Idealist shares 6 tips for turning your volunteer position into a job. Here’s the first two:
This may seem like the bare minimum, but Kate and Em, who started with a job in the volunteer department before becoming communications coordinator, said that the organization recognizes consistency, notices if a volunteer is often a no-show, and appreciates when volunteers communicate that they won’t be able to make it.
“If you’re going to volunteer somewhere because you want to work there, show up,” Em explained. “Show up when they ask you. The dedication that people show never ceases to amaze us.”
As a volunteer, you can meet many different employees at an organization. Naturally, you will interact with volunteer coordinators and others who assist in whatever activity you are doing, but you also have an “in” with the rest of the team. If you are interested in fundraising, ask to take the development officer to coffee to learn more. Or, if you have an orientation period, try to meet or connect with others throughout the organization. Even if you don’t work with them directly, many people will be willing to meet you, simply because you are a volunteer.
“Don’t underestimate the relationships you’re establishing, with your fellow volunteers and also the people you are working for,” Em said. “Relationships run deep. It’s more than LinkedIn; it’s people and personal networking.” Then, when a job opens up, you are already top-of-mind.
“Having that face-to-face puts you light years ahead of everyone else, just because they know you,” Kate added. “They are going to put your resume on top.”