In your social commitment, you get involved with others, take on responsibility and work with other people on a common cause. In the process, you gain a wide range of practical experience. For many employers, social commitment is therefore a positive signal of your personal and social skills.

Social/volunteer engagement includes:

  • Participation in a social, political, cultural or environmental/climate policy initiative or group,
  • Volunteer as a coach or referee in a sports club,
  • Volunteering in a volunteer fire department,
  • Participation in a church congregation,
  • working in the student council,
  • Collaboration with a school newspaper,
  • Participation in mentoring and buddy programs,
  • Participation in student councils and student representatives.

Tips for presenting community involvement on your resume

In your resume, you can list involvement under a separate category, such as "Community Involvement" or "Volunteerism," in counter-chronological order.

Name specific activities that you have undertaken as part of your commitment.
List training courses and certificates that you have completed as part of your commitment, e.g. Juleica (youth leader card), trainer's certificate, paramedic training, mediator training.

You can also list volunteer services (BFD, weltwärts, FSJ/FÖJ, kulturweit...) under the commitment category. Describe the volunteer service program, start and end date, specific location and your main tasks in the volunteer service.

If you are involved in university politics, you can add another category "university political involvement". This includes participation in student councils, university groups, committees and AStA.

Employers know the difference between passive membership in an association and active involvement and assumption of responsibility. Be prepared for inquiries.

Committed to study for international students

Committed to study for international students

Social engagement is a good way to improve your German language skills and expand your social network in Germany. You get involved with others for a common goal - in doing so, you usually meet people with whom you share interests and who can open up access to social and professional structures in Germany.

If you have been socially or civically engaged in your country of origin: Take up your commitment again! Involvement has positive effects on personal well-being and can also help you arrive in your new place of residence and feel at home.

At the University of Kassel, there are over 30 student initiatives and associations that welcome support, and there is also a very active civic life in Kassel outside the university campus.

Competence development in engagement

The term "soft skills" refers to the most important competencies for professional life, such as communication skills, the ability to work in a team, the ability to solve problems creatively, leadership skills, and many more.

Soft skills cannot be learned purely theoretically, but develop in the course of personality development, based on individual experience. This also means that it can be difficult to spontaneously name concrete example situations in which you have applied soft skills during the application process.

Therefore, even before an interview, think about the situations in which you have demonstrated relevant soft skills such as communication skills or team competence.

Examples of applied soft skills from your social commitment

Describe a situation in which you worked with other people to achieve a common goal. This could be a group project at school or in a university seminar, the Abi newspaper for which you were on the editorial team, or the climate strike that you helped organize.

Was there a difficult situation in the collaboration? If so, how did you help resolve it? What would you do differently now, what have you learned for future teamwork?

Describe a situation in which you had to convince others of your cause or spoke in front of a larger group. Have you collected corporate donations for a community service project? Were you looking for sponsors for your high school graduation newspaper? Were you active in a student initiative or club, chairing meetings?

How did you go about communicating and what did you learn from it?

Describe a situation in which you helped organize an event or implemented a project. Were you active in your school days and helped organize school festivals, Abizeitung, Schüler:innencafé? Are you involved in an initiative or association and have you co-organized campaigns, meetings or demos there?

What exactly were your tasks and what do you take away from the experience?

Describe a situation in which you have led groups or been active in self-advocacy structures. Were you perhaps a team leader at youth camps or a trainer in a sports club? Were you active in the student council at your school or are you involved in your student council?

With such tasks you show your willingness to make decisions and take responsibility.

Service Learning - Learning through Engagement at the University of Kassel

"Service learning" is made up of "community service" and "learning." It is often translated as "learning through engagement".

In service learning seminars, course content is not only taught theoretically, but applied directly: In service learning courses, students implement practical projects for non-profit cooperation partners and receive credit points for this. Social commitment is thus integrated into courses.

At the University of Kassel, service learning is actively promoted as a teaching/learning format, and teachers from many departments offer seminars with service learning - to be found in the course catalog under the category "Seminars with Service Learning / Learning through Engagement".

In key competency-based service learning, you can also contribute your own engagement project ideas and earn credits for Additive Key Competencies.