Skill Enhancement through Volunteering

by Rachel Vilsack

Are there skills you would like to develop on your resume? Think about volunteering!  In 2011, 38 percent of Minnesota residents volunteered in 2011. Minnesota ranked 4th among all states in volunteer rates, according to a new report from the Corporation for National & Community Service. That’s 1.58 million volunteers giving nearly 172 million hours of service to religious, civic, health, and educational organizations across the state.


Enhance Your Skills

Whether you serve as a volunteer for a one-time event, for a set amount of time, or for several months or more, volunteer opportunities can help you gain experience that you can market to employers.

Here are some examples of skills that could be learned through volunteering:

  • Leadership – If you steer a committee or group at your church or temple, you are building your leadership skills.
  • Project/event planning – If you plan a fundraising campaign for your child’s school, you are learning about project and event planning, budgeting, and time management.
  • Customer service and communication – If you volunteer with a civic campaign by making telephone calls or knocking on doors to increase awareness about an issue, you’re enhancing your extemporaneous and persuasive public speaking skills.


Find Opportunities

There are many on-line resources to find volunteer opportunities:

  • Volunteer Match, a national organization where volunteers can find opportunities and organization can recruit volunteers.
  • HandsOn Twin Cities, to view volunteer opportunities from hundreds of nonprofits serving the nine county metro area which includes Anoka, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Hennepin, Isanti, Ramsey, Scott and Washington.
  • Minnesota Senior Corps, a resource for adults 55 and over who want to volunteer in their community.
  • ServeMinnesota, an organization that administers 12 AmeriCorps programs around Minnesota.
  • Check with nonprofit service agencies or other nonprofit organizations in your community.


Volunteer service is for anyone interested in making a difference in their community or gaining new career skills.


2 thoughts on “Skill Enhancement through Volunteering

  1. Paula July 1, 2013 / 11:52 am

    I've been noticing how many jobs seem to require fairly specific experience.  And when hundreds of applications are received recruiters likely don't even consider applicants who don't meet the minimum experience requirement.  This can be frustrating for job seekers.  Volunteering can be a great way to develop particular skills.  I think it could be especially helpful to students who are going to be looking for employment after graduation.  It may also be useful for adults looking to make a change to a career with a different skill set–provided they have the time to commit to volunteer work.  The links provided here are great resources!  Much like finding a job, it can be difficult to find a volunteer opportunity that suits your needs and these links help. Thanks!


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