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Five reasons volunteering impresses employers

With many students receiving results this time of year, it’s a great time to think about next steps – and how you can stand out from the crowd where employers are concerned.

We talked to Gemma Umney, Senior Communications Manager at recruitment giant Randstad, to find out how volunteering can give you the lead on the competition. 

Volunteer at community action day
© Mohammad Raafay

Leadership skills

Most organisations don’t make short-term hiring decisions when they’re recruiting for permanent positions. Whether you’re applying for a role in the public or private sector, employers always have their eyes peeled for future leaders. Volunteering gives people who are at an early stage of their career the opportunity to evidence leadership qualities.

Communication skills

If your volunteering placement takes you overseas, you can build communication skills that leave fellow job seekers green with envy. You’ll be liaising with multiple stakeholders and potentially communicating with individuals who speak little English. If you’ve written a blog or social media posts, it’s also a great way to showcase how you can create engaging content.


For employers, culture equates to a significant slice of their hiring decision. Volunteering demands team players who work in unison to deliver results. You might be the glue that holds a team together or the person who inspires and motivates everyone to achieve success. It’s a CV skill that should never be underestimated.

Project management skills

“If you can’t plan, organise or prioritise before your volunteering assignment, you’re sure to return a project management guru. You’ll be juggling multiple tasks and will need to manage your time effectively in order to hit important deadlines.”

Restless development volunteers
© ICS / Restless Development / Becky Mursell

Problem solving

If you can demonstrate to prospective employers that you can think on your feet, you’ll be one step ahead of other candidates. Expect your problem solving skills to be finely tuned if you’re working in a remote location with little resource available to you. It certainly gives you some memorable stories to share during the interview process too.

If you’re aged 18 - 25 and you’re looking for a volunteering opportunity to help you boost your skills, ICS service could be a great choice. Apply now to be abroad by January 2018.

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See how volunteering with ICS helps build vital employment skills

A version of this article first appeared on Randstad’s Career Hub site.

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ICS is funded by the UK Government's Department for International Development (DFID) which leads the UK’s work to end extreme poverty.

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