Do you want to volunteer to find yourself or make the best use of a career break? Whether you are a student or a professional, there are plenty of volunteers abroad programs, opportunities, and projects that enable you to learn about new cultures, build new relationships and make a difference in the world while you travel the world!
The process to get a volunteer gig is not as easy as it may seem. Program managers in charge of selecting volunteers for the service or cause are particular about the type of people they want to work with. They want to know the main reason why you wish to volunteer. It is also important for the program managers to understand your motivation to work without pay, and in a different country at that.
A successful motivation letter to be a volunteer follows a similar structure to that of a cover letter meant for regular jobs. But consider these tips before you write one to be a volunteer.
Ways to write a successful motivation letter to be a volunteer are…
Individualize your Letter
Do you use a script to send the same motivation letter to all organizations with volunteer jobs? You must stop that immediately. Not only does the cover letter resemble a spammy email, but it shows your lack of consideration or effort. Program managers appreciate getting a letter from someone who pays great attention to detail and shows that they care about the project.
When you customize motivation letters to be a volunteer, there is a high probability for it to be successful. You can always have a basic framework in mind before you start, but you will need to make it your own by individualizing your letter.
Start by finding out the name of the person in charge of the operations. It may take you some digging to find that out, but when your letter addresses the person directly, it leaves a good impression. Yours immediately stands out from the hoards of letters the program manager receives otherwise.
Whatever you do, do not say “To Whomsoever it May Concern” and other jargons or commonly used phrases. It takes away the novelty factor from your letter.
Make it Engaging
A successful motivation letter to be a volunteer has interesting content. The content of the letter needs to be different from that in your resume. Research and find out about the job opening and the skills required for volunteers. Match those skills with your experience.
For example, consider a case where a volunteer is required for a teaching job but you have no formal experience of teaching, you say. Talk about how tutoring your friends after school was a great teaching experience. Talk about why teaching brings you joy.
Your introduction needs to draw the reader in your story. Similarly, your conclusion should summarize everything. Weave it in a way that the reader is affected by the 2 minutes they spent reading your letter.
If you feel that you are not much of a writer, you can always ask for help from professional writers. They will help you write an impactful and engaging letter to be a volunteer.
Talk about Your Achievements
Don’t brag about them. Use short sentences and be concise. There is no need to beat around the bush or make your letter overly eloquent.
Be creative and talk about your experience, whatever it may be – but in the words of the job description. This will help the readers know that your application is relevant.
With that said, the best tip here is, to be honest about your experience and your motivation to be a volunteer. If you don’t have any experience, let them know what impact this volunteer service may have on your character or your life.
Don’t Make it All About You
Talk about the organization you are applying for. Tell them what caught your eye or about how much you relate to their mission. This will let the hiring personnel or the project manager know that you are eager to work here.
Proofread your letter! You need to verify your content for grammatical errors, sentence construction, and even spellings. These may appear as minor mistakes, but it may leave a big mark on your professionalism.
You may be so engrossed in getting all the right information in your motivation letter that you may miss a few typographical errors. It is understandable. In that case, it is always better to give yourself a break from writing and come back to your letter to proofread it thoroughly later. You cannot write, edit and proofread at a single sitting.