Volunteering 101: Give back, grow your network, get skills

blue sky over Stan Grad Centre on SAIT main campus

It’s a new year ― get out there! Volunteering is a fun and fulfilling way to give back, grow your network and gain valuable workplace skills.

Make the most of your experience at the fair with these tips, tricks and resources.

First, why volunteer?


  • Volunteering can help build transferable skills such as leadership, collaboration, teamwork, communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Volunteer positions can be highlighted on your resumé, helping you build practical experience, especially if you don’t have much paid work experience yet.
  • Volunteering is a great way for international students to gain Canadian experience and demonstrate a familiarity with Canadian workplace culture.
  • Volunteering lets you explore your career interests in a way that is less risky or high pressure.
  • You can gain a sense of purpose while giving back to the community with different organizations.

Questions to ask yourself before you volunteer


  • What are your interests? What matters to you?
  • What skills can you bring to a role? What skills do you want to build?
  • What do you want to achieve through volunteering? What are your goals? Do you want to meet new people? Try something new? Help make a change?
  • How much time do you have? How flexible is your schedule? Do you want an ongoing volunteer role, a short-term role or a one-time assignment/event?

Questions to ask the organization before you volunteer


  • What’s expected of your volunteers? Will there be any training?
  • What tasks will I be performing? Alone or as part of a team?
  • Are there any associated expenses, and if so, will I be reimbursed?
  • How much time do you need?

Nervous about networking at a volunteer fair? Try these pro tips


  • Do your research and prepare some questions in advance. 
  • Have an “elevator pitch” ready to introduce yourself.
  • Listen carefully, ask questions that show interest, and bring a notebook or use your phone to take notes.
  • Make a good first impression — be confident, positive and genuine in your interactions. Remember to make eye contact, smile and stand up straight.
  • Follow up with any reps you speak with.

Showcase your volunteer experience on your resumé


  • Create a “Volunteer Experience” section on your resumé and include achievement statements that highlight what skills you used, how you used them, and the purpose of your tasks.

volunteer experience on your resume example

  • You can also list volunteering under “Hobbies and Interests” or “Extracurricular Activities”.
  • Book a Resumé Review appointment with a Career Advisor at Career Advancement Services for guidance on how to best highlight your volunteer experience on your resumé.

SAIT's Community Volunteer Fair

Thanks for coming to the fair!

If you didn't make it on Jan. 25, you can still connect with exhibitors online.

Until next time...

  • Be ready to network like a pro! Find tips and resources on My Career Hub.
Learn more about Community Engagement at SAIT
a view of the moutains and stream in between

Oki, Âba wathtech, Danit'ada, Tawnshi, Hello.

SAIT is located on the traditional territories of the Niitsitapi (Blackfoot) and the people of Treaty 7 which includes the Siksika, the Piikani, the Kainai, the Tsuut’ina and the Îyârhe Nakoda of Bearspaw, Chiniki and Goodstoney.

We are situated in an area the Blackfoot tribes traditionally called Moh’kinsstis, where the Bow River meets the Elbow River. We now call it the city of Calgary, which is also home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3.