Volunteer work gives you valuable skills — use them

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Volunteer work gives you valuable skills — use them

Your education, student jobs, and internships aren't the only sources of skills that you can use when looking for a job. If you participate in volunteer work, there are all kinds of skills you can bring with you to an employer, and that can strengthen your CV and job opportunities.

You're probably most comfortable talking about the skills you've acquired through your education — whether professional, personal, or social. Now, practise doing the same thing by reviewing the unique skills you've gained from your volunteer work, in terms of both specific problems you solved and your responsibilities.

The exercise in the box below will help you to practise communicating the value that you create in your volunteer work and for whom you create it. This comes across as inspiring and paints the kind of picture that makes it clear to a potential employer what skills you've acquired through volunteer work.

You've gotten involved in something that interests you of your own free will. Whether it's badminton, social issues, theatre, history, or waste water, you've honed your interests and made your mark. Have you maybe held an influential position or helped to set an agenda for your group's work? The idea of the exercise is to practise defining and communicating the value YOU have created for: customers, citizens, the local community, patients, management, partners, or others.

Value exercise

Getting involved in volunteer work says something about you, your values, and your motivation. You can use that in your search for a job. Here, what matters is that you clearly communicate what drives you — for example, helping others to make a difference, being part of a social community, learning more about our society, or developing as a person.

At the same time, you should make a note of good contacts that you've acquired through your volunteer work that can help you to progress in your work life, such as by sharing their network with you (including through LinkedIn), serving as a reference, etc. If you've received a certificate or other documentation from your volunteer work, remember to make potential employers aware of it.

The union and unemployment insurance fund for students

The Danish Association of Masters and PhDs and the Masters' Unemployment Insurance Fund offer you inspiration and guidance to make the right decisions while you're a student and as you get started with your career.