Through volunteering, you help others, take on responsibilities and work with others towards a common goal. You also make varied practical experiences. Therefore, for many employers, volunteering is a positive signal regarding your personal and social competencies.
Volunteer experience is:
- being an active member of a social, political, cultural or environmental/climate group, club or community organisation
- being a volunteer trainer or volunteer referee in a sports club;
- being a volunteer fire fighter;
- being active as an organiser in a church community;
- being active as a student representative,
- being active at a school newspaper;
- being a mentor or tutor in a buddy programme.
Volunteering as an international student
Examples of showing your soft skills through your volunteering experience
Describe a situation in which you worked together with other people to reach a common goal. This can be a group project in school or university, a school newspaper which you edited, or a climate strike which you helped organise.
Describe a difficult situation in your teamwork - how did you solve this? What would you do differently now, what did you learn for future team projects?
Describe a situation in which you had to gain support for a cause or speak in front of a large group of people. Did you for example collect donations for a non-profit cause? Did you moderate meetings of a student initiative or a club?
How did you communicate and what did you learn?
Describe a situation in which you organised an event or completed a project. Were you an active member of your school community and organised school events? Are you a member of a student club or initiative and were part of organising campaigns, meetings or protests?
What were your tasks and what did you learn?
Describe a situation in which you were a group-leader or active in a representative position. Were you a camp counsellour or a trainer in a sports club? Were you a member of your school council or are you active in student councils or student parliament?
Taking on such roles shows employers your ability to make decisions and take on responsibilities.