How Volunteering Abroad Boosts Your CV

3 minute read

Recruiters often complain that there’s so little to differentiate one job applicant from another these days, that choosing between them is almost impossible.  While most people like to brag about their paper qualifications and the development training they’ve done, being able to add voluntary experience to your resume can really help your CV reach the top of the pile.

Volunteering in your local community is great and always worthwhile, but volunteering abroad can really give you a head start when it comes to chasing your ideal job.  If a chance to see the world hasn’t already sold the idea to you, here are just a few more reasons why volunteering overseas could help boost your CV…

You will learn new skills

You can only get so far in life on technical know-how alone, and volunteering can teach you a plethora of life skills which will greatly enhance your CV.  No two days are the same when you’re working as a volunteer, and you’ll pick up the transferable problem-solving skills and team ethic which all employers want to see in a well-rounded candidate.

A chance to meet new people

You’ll meet new people from completely different walks off life, both in your fellow-volunteers and in the citizens of the countries you volunteer in.  People are drawn to volunteering overseas for all sorts of reasons and many will share your passion but come from a completely different background.  Getting to know the people you’re helping out can change the way you see the world, and teach you more about yourself and the things you value.

You’ll make friends for life

It’s impossible to live and work with fellow-volunteers on a day to day basis and not form some deep and lasting friendships.  You’ll be thrown together to experience the very worst and the very best experiences in the world, and that shared experience can be the basis of friendships which will last the rest of your lives.

It changes the way you see your own world

Seeing how other communities live and the struggles they are up against can really affect the way you see your own small corner of the world.  Helping out in communities affected by natural disaster or poverty suddenly makes the fact the council forgot to empty your bins pale into insignificance…

It makes a real difference

There may be terrible clichés about ‘putting something back into the world’, but volunteering overseas really does make a huge difference to the people you work with.  Volunteer organisations help out in communities who rely heavily on aid, so whether it’s helping distribute food parcels and medicine or helping to dig wells, you really can change a community’s long-term prospects.

It’s great fun

There’s no denying that volunteering overseas can be extremely challenging, both physically and emotionally.  There is, however, a great sense of achievement and fulfilment when you can see the difference you’re making and you’ll experience the elation of watching things change for the better.  Volunteering can be great fun, particularly when you find a new group of like-minded friends to enjoy the ups as well as the downs with.

In a competitive jobs market, employers want to see you’re a well-rounded individual who isn’t solely focused on the technical side of things but also has transferable skills and a broader outlook on life.  If you really want to shine out from among the hundreds of other applicants chasing a job, then volunteering abroad really will give your CV that much-needed boost.


Lizzie Exton writes for Inspiring Interns, which specialises in finding candidates their perfect internship. To browse their graduate jobs, visit their website. Or, check out CharityJob for the largest variety of charity sector jobs in the UK

Lizzie Exton

Lizzie Exton writes for Inspiring Interns, which specialises in finding candidates their perfect internship. To browse their graduate jobs, visit their website

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