Earning

4 sites where you can volunteer time to build skills and gain valuable work experience

Consider these four volunteer opportunities to develop your career.

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Looking for a new job? As you sift through traditional job boards like LinkedIn, Monster, and FlexJobs, consider the benefits of signing up to do some volunteer work, too.

"Volunteering and/or joining an advisory board can help you cultivate your skills quickly while also being of service," says Felecia Hatcher, an author and entrepreneur. "Reading books around [a given] topic is great but only shows that you can acquire knowledge. You must know how to apply it in a way that adds value to an organization and shows that you are results driven."  

And you don't have to volunteer in person, either. Some organizations offer virtual opportunities, which can be especially useful during the pandemic.

Here are four of the sites TopResume recommends where you can find volunteer opportunities to help capitalize on your skills and even build some new ones.

Catchafire

Catchafire posts projects that various nonprofits are looking for help on. Current opportunities on the site include creating a series of animations for a community health center in Virginia and streamlining data collection for a Tanzania-based NGO.  

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VolunteerMatch

VolunteerMatch lists volunteer opportunities nationwide in categories ranging from advocacy and human rights to arts and culture to seniors and youth. You can search for openings by category or location.

The site also has a virtual opportunities section for those who want to stay socially distanced during the pandemic, and a Covid-19-specific section for those who want to focus their efforts on projects that will help people in need during the pandemic.

Taproot Foundation

Taproot Foundation connects nonprofit organizations with volunteers who want to help with projects including social media strategy, business planning, HR, and finance. Volunteers create an account on Taproot's platform, and note fields they have particular expertise in.

Typically, volunteers must have 3-5 years of professional experience to be considered for a given project.

Volunteering and/or joining an advisory board can help you cultivate your skills quickly while also being of service.
Felecia Hatcher
Author and entrepreneur

Points of Light 

Points of Light lets volunteers find remote or in-person opportunities to help with issues such as domestic violence, the environment, and animals. Opportunities can range from health organizations that need volunteers for research studies to pet stores that need help cuddling rescue cats throughout the week.

Any professional activity like the above can also be added to your resume to let employers know that you not only have experience, but you're using this time to build yourself and further your career.

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