Picking the right skills

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How we use skills
What if I can’t find a skill?
What about sector expertise?
I want to volunteer. How many skills should I pick?

How we use skills

When a volunteer creates a profile, or a charity posts a volunteer or trustee opportunity, they can select a number of skills to help describe the experience they have (for volunteers) or need (for opportunities).

Our skills are not a comprehensive list of the skills our volunteers offer or that are needed by our good causes. They are, by design, broad in their scope, to give experts and non experts alike a common language as a starting point.

Although the list of skills isn’t exhaustive, it does provide a helpful umbrella for the types of help offered through the site.

While Reach values all types of volunteering, our platform only covers this one aspect: skills-based volunteering. There are, of course, loads of skills and experiences that are valuable to charities and their boards that fit outside our list. If this better describes what you are looking for, you could start with the government’s page on volunteering to find opportunities or volunteers.

If you think though, that we are missing a skill that would fit well with our mission, we’d love to hear from you. Please let us know by completing this 1 minute survey. We aim to review our list of skills twice a year.

What if I can’t find a skill?

If you look under the skill category, and don’t see the skill you need, have a look at the other categories -- could it be somewhere else or have a slightly different name?

Alternatively, are you trying to describe your skill too precisely or too technically? Our skills are only a jumping off point. They are used on profiles and opportunities and in search, but equally, so are the descriptions people add to their profiles and opportunities. In fact, keywords are the most used search function, so a good description of the skills and experience you have (or that you need) is crucial for finding a good match on our site. Our opportunities are also streamed to LinkedIn, and their algorithm will serve up matches to its members based on keywords in the title and description, so again, if you can't find the skill in our list, make sure you mention it in your listing. 

What about sector expertise?

It’s also worth remembering that our skills do not cover sector expertise. If you need someone who understands the inner workings of government,you won’t find a “public sector” skill. But you can highlight this need in your opportunity, and search on the key word “public sector” to find and contact volunteers.

I want to volunteer. How many skills should I pick?

It is impossible to give a number that will be right  for everyone. The number of skills to choose will depend on your experience and what you want to do in your volunteering. 

So for instance, if you are a Marketing specialist, you may have some experience in Fundraising, but you might choose not to add this as a skill as it’s not one of your core areas within marketing. You don’t want to get suggestions for roles that are fundraising, but not marketing roles. 

Or you may choose not to add “Events” even if you are expert in that area, because you’ve decided you don’t want to be involved with events in your volunteering work.

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