The benefits of charitable work and volunteering: Stand out with your experience

Posted in News & Press  ·  17th January 2024

In today’s competitive world, having a standout CV is crucial for landing your dream job or getting into the best universities. One of the most impactful ways to make your CV shine is through charitable work and volunteering. This type of experience not only enriches your personal and professional life but also sets you apart from the crowd. Here’s why charitable work and volunteering are so beneficial and how they can help you stand out.

Personal growth and development

Volunteering and participating in charitable activities provide numerous opportunities for personal growth:

  1. Develop new skills: Whether it’s communication, project management, or leadership, volunteering helps you develop a wide range of skills that are highly valued by employers and educational institutions.
  2. Boost confidence: Taking on responsibilities and seeing the positive impact of your efforts can significantly boost your self-confidence.
  3. Expand your horizons: Working with diverse groups of people and in various environments broadens your perspective and enhances your understanding of different cultures and communities.

Professional advantages

Charitable work and volunteering offer several professional benefits that can enhance your career prospects:

  1. Gain relevant experience: Many volunteer roles provide hands-on experience in fields related to your career interests. For example, volunteering at a local charity shop can give you retail experience, while helping out at an animal shelter can be valuable if you’re interested in veterinary science.
  2. Build a strong network: Volunteering introduces you to a network of professionals and like-minded individuals. These connections can lead to job opportunities, mentorship, and valuable career advice.
  3. Demonstrate commitment and initiative: Employers and universities look for candidates who go above and beyond. Your involvement in charitable work shows your dedication, initiative, and willingness to contribute to society.

Making your CV stand out

Including volunteer work on your CV can significantly enhance your profile. Here’s how to highlight your charitable experience effectively:

  1. Create a dedicated section: Allocate a specific section on your CV for volunteer work. Label it as “Volunteer Experience” or “Community Involvement.”
  2. Detail your roles and achievements: Just like you would with a paid job, list your volunteer roles with a focus on your responsibilities and accomplishments. Use bullet points to make it easy to read.
  3. Highlight transferable skills: Emphasise the skills you gained through volunteering that are relevant to the position or programme you’re applying for. This could include teamwork, leadership, time management, and problem-solving skills.
  4. Quantify your impact: Whenever possible, quantify your contributions. For example, “organised a fundraising event that raised £2,000 for local homeless shelters” sounds more impressive and tangible.

Long-term benefits

Engaging in charitable work and volunteering can have long-lasting benefits for your career and personal life:

  1. Enhanced employability: Studies have shown that employers are more likely to hire candidates with volunteer experience. It demonstrates that you have the skills, commitment, and character they are looking for. According to a study by the Corporation for National and Community Service, volunteers have a 27% higher likelihood of finding a job after being out of work than non-volunteers.
  2. Better academic opportunities: Universities and colleges often look for well-rounded applicants. Your volunteer work can make you a more attractive candidate for scholarships and admissions. Research by the University of California, San Diego, shows that students who volunteer are more likely to be accepted into their preferred colleges.
  3. Personal fulfilment: Beyond the professional and academic advantages, volunteering brings a sense of fulfilment and purpose. Knowing that you’ve made a positive impact on others’ lives is incredibly rewarding.

Recommended reading and resources

To dive deeper into the benefits of volunteering and how it can enhance your CV, here are some recommended books and resources:

  • “The Value of Volunteering” by John Wilson: This book explores the personal and societal benefits of volunteering.
  • “Volunteering: A Professional Development Guide” by Tracy Connors: Provides insights into how volunteering can aid professional growth.
  • “Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success” by Adam Grant: Discusses how helping others can lead to personal and professional success.
  • Research by the Corporation for National and Community Service: Volunteering as a Pathway to Employment


Charitable work and volunteering are not only acts of kindness but also strategic moves that can significantly enhance your CV and career prospects. They provide valuable skills, expand your network, and demonstrate your commitment and initiative. So, whether you’re aiming for a top university, a competitive job, or simply looking to make a difference, volunteering is a powerful way to stand out from the crowd.

At Bright Futures Experience, we believe in the power of giving back and the positive impact it can have on your future. For more tips on how to make the most of your volunteer experience and other career advice, visit our website today!

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