Skills You Learn Volunteering that Can Help You Get a Job

You knew that your volunteer experience looks great on college and scholarship applications, but did you know that it can also help you land a summer job?

Here are 20 skills you learn when volunteering with Youth Volunteer Corps that will help you get your first job and be successful in that position:

1. Timeliness

YVC projects start at a defined time. If you’re not there at the beginning, you’re letting your team down. Same thing in the workplace, with even more at stake!

2. Ability to work with a variety of managers

Did you notice that some Team Leaders ran projects a little differently than others? It might have been that they had different management styles. You’ll find that you need to be comfortable working with a variety of management styles in the workplace.

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3. Time-Management

At a thrift store project, your Team Leader instructs you that you need to help customers when they need help, sort new shoe donations and sweep the back room. You prioritize and figure out the best way to accomplish those tasks within the project time. We bet you’ve had a situation like that on a YVC project!

4. Leadership

Did you ever rise above and help lead a group of youth on a project? What about just showing others how to do a certain part of the task? Those are your leadership skills at work!

Hampton Roads, Oct. 2011 (10)_cropped

5. Communication skills when talking to people of all ages

Did you work with children at YVC? What about seniors? If so, we hope you’re more comfortable interacting with people of other ages than you might have been before YVC.

6. Professionalism

When you serve on a YVC project, you represent YVC to the community, requiring you to be professional and courteous.

7. Teamwork

Every YVC project involves working as a team in some size, so after a few YVC projects, you’ll have developed your skills in working with all kinds of teams.

8. Ability to work with people different from you

Did you meet people from another part of town? Did you work with youth with different interests from you?

9. Work Ethic

You knew this would be part of this list, right? If you can spend an afternoon spreading bark mulch on a 100-degree day, that shows a lot about your dedication and work ethic!

10. Customer Service

Did you interact with people coming through to get a meal at the soup kitchen? Did you interact with customers at a thrift store? What about greeting hello to hikers on a nature trail you were mulching? Every time you were in a situation like this, you were representing both the agency you were serving and YVC. This is great customer service experience!

11. Confidence

Did you have to step outside your comfort zone on a YVC project? It might have been scary at the time, but in the process you became more confident.

12. Public relations

Did you ever have to explain what YVC was to agency staff, other volunteers at the agency or even your friends? You were representing YVC and being a public relations expert for us!

13. Teachability

Did you learn a new skill on a YVC project—anything from how to plant onions to how to remove a nail from a board? Someone probably taught you this skill, and you were receptive to what they were telling you, an important ability in the workforce.

Kansas City - Summer 2012 - Jim Oldham (48)14. Organization

All kinds of YVC projects involve organizing, from sorting cans at a food pantry to reorganizing a supply closet in the animal shelter.

15. Following Instructions

At the beginning of the project, your Team Leader and the agency contact give you instructions on your responsibilities. Staying on track and following their guidance is an important thing to learn.

16. Flexibility

Not everything goes according to planned on YVC projects. You need to adapt and be prepared for whatever might come your way on any given project.

17. Problem-Solving

Sometimes it seems like there’s no way you’ll be able to accomplish a project from start to finish. Then you think it over some more, talk with your team and just start tackling the project. Before you know it, you’re done.

18. Planning

Not only did you have to plan ahead when you signed up for your YVC project, but you also probably had to plan your tasks for the day to ensure that the entire project was successful.

19. Creativity

YVC projects offer all kinds of ways to think creatively, from helping kids with an art project to acting out a play at a retirement home.

20. Training

Did you ever teach other youth how to do certain aspects of a project? You were training them on the task, just like you might one day train another employee.

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