The title says it all. Volunteering means giving your time freely, without payment or financial gain. You might find yourself asking: Why should I do voluntary work?
Some industries are highly dependent on volunteers, as for instance the media and film industry or NGOs. If your goal is to find employment in these industries, you often have to volunteer before starting your career. Working as a volunteer, you demonstrate your determination and your commitment to future employers. As mentioned above, a volunteering job is not paid. You should make sure you are still able to pay for your living expenses as long as your volunteering job lasts. Furthermore, besides the financial aspect, you should be aware of the lack of perspectives. Organizations using volunteers are not necessarily searching for future employees. However, just as with internships, you will build relationships within the industry, which might be essential later on. Furthermore, volunteering will increase your practical knowledge and boost your growth as a person. Working independently and taking over responsibility are valuable lessons that nobody can take away from you. Finalizing a project successfully is definitely something you can be proud of and mention in your next job interview. You should keep in mind though, that in future job interviews—depending on the industry you want to work in—prospective employers might ask you about your intention for volunteering, so you should be prepared to give a convincing answer to that question. Nevertheless, in most cases volunteering can be a benefit to your CV.
Volunteering will help you make new contacts, gain further experience and prove your commitment to future employers. Always keep the financial aspect in mind, though, and determine for yourself in how far you can benefit from volunteer work.