In this day and age, it’s not always easy to build solid social network or land a great job. Volunteering can be a great stepping stone in the pursuit of your next step. Here are some reasons we think volunteering is a great way to kick start your career.

Doing Volunteer Work Gives You References

When employers look at resumes, they don’t just want to see that you have a particular skill set. They also want to see that you will conduct yourself in a business-appropriate manner — that is, they’re as concerned with your behavior as what you know and can do. The trouble is, it’s hard to get a job without references, and it’s tough to get references without getting a job. Volunteering allows students or recent graduates who are just starting out establish the references necessary for their future pursuits. Even if the work isn’t paid, your supervisor can still write a good recommendation letter or put in a word for you when employers inquire about you.

Volunteering Fills Out Your Resume

In addition to providing references, volunteering gives individuals something to put on their resume in place of or in addition to paid work experience. This is especially advantageous when you want to show you have skills not necessarily covered in other listed jobs.

Volunteering Demonstrates Your Involvement with the Community.

Sometimes volunteering doesn’t veer too much from the work you’ve done in paid positions. When this happens, listing volunteer positions on a resume is still useful because it shows you see and are aware of needs present where you live. It demonstrates that you have a caring spirit and that you have interests that go beyond money. Employers like this because they recognize that success in business means recognizing the human component of operations and sales.

Giving Time to Volunteer Shows Your Interests

Though some people can get paid to do what they love, most of us do not get so lucky in the beginning of our careers. When you volunteer, you get a chance to reveal passions you might not show elsewhere. Paired with your work experience, volunteering gives employers and other acquaintances a clearer, more rounded picture of who you are, what you can do, and what you’ve learned.

Doing Volunteer Work Expands Who You Know

People who volunteer often know a wide array of individuals who have similar interests as they do. They know who is active with similar organizations or who might be able to share knowledge, tools or talents with you for various projects. When you volunteer, you also meet individuals from your community whose paths you might not otherwise cross, broadening your perception of what your neighborhood is like.

Volunteering Gives You a Sense of Self-Fulfillment and Purpose

Occasionally, some nonprofit organizations do offer paid positions. Generally, however, volunteer workers do not receive compensation. The entire reason why people volunteer is to do good, to give back, to teach, to make a difference. The value of this cannot be measured in dollars and cents. You might find that volunteering leaves you feeling less lonely, more accomplished, refreshed, more aware, and even liberated for accomplishing goals and challenging yourself.

Becoming a Volunteer Makes You Resourceful

Volunteers are used primarily with nonprofit groups who might not be able to extend monetary compensation to workers. These agencies frequently do not have the resources of larger corporations, even though they might have significant goals. Challenged to do more with less, you might discover new ways to network, get people to donate time, money or goods, prioritize tasks, delegate responsibilities, and find necessary items. This resourcefulness is easily transferable to your home or workplace. It can lead to high efficiency and even pay increases, bonuses, and promotions, particularly in companies who truly are on the lookout for employees who think outside the box for creative solutions.

The National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) is an honors organization, boasting 320 plus chapter nationwide, that recognizes high-achieving first-and second-year students. With its three pillars of scholarship, leadership, and service, NSCS is proud to provide career and graduate school connections, leadership and service experiences, practical and skills-based content, access to discounts and savings, and over a million dollars in scholarships, chapter funds and awards annually. To learn more about joining the NSCS honors society, visit us at