Showing posts with label volunteering. Show all posts
Showing posts with label volunteering. Show all posts

Monday, December 23, 2013

Should Volunteering Be On Your CV

A Linked-in colleague recently asked a question on volunteering after reading our recent post on volunteering.

Hi Bob,

I am seeking some advice on how to best put down volunteering experience on my resume - I have been in both scenarios before and had volunteered my time around Canberra in various capacities and now, having relocated to Melbourne and pending a suitable job offer, volunteering my time as a fundraiser/marketing officer for
(name withheld) something completely out of my previous field but thoroughly challenging and enjoyable.   Your advice is appreciated.

...and our thoughts are....

 It's great you're keeping your PR skills fresh by volunteering. 

Yes, include those roles on your CV. They are an important part of who you are and how you've taken the initiative to use your skills to do something really worthwhile.

I have found presenting volunteer jobs in the same way you present a regular job, works well. The only difference is after the job title add Volunteer Role

And when you land the next job interview, don't forget to tell the interview panel why and how you are extending your skills through PR volunteering.

What do you think? Should your CV list your volunteer efforts?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Volunteering Is An Career Saver In Tough Times

Volunteering is a valuable survival tactic for PRs

 The outlook seems grim for  Canberra communicators faced with the MOG - the Machinery of Government.  Those are  the changes that kick in when governments in Australia change.

The incoming Abbott government has tighter than tight media arrangements. New ministers are reluctant to promote policies and the national security mantra is closing down discussion on key issues.  

If there is space or appetite for proactive communications in the Commonwealth, it's hard to spot looking in from the outside. 

And with big decisions on hold, communicators nervously wait to see if their jobs will be chopped.  

It is not a good time to be a PR professional in government right now.  Particularly if you are someone open to learning new skills, expanding your horizons and advancing your career.

One way to retain your edge amidst all this uncertainty is to get back in the game and offer your PR skills to one of Canberra's many not for profits. Local charities and community groups are always hungry for PR support and highly appreciative when someone steps forward to offer their services.

If the Commission of Audit targets your job and you are find yourself unemployed in the next few months you can confront fairly distressing circumstances. I know.  I have been out of work four times spanning a 22-year PR career, starting with when the Howard Government came to power in 1996.  I have seen the jobless movie too many times and it's not fun to sit through.

I also know that volunteering your skills to the community sector is a lifeline strategy that can keep you professionally engaged.  Volunteering your talents to people who normally could not afford them can be a strategy to keeping you in meaningful - if unpaid - work, continuing your craft and feeling valued. 

Perhaps you have a job but are on a career path that seemingly leads nowhere.  Your agency may pay you but that does not appreciate you.  Even though you are keen to try new things, you never get the chance.  Out of work or out-of-rewarding work situations can be stressful for communicators of any grade because as a group we are upbeat, positive people hell bent on achieving results.  

Not for profit volunteering can be one way to change the chemistry in your situation or expand your skills set.  Not for profits always have the welcome mat out for communicators and are willing laboratories to practice and improve your skills.  Any PR effort will always be  a big plus for them.  

Contact Volunteering ACT for ideas on how to begin your personal PR change through volunteering.