Volunteering with a charitable organization is an excellent way to not just give back to the community, but it can look pretty great on your resume!
Applying for a volunteer position is pretty straightforward, so here are the steps to follow:
Step 1: Find the right job -- There are many places you can search for volunteering jobs, such as:
These websites will allow you to look through the myriad volunteer job listings for one that suits you. You can find local, national, and international job positions, and the design of the sites makes it easy for you to find the jobs that will match your skills and desires best.
Step 2: Think about why you want to volunteer -- No matter what organization you sign up with, you need to know exactly WHY you’re interested in working with them. Is it to improve yourself as a person, make your resume look good, or get hands-on training?
Step 3: Find the address/email address of the Recruitment Manager -- Every organization has someone in charge of hiring or recruiting the volunteers for the next projects or missions. You need to find the contact details for that person so you can send them your letter. If you’re applying via the sites listed above, most of the contact information will be available directly on the site.
Now that you know what you want to do, why, and who to send your letter to, it’s time to write that volunteering letter!
How to Write Your Volunteer Letter
Start your letter with the traditional greeting of "Dear Mr/Mrs/Miss First/Last Name". You want to address the letter specifically, as it shows that you are interested in THAT specific organization. If you send a letter addressed to "To Whom it May Concern", it seems a bit like a stock letter that you are sending out, showing little or no preparation or research into that specific organization.
Begin the body of the letter with details of why you’re interested in the organization, its mission, and its projects. This shows that you’ve done your research, and that you know what you’re getting yourself into.
Next, talk about how you are an excellent candidate to work with their organization, as you have skills and talents that would directly benefit them. Whether you have work experience or a relevant degree, make sure to list it in your letter.
Give the organization details on just how much time you can commit to their projects. If you are volunteering full-time, make sure to specify it. If you can only do so many hours per week or month, make sure they know. If there are any resources you can bring to the table, make sure to specify those as well.
Finish the letter by asking for an opportunity to speak to the Recruitment Manager, where you will be able to give further information on how you can work with them. With the traditional closing "sincerely yours", your letter is done.
Here is a letter you can adapt at will:
"Dear (Name of the person),
My name is (your name). I have always admired (name of organization) for their work with (Specific project). The work you have done in (location) with (people benefitted) amazes me, and it is something I would be proud to be a part of.
I am a (student, professional, etc.), with (experience, degrees, etc.). I believe my skills or knowledge in (area of expertise) could directly benefit your organization, as it would enable me to (carry out specific activities) effectively.
I would be available to work (hours per week/month), and would be more than happy to use my (resources, connections, network, etc.) to further the aims of (organization).
With this in mind, I would like to request a meeting with you to further discuss the opportunity in your organization. Working with you has been a dream of mine, and it would be amazing if my skills could help further your efforts to (projects).
I look forward to hearing from you.
Have you volunteered for a company recently? Did you write a letter similar to this? Your thoughts and comments below…