Thanksgiving PR Tip: Volunteer to Build Skills and Benefit Society

What better time of year than Thanksgiving week to consider volunteering?!

Volunteering is thanksgiving-volunteer-picturegood for your community, society and your soul.  It also is a way to continue to build professional skills and resume friendly experience, while doing good.

Following is a step by step guide to identifying and securing a meaningful volunteer position.  Carefully select an organization based on your interests and capabilities. These may include:

·         Non-profits

·         Non-government organizations

·         Schools

·         Churches

·         Chambers of Commerce

·         Convention & Visitors’ Bureaus

·         Municipal offices

·         Economic development centers

·         Hospitals

Once you have targeted an organization, review volunteer policies.  Consider areas the organization needs help.   Create your own position based on your professional knowledge and abilities.   As a professional communicator, you can showcase your value in several ways:

·         Revamp and manage social media efforts

·         Design and/or write newsletters

·         Handle fundraising efforts

·         Support event planning and marketing

·         Create a media relations plan

·         Train and mentor other volunteers, clients or members

·         Identify and support new marketing or public relations initiatives

Set specific goals for your volunteer efforts:

·         Contribute to the organization’s success (education, awareness, funding, etc.)

·         Fill resume gaps with meaningful work

·         Develop or improve new skills

·         Secure current references

·         Secure a paid position at the organization

·         Improve your interpersonal skills and maintain your confidence

·         Benefit society!

As you volunteer be sure to continue with the job hunt, save portfolio friendly work and maintain a positive and confident outlook.   By showcasing your value and contributing to an organization’s success, you will gain experience, make valuable contacts and may even parlay your volunteer position into a paid fulltime spot!  If your goals was to secure meaningful full-time employment, be sure to “pay” it forward and continue to volunteer your time and expertise to your favorite charity organization.

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