Connecting you to Work in Central Queensland

Volunteering locally

Skills for volunteering

Volunteers do great things in the community, helping non-profits in a variety of industries from arts and culture to conservation, corporate volunteering to emergency volunteering.

Beyond its contribution to the community, volunteering provides you with valuable skill development. It can help you to build your networks in a time when many job vacancies are still made known to networks before they are formally advertised. Volunteering helps you to become job-ready through sharing skills and working with others.

Skills you learn while volunteering are also skills you can use when working and can assist you to get a job. Volunteers need to have a strong work ethic as they are unpaid and they must also be able to work well with others. These and other skills are helpful in gaining new employment.

Volunteers have, or can develop, the following skills:

  • Commitment – the ability manage an agreed number of hours or shifts
  • Communication – written and verbal skills to communicate with other volunteers, clients or the community
  • Compassion – knowing that everyone has different opportunities and you can make a difference
  • Leadership – the ability to motivate others and work effectively to delegate, meet deadlines and manage resources
  • Strong work ethic – continuing to help others through maintaining stamina and a positive attitude
  • Teamwork – collaboration and cooperation is important when working with others
  • Time management – the ability to meet deadlines, multi-task and manage time-sensitive projects.

Using your volunteer experiences to improve your job seeking opportunities

When you apply for a job or seek new opportunities in your current organization, your skills developed while volunteering are transferrable to the workplace.

When you apply for a job, including your volunteering skills will show that you are a compassionate person, willing to help others and will show that you can work with a team. Skills that are relevant to the job you are applying for should be highlighted. For example, if you have volunteered with a conservation group as their social media guru, then highlight your excellent communication skills when applying for an office job: you’ll have examples of your writing at your fingertips.

Job applications often require cover letters to highlight why you are the best candidate for the job. Write about a specific volunteering experience that is relevant to the position you’re applying for and explain the skills you developed volunteering and how they would be useful in the role. Include how volunteering has assisted you to develop both personally and professionally.

Similarly, during the interview process, skills developed during volunteer experiences can be applied to how you would undertake a task in the role you are interviewing for. You can use these real examples to demonstrate that you have experience. Use the STAR interviewing technique to describe specific experiences.

Search Volunteering Queensland for volunteering opportunities in your local area or contact local organisations in fields that interest you, such as:

Volunteers may be required to undergo checks and screening before they can do particular activities, depending on the organisation. Volunteers who want to work with children, young people, people with a disability or older people will need to find out more about the requirements from the organisation they would like to assist.