According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Oregon has the 44th highest unemployment rate in the nation. In such a competitive job market, many graduates may be looking for a way to stand out in the eyes of potential employers. One thing that might distinguish your resume from other applicants is volunteering.
Volunteering has many benefits: it gives you practical experience in your field of study, it allows you the opportunity to give back to your community, and can even help you to be a more successful student.
“Research indicates that the greater the time a student is engaged on campus,” said Alicia Moore, Dean of Student and Enrollment Services, “the greater their chances are for student success.”
Moore went on to say that being involved on campus, as either a volunteer or paid position, can also be a way to build connections across campus and develop long term job skills. Volunteer opportunities on campus include: working with or coordinating a student club, coordinating a campus activity or event, serving as a student ambassador, and tutoring fellow students.
Students can also contact their advisor to find out if any service learning activities are available in their field of study.
“Service learning generally means volunteering in the community for an activity/organization related to one’s academic goal,” said Moore, “and receiving academic credit for that time.”
Volunteering and Your Degree
If you are attending Central Oregon Community College in order to obtain a degree, then you may want to consider volunteering.
“[Volunteering] is certainly something the employer will look at,” said Jane Morrow, associate professor of nursing.
Morrow stated that many nursing students have very full schedules so volunteering is not something that they really push but is definitely made available to them.
According to Morrow, two volunteering programs in particular relate directly to nursing students: Shots for Tots, which helps with immunizations and Volunteers of Medicine, which has a local non-profit medical clinic serving low-income/uninsured families.
Volunteering and Your Resume
According to Tracy Dula, COCC’s career services coordinator, there are seven main reasons for a students to volunteer that will look great on their resume when they look for work after graduation.
· It shows employers that you are motivated to learn, not just motivated by money.
· It helps to fill in gaps in employment.
· It can show employers important skills you have learned, even if you have no employment history in your chosen field.
· It shows commitment to a cause and to the community and shows you want to be there.
· It shows that you are well-rounded.
· It speaks to your character.
Dula, who helps students to choose career paths and majors, speaks highly of the impact that volunteering can have on a student’s future.
“It’s something I encourage everybody to do,” said Dula, “if they have the time.”
Volunteer Connect, a local service that connects people with organizations involved in volunteering, is recommended by Dula for interested students.
You may contact Jon Wilcox at email@example.com