Everyone knows that volunteer work looks good on college applications, but which opportunity is right for you? Here are some basic dos and don’ts to keep in mind when exploring community service jobs.
• Do: stay consistent. Admissions counselors want to know that you’re focused on a cause that’s meaningful to you.
• Don’t volunteer just to add something to your application. Choose something you’re truly passionate about and find a way to make a difference.
• Do think about how you’ll be helping. Everyone wants to know that their volunteer time will be well served. Consider how your work will make a difference.
• Don’t be afraid to look beyond current openings. The best volunteer opportunity may be something you dream up. Maybe your ace photography skills could help a charity attract new donors. Or your music skills could cheer up children in the hospital. Get creative and reach out!
• Do ask for advice. Talk with your parents, teachers, and other mentors for advice. They know you well and may have ideas about volunteer opportunities that will be a good fit for you.
• Don’t be restricted by geography. Consider traveling to help out with disaster relief or spending a summer volunteering abroad while you hone a second language.
• Do research the organization. Before signing up as a volunteer, check out the organization online and learn as much as you can about their mission. Consider talking with a current volunteer to learn why they joined.