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Citizens Advice Bedford Trading Name of Bedford & District Citizens Advice

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How can Volunteering for Citizens Advice Bedford enhance your employability skills?



You may have heard this before but volunteering could help to make your job applications stand out over other candidates. It is estimated that 76% of employers find that candidates who have completed volunteering work at some point in their lives have acquired more desirable skills over those who do not have volunteering experience (Deloitte, Volunteer Impact Survey 2013).


In this article piece, I wanted to touch upon some of the reasons why this is the case and also highlight how volunteering with Citizens Advice Bedford could be the stepping-stone opportunity to help you find employment.


Work Experience

Whilst volunteering is an opportunity to give back to a not-for-profit cause, it can also offer you a lot in return. Depending on the kind of role and setting that you find yourself volunteering in, you can gain a valuable insight into the real-life working environment and expose yourself to situations that you otherwise would never have come across. This, in turn, helps to shape you as an individual and often gives you the confidence to be able to deal with the unexpected. Employers love candidates who can demonstrate that they’re able to tackle anything that comes their way; and by showing them that you have volunteered in a setting that required you to adapt and take on a new challenge every day, you would prove that you’re capable of doing just that!


Time Management

In most cases, if you decide to volunteer you probably will have many other activities scheduled in your diary; whether it is studying, a part-time job or being a full-time parent/carer for someone. How often have you come across a job where they ask you to possess the ‘ability to multi-task’? By demonstrating that you can commit to a volunteer role alongside your other duties, you are showing your future employers that you can manage your time effectively. This will demonstrate that you have a high work ethic and that you are capable of doing many jobs at once.


Skills

Regardless of what type of volunteering role you take on, even if it’s something that you’re familiar with, you will, without doubt, come across something new that will challenge you. It could be a new piece of software or be faced with a challenging situation which requires you to react. These experiences will allow you to develop your interpersonal and professional skills making you an attractive candidate with lots to offer future employers.


Satisfaction

Volunteering doesn’t just give you skills and knowledge but at the end of the day, you walk away knowing that you have been able to contribute towards bettering someone’s life. This will show employers that you are altruistic and therefore would demonstrate that you would be a good team player.


So at this point, you must be asking yourselves, why volunteer for Citizens Advice Bedford?

We provide you with an exciting role as an Adviser or Client support officer. When you join our team as a new volunteer, you are not expected to have any previous experience. We will provide you with a nationally recognised training programme which teaches you all of the fundamental knowledge and skills you require to be able to excel in the role. Throughout the course of the training period, you will cover an introduction to law unit, housing, benefits, debt and many other subject areas which will enrich your awareness of our advice areas. As a Citizens Advice Bedford volunteer, not every day is the same; each year we see over 9,000 clients and you will be trained on how to deal with those in the most difficult situations. Our training will also provide you with guidance on how to offer our clients the correct advice to help them find a solution to their problems.


At Citizens Advice Bedford we operate in a family-like office environment; everyone works together to provide the best quality advice for our clients. For this reason, upon the successful completion of our training programme, you will continue to be supported by our dedicated training coordinator throughout the rest of your volunteering journey with us. In addition to this, each session will be led by a supervisor who is there to help you to ensure that you are never left alone.


If you want to find out more, why not take a look at our FAQ’s section on: www.cabvolunteering.org.uk


We can’t wait to hear from you!


Marianna Liberio

Recruitment Coordinator – Citizens Advice Bedford

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