The Benefits of Volunteering as a Student

Diverse young students smile and waves at the camera while volunteering

For students, the benefits of a part-time job are pretty obvious: you get to earn an income on the side during your studies, prepare for future job positions and improve your resume with work experience.

But what are the benefits of volunteering? Does volunteer experience also help you in your post-graduate job search? In this blog, we’ll explore these questions to provide you with a better understanding of why you might consider taking up a volunteer position.

Here are the top benefits of volunteering you can enjoy as a student:

1. Strengthen your resume with valuable experience.

When you apply for jobs, volunteer experience on your resume makes you stand out from the crowd. Even if your volunteer position isn’t directly related to your career path, you’ll still be able to speak to the lifelong work skills and experience gained from it.

To hiring managers and recruiters looking at your resume, volunteering is an asset that shows an impressive amount of dedication to your work and compassion for others — two positive traits that make for a great future hire.

2. Take advantage of networking opportunities.

​Volunteering introduces you to many new people in the workplace, including other volunteers, employees and managers, who might become a valuable connection for future job positions or a strong reference when applying for jobs.

Who knows? The connections you make while volunteering could lead you somewhere you never thought possible. They could introduce you to the right companies and people hiring professionals like you, could inspire you to shape your career path according to a particular interest or could simply be a useful source of information and advice from an experienced industry professional.

3. Gain practical, demonstrable skills in your field.

Volunteering certainly gives you the opportunity to hone your skills and gain new ones. If you obtain a position in your field, you’ll get to apply your classroom knowledge and put your skills to the test in real-world situations. The practical skills you gain from this experience will be invaluable in your future job applications and positions, especially for entry-level work.

4. Improve your self-confidence.

An underrated benefit of volunteering is that it can significantly improve your self-confidence. You can feel good about yourself not only for giving back to the community but also putting yourself out there, taking initiative, learning new things and strengthening your skill set for yourself and your future. This experience can naturally improve your self-confidence without you even realizing it, as you become more accustomed to the work environment and more comfortable applying your skills in the real world.

5. Make friends through volunteering.

Just like in a job, you’re likely to consistently see the same people in your volunteer position. You can share some camaraderie with your fellow volunteers and employees, or you might even meet new people externally while working your volunteer position, depending on what it is. Whatever the case, being a volunteer opens doors to new friendships and connections in the city.

6. Experience the workplace and team environment in your field.

Volunteering in your own career field prepares you for the workplace environment and team dynamics you’re likely to face in your future career. Although different organizations have their own unique teams and ways of doing things, volunteering gives you the chance to experience firsthand the decision-making processes, different working styles of teammates, the industry setting and its specific challenges. The knowledge and soft skills gained from this experience will help in your future job search and on-the-job performance.

7. Get involved with the local community.

Along with being useful for your career aspirations, volunteering is a personally fulfilling way of giving back to the local community. Taking up a volunteer position can also help you feel more connected to the city and its people, which is especially meaningful for international students looking for more places to belong and connect in their home away from home.


How do you list volunteer experience on resume?

Listing volunteer experience on your resume is all about highlighting your skills, strengths and learnings. Detail your experience with emphasis on the tasks that are most relevant to your desired job position, making sure to give clear examples of how you have demonstrated your skills.

If you’re in need of personalized advice for your resume and cover letters, reach out to Career Services at

Why is volunteering important for students?

Volunteering is important for students to gain experience and skills in a real-world environment. Although part-time jobs are often preferred to volunteering, volunteer positions are still invaluable to students looking for entry-level experience to get them started in their field.

What benefits do international students receive from volunteering?

International students receive the same benefits as domestic students do when it comes to volunteering in Canada: it looks great on a resume, provides experience in a multitude of ways and builds connections and confidence. However, for international students, it is especially valuable to become more involved in the local community, meet new people and network in the Canadian workforce.

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