At Fairfield County-based VolunteerSquare.com, we know that just because you're not getting paid to volunteer, it doesn't mean you're not a key player at your nonprofit of choice. And guess what? Volunteering is quickly becoming a more competitive activity that can have great rewards for your professional life. So, it’s important to make a great first impression in your interview. Here are 4 simple tips to help you ace it.
1. Dress to Impress
The environment at nonprofits is often relaxed in terms of dress code, but you should always dress in business casual for your first meeting. It shows respect for the agency you’re meeting with plus, you never know who you’ll meet volunteering. Like we always say, volunteering can be a powerful way to network for your professional life so keep that in mind.
2. Research the Agency’s History and Culture
Nothing will impress an agency reviewer more than you already being familiar with its background, mission, and programs. When it comes to volunteering, agencies look for passion and enthusiasm. Doing research ahead of time could make all the difference. Plus, you may uncover something about the agency that interests you even more than you originally thought!
3. Ask for a Tour
Another point that we emphasize frequently - ask for a tour after the interview! Even if the volunteer coordinator has a busy schedule, we’d bet they’d be happy to oblige or introduce you to someone who can show you around.
4. Follow Up!
One of the most time-honored rules of the workplace applies even when you’re applying for a volunteer position - follow up! Even if it’s with a very quick email, it helps keep your name in front of recruiters, which can be important in larger agencies or in situations where there are multiple applicants.
There’s no reason to not take the skills you’ve learned when interviewing for paid jobs and use them to dazzle recruiters at nonprofit agencies here in Fairfield County. Just a little bit of effort can go a long way toward landing your dream volunteer gig.
If you’re still looking for your volunteer project, visit us at VolunteerSquare.com and sign up for our free e-alerts. We’ll keep you posted on opportunities that matter most to you. Be sure to check us out on Facebook and Twitter, too.