Standing out from the crowd
Published: 23 Feb 2016
It’s never been more important to stand out from the crowd when competing in the current job market.
Gone are the days that a degree or qualification alone is enough to secure a job as employers increasingly look for candidates to demonstrate relevant work experience or additional skills.
Stepping on to the career ladder is therefore becoming more of a challenge as that much sought-after experience can be difficult to gain, creating a barrier to landing the ideal job.
Volunteering work can provide the many qualities which make an applicant attractive by refining and diversifying skill-sets through, for example, learning to use new software, working with the public, teaching, fundraising or involvement in a different aspect of a business.
Stevie Kearney, student development and volunteering co-ordinator at Robert Gordon University’s Students’ Union (RGU:Union), said: “Volunteering can be a powerful tool for professional development, seriously helping to secure a career.
“Not only does it boost a CV, it shows an employer that you are willing to go the extra mile to get a job done without explicit reward, as well as demonstrating that you are able to manage your time and commit to a goal once you’ve begun it – both vital qualities in any employee.
“When talking to students, I emphasise how important it is for employability, as it’s a very tough job market at the moment and you’ve got to do something to really stand out.
“Employers rate volunteering very highly, so it’s a great way to make sure you get the ideal job. The contacts you make when volunteering will come in useful too.”
RGU:Union offers students a wide range of volunteering and extra-curricular opportunities from sports coaching to youth and community work to event support and fundraising.
There are also a number of internal volunteering opportunities with the university and RGU:Union ranging from academic-based support such as class and faculty representative positions to student ambassador roles and project work.
Stevie added: “There are a huge range of volunteering opportunities out there so there is something to suit everyone. I’d highly recommend enhancing career prospects, skills and confidence by getting involved with the many amazing organisations and worthwhile causes working across the region.”
RGU:Union is holding its first dedicated volunteering fair on Thursday, February 25, from 11am to 3pm at the university’s Garthdee campus, which will feature a range of local and national organisations.