Let your volunteer experience show potential schools and (employers) that you are dedicated, self-motivated, and that you care about something other than yourself. If you are looking for volunteer opportunities within your community, use what speaks to you. As a teen looking to beef up their volunteer experience, here are some volunteer options to consider.
Define Your Cause
If you haven’t done so already, think about what motivates you. Is it relevant to the work you want to do? Defining the purpose of why you are volunteering will guide you toward the best opportunities. At the end of the day, you will be donating your time, so it should be doing something that you can connect with.
Now that you have your cause, contact local establishments for volunteer opportunities. The following organizations often have current openings:
Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Provide care and support for local children by volunteering as a mentor to younger kids.
Animal Rescue Shelters. Assist with cleaning, feeding, and general care of animals in your town.
Food Pantries. 1 in 6 people in America faces hunger. Get out there and help!
National Parks. If you love the outdoors and wildlife preservation, this opportunity is for you. Apply at your most local park and learn lots of useful wildlife tips and tricks.
Your Local Library. Education is the key to success. Help provide knowledge to your local community by tutoring, helping with Storytime or re-shelving books part-time.
RedCross. Help prepare your local community for disasters and others when in crisis.
Retirement Homes. Spend time with the elders of your community with a smile and an afternoon of fun.
Goodwill. Consistently donate clothing or household goods
When an employer is seeking potential candidates, they want to hire the best. This does not mean volunteering for ten different organizations to meaninglessly fill up space on your resume.
If you volunteered your time for a day with a few different organizations, you are not going to benefit by placing this information on your resume. Complete or continuously stay committed to one or two organizations. This will show that these are causes that you care about, you’re a team player, and you can make a commitment. As with many things in life, quality is more valuable than quantity.
No matter where you volunteer, remember that employers want candidates that have strong values. Make your resume stand out and showcase the hard work and dedication you have given to your volunteer programs. Include important details and statistics about the projects you have completed. In the end, create your resume to represent who you are as a person and an employee.