Volunteering is an extremely rewarding experience – you donate your time, energy and skills to help make a difference within a community or an organisation. Even though you’re giving up your time free of charge, the benefits to you – for your physical and mental wellbeing, career and skill development – can be huge.
Whatever level you have reached with your DofE, you’ll have experienced volunteering. If you volunteered in a charity shop, helped out as a Young Leader for the Scouts or undertook marine conservation for a wildlife organisation, you’ve had an experience that stands out and will impress others, particularly future employers, colleges and universities. Wherever you volunteered, it will have been a learning experience. So, use it and talk about it.
Were you given responsibility for something important? Did you try something new for the first time?
Reflect on your volunteering and think how you can explain your experience to others
Don’t limit what you say at interviews to just the dates and nature of your volunteering, turn it into phrases which they value. For example, “My work in the charity shop gave me customer service skills and I proved my trustworthiness with managing the stock and the till” or “Marine conservation helped me develop team-working skills and gave me the determination to turn up and work hard, even when the weather was bad.”
If you’re looking for a different volunteering challenge for the next level of your DofE, chat to your Leader about finding an activity that could support you with your future plans. Or, take a look at our ideas list for more inspiration.