When you want to land a coveted IT role, having formal training or the latest certification might not be enough to get you the job. Most employers prefer professionals with real-world experience, so being able to use your skills in a work-style environment is a must if you want to be a top candidate.
However, you need to secure a position to gain that experience, creating a sort of catch-22. Luckily, there is a way get started that isn’t as complicated as landing a job: volunteering.
Landing a Volunteer IT Role
Many non-profit organizations need assistance with technology, though they can’t always afford to hire a highly skilled professional. Often, they turn to volunteers to help get websites built, local networks set up, and much more, creating unique opportunities where you can gain experience while assisting your community.
You can look for opportunities through formal volunteer matching organizations and websites, or explore options on your own. If there is a non-profit in your area who may need your skills, consider contacting them directly. You can either ask about volunteer opportunities or see if they have a volunteer coordinator, as that person acts as a sort of hiring manager for volunteer roles.
Since the positions are unpaid, organizations that welcome volunteers are often more flexible when it comes to the amount of experience you need to bring to the table. If you are personable and have core skills, even if they are newly minted, they may be open to giving you a shot. Just make sure to highlight important traits you possess, like the ability to adhere to deadlines and work well as part of a team, and you may impress the volunteer coordinator.
What You Gain from a Volunteer IT Position
When you work in a volunteer IT role, you have the chance to use your skills in the real world. You deal with the same kinds of scenarios that you may face in paid positions, allowing you to demonstrate your ability to function well in those situations.
Additionally, it gives you a chance to hone a variety of soft skills. Being able to work as part of a team is vital to employers, and you’ll get to show you are capable in your volunteer job. Similarly, you’ll be able to expand your time management and communication skills, both of which are important to companies.
Finally, you may earn yourself a strong employment reference that can help you land other jobs. If you perform admirably in your volunteer position, your supervisor will likely be happy to recommend you should a hiring manager call them for information about your performance.
Ultimately, volunteering can be a great way to give back to your community and boost your IT resume, creating a win-win scenario for everyone involved. If you would like to learn more or are seeking a new IT position, the team at ASK Staffing can help. Contact us to speak with one of our skilled recruiters today and see how our expertise can benefit you.