By Annabel McCallum, JacksonStone & Partners
Giving your time to support a local community organisation may not always seem like it would relate to your ‘day job’ or add value to your CV, but trust us, it does! It is these sorts of volunteer experiences that make you stand out, speak volumes to potential employers and enhance your CV. Particularly when you’re using the skills from your day job to make a difference.
For this reason, we urge that you don’t underestimate the value of having Community Comms Collective volunteering assignments on your CV! Don’t hide it down there under the “Interests” section along with your niche hobby of crocheting recycled wools. Create a whole new section, and describe what organisation you worked with, on what project, towards which cause, and most importantly, what you did. And add it to your LinkedIn profile. Be proud about the work that you have done to help out our communities.
Don’t be shy about using examples from your volunteering assignments to answer interview questions, and also mention your work with the Collective during informal meetings with prospective employers. Both will boost your chances of getting that second interview, nailing the ‘coffee chat’ or even being offered the role! Alerting prospective employers to your comms-related volunteering experience gives them another dimension about you, often more so than the paid roles you have had.
At JacksonStone, when we are representing candidates to potential employers, we can use their Collective volunteering as a selling point. The breadth and depth of experience you have in not only paid positions, but also as a volunteer, contribute to your range of marketable technical skills and competencies.
Once in a new role, you should also mention the Collective in the bio you will most likely be asked to write about yourself.
Lastly, we also suggest, where confidentiality allows, keeping work samples from your Collective assignments; this is particularly relevant in the early stages of your career when being able to show a span of experience is sometimes hard to do.
All in all, don’t look at the Community Comms Collective like your ‘side piece’ when you are in the job market. Volunteering and applying your comms skills to community organisations provides huge value and ‘doing good’ can also be leveraged in terms of your career enhancement. Off you go now, after that exciting new role or promotion you’ve had your eye on!
JacksonStone is an executive search and recruitment company. It is an organisational sponsor of the Community Comms Collective and has been supporting the Collective since it was established in 2013.