The summer is here and while many are partying and still celebrating earning their diplomas, most unemployed college graduates are nervously (and desperately) trying to find work. While some will be able to land jobs within the coming weeks, others will be less fortunate. If you happen to find yourself in the latter group, it would be a good idea to consider squeezing in some volunteer work during your unemployment status—it could potentially help you land that dream job after all and pay off your student loan debt. It can even benefit those that have been out of school for several years but are currently looking for work now. To learn all the different ways volunteering can help you achieve your goals, continue reading below.
Fills Idle Gap
The truth of the matter is that the longer a potential employer sees that you have been out of work, the harder it will be for you to be deemed as "hirable." Meaning, simply saying that you have been on your grind trying to get hired since you graduated a year ago will not be well received by interviewers—employers what to see that you have been doing "something" during your free time. A good way to maintain active, however, is to volunteer while simultaneously on the job hunt. This will prove to potential employers that you not only like giving back to the community, but that you also know how to effectively use and juggle your free time. You can most certainly enhance your job prospects if you can somehow snag a leadership position and then demonstrate all of the new skills you acquired because of that position. For example, you can explain how your service has taught you how to manage large groups of people, has taught you about deadlines, made you a more effective communicator, etc.
While volunteering for any general organization can help increase your hirability, note that carefully choosing to volunteer for organizations that deal with the field or line of work you want to pursue will be able to launch your marketability to profound heights. For example, do you want a teaching gig? Then volunteer to teach English to foreign students.
Provides Network Opportunities
You might even catch wind of a great job opportunity by simply volunteering. A good chunk of those who want to be involved in their community and choose to volunteer are actually very successful business owners and professionals (or the spouses of those professionals). You can get lucky and befriend/volunteer with someone who may just be able to offer you a job, or at least get you in contact with someone who is hiring. The head of the organization or someone who volunteers with you may also be able to benefit you in other ways as well, like writing you an excellent letter of recommendation for example.
Graduate School Ready
If somewhere down the line you decide that you want to return to graduate school because you are having a hard time finding a job in your current field and want to go in a different direction, volunteering can also help you get accepted into graduate school as well. This is because admission officers, similar to employers, like applicants who remain busy even while out of school. Volunteering may even fulfill the "work-related" experience mandated by some master programs.
Cancel Student Loan Debt
Lastly, if you are a nervous wreck because your employment status means that you won't be able to pay back your student loans, volunteering for particular big organizations like the Peace Corps, the AmeriCorps or its affiliated programs—the National Civilian Corps or the Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA)—may be able to resolve the issue. This is because these organizations offer full or partial loan cancellation programs and stipend checks for those that meet certain terms and conditions. Smaller volunteering agencies may offer programs as well, but you need to ask to get more information.
This guest post is contributed by Lauren Bailey, who regularly writes for BestCollegesOnline.com. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: blauren99 @gmail.com.