Volunteering is a great way to help you find paid work. If your resume is looking a little short because you don't have much work experience, volunteering is an excellent way to learn new skills and gain genuine work experience at the same time.

Most employers will think your volunteering history shows that you:

  • Have initiative
  • Are community minded
  • Have a positive attitude towards work.

Learning to work as part of a team and developing your organisation skills are just a few of the benefits of volunteering that will serve you well in any job.
Bendigo has its own volunteer coordination program located in Allens Walk (off Pall Mall near Cash Converters). The Bendigo Volunteer Network can assist you with your enquiries for all types of volunteering.

The following are some ideas of how you could volunteer

local hospitals & aged care facilities, Meals on Wheels, St. John’s Ambulance, the Country Fire Authority, Lifeline, Youthline, Home help, Fundraising, Collecting, Sport coaching, Umpiring, Child care, Church and Youth Group, Freeza, Amnesty International, Oxfam, The Smith Family, Heart Foundation, Museum Victoria, Clean Up Australia and Bendigo City Council. Check out these organisations and their websites for further information.

Or, if you are keen to work with a particular employer, contact them and offer to ‘volunteer’ or use it as a ‘free work trial’. Offer the horse trainer an opportunity to have his stables mucked out for free or a retail store having their marketing brochures folded and delivered for free. These proactive initiatives might just make a difference when it comes to an employer’s decision to hire. Give it a go and if the result is not immediate, who is the first person they’ll think of when it comes to hiring??

Networking

Remember the old saying ‘it’s not what you know it’s who you know!’ Family and friends help find the largest number of all jobs secured – so ask them! Ask people you have worked for, coaches, church groups, clubs, work experience, teachers etc.

The "networking" process is probably one of THE most successful ways to find a job! Networking is identifying everyone who can help you locate employment opportunities, or who can market you to an employer.

It is important though that you stay in constant touch with the people in your network.... (hassle them enough and they might find you a job to get you off their backs...)! Persistence pays! Not really... but it is important to stay in touch with them, especially if you get more "leads" or contacts that you can add to your network. Many students believe that handing in a resume is all they need to do – it’s not. Students who return visit or make a follow up phone call are far more successful – it shows initiative and commitment to a task.