Alongside the personal benefits a volunteering trip with Camps International can give you, there are many other ways in which your experiences will benefit you now and for potentially years to come.
Applying for jobs is a very competitive process. Some jobs attract hundreds of applications and volunteering can help you to stand out from the competition. It will enable you to demonstrate your key skills and provide examples of where you have put these skills into action.
It is especially useful if you have little or limited work history.
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What skills does a trip help to showcase?
There are a number of skills you could demonstrate by joining one of our trips: communication, team work, negotiation and persuasion, problem solving, leadership, organisation, motivation and the ability to work under pressure.
Each one of these can be separated out:
- Communication – showing good communication skills when working as part of a team, sharing stories with children in local schools and helping them with their English, and communicating effectively with local communities are all good examples
- Team work – working as part of a team to complete certain aspects of a project, every project we run relies on a team working together to achieve a successful outcome
- Problem solving – with every project or trip there are always challenges to overcome such as having to change the way a project is approached to make it work, or altering the way things are done to work more effectively
- Leadership – did you step up and help to lead on a task? Did you lead a group of people when fundraising for your trip? Helping to show you are prepared to take responsibility and encourage others within a team to do something is a very strong skill to demonstrate
- Organisation – from arranging your trip, to ensuring you had everything you needed, to getting the project work done – there are plenty of examples
- Motivation – these trips are voluntary and therefore the process of deciding you wanted to go on a trip, researching it, making a choice, sticking to that decision and giving it your all shows not only your motivation but also your determination and focus
- Working under pressure – travelling anywhere with anyone and putting yourself into a new position is always a pressured situation, how did you feel, how did you cope learning new skills, undertaking tasks, getting them done within a fairly short timescale?
Where would you use these skills?
CVs have a fairly standard format for an employer: name and address, personal statement, key skills, employment history, education, hobbies and interests and references.
You would be able to include your experience in different ways in your personal statement, key skills, employment history and hobbies and interests.
In your personal statement which is written in neutral tense you could put:
Highly motivated individual with strong communication and problem solving skills. Able to work well under pressure and with a team to ensure all tasks undertaken are completed to the highest possible standard.
In your key skills, which is typically a short bullet point list you could include them as:
- Good organisation skills, seeing project through from research to undertaking project and completion
- Strong communication skills with team, customers and suppliers
If you are leaving education and do not have very much work history, you could include your volunteering role within this section, but you should make it clear that it is a voluntary role. This could be:
Volunteer, Camps International July 2016
Camps International is a company which delivers international volunteering trips. I chose to undertake 1 month volunteering trip to Kenya, Africa, during this time tasks I undertook included:
- Researching the best trip options to meet my personal requirements
- Liaising with the team at Camps to confirm booking and all arrangements
- Arranging travel arrangements to get to the programme
- Working as part of a new team to undertake project work including laying foundations for a new classroom, painting a mural on a kindergarten wall, learning new skills taught by the local women in the community
- Developing my communication skills through building relationships with the others in my team, the Camps staff and the local community
Alternatively, if you already have a good work history, you may want to include this in your hobbies and interests section:
I chose to take a gap year after leaving university and spent 3 months volunteering in Borneo and Cambodia. During this time I worked as part of a new team, undertaking life-changing project work by helping to build a kindergarten in a remote, rural community. I worked alongside the Camps International team, other volunteers and the local community to build walls, lay a floor and paint the walls of the new kindergarten and I also had the opportunity to teach English to the children in the local school. I also undertook some adventures whilst on my trip, undertaking my PADI Open Water Water Dive Course
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