement.

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