If you keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the tech industry, you likely know that employers across the country are struggling to find top tech talent. If you are a job seeker in today’s market, you have probably wondered why, then, tech job searches can languish for months at a time with little success.
The answer isn’t simple, but it often boils down to experience. Employers often have very specific requirements when it comes to experience. But if you’re new to the market, if you’re interested in switching areas of focus or breaking into a new industry how can you get that valuable experience if no one will hire you? The answer could lie in volunteer work.
How Is Volunteer Work Valuable to a Tech Resume?
Volunteer work provides you with the real-world experience employers want to see. It’s one thing to graduate coding school or earn a certification or degree, it’s another thing entirely to apply what you’ve learned in real-world situations.
You may be wondering how the nonprofit world can use high-level tech skills. We now live in a mobile-powered world and nonprofits use technology in myriad ways to ensure services are delivered efficiently, to promote their mission, and to maximize budgets. There are new apps brought to market all the time designed specifically to help nonprofits run smarter and more efficiently, those nonprofits also need websites, and they need to protect critical donor and client data.
Volunteering also helps paint the picture that you are a self-starter and a well-rounded applicant. If you spend your free time donating your expertise to causes that make the community a better place, it says a great deal about your personal character. If a job comes down to you and another applicant with essentially identical skills and experience, your volunteer work could pay you back dividends by making you stand out as a bright star. Volunteering also allows you to expand your network and build connections you can draw from for recommendations and references.
How To Find Volunteer Opportunities in Tech
If you are interested in volunteering your professional talents, you may not want to simply show up at a local office of a charity you admire. It is often better to use resources that are equipped to help skilled volunteers find the right role. Start by visiting Volunteer Match’s tech section to find opportunities in your region and your area of interest. It’s also worthwhile to visit community volunteer centers in your hometown to see if they can point you in the right direction. Make it clear, however, that you are looking to volunteer your expertise, so they understand where to send you.
Are You Looking For Tech Job Opportunities?
If you are an IT professional looking to take the next step in your career, partner with the tech recruiting experts at Talon today. Contact us to learn more or browse our current IT job openings and apply online at any time.