Self-reflection of learning > Inexsda.cz

Chapter 2: Self-reflection of learning

In this chapter, we will focus on a concrete tool called IM-PROVE. It is a simple application accessible on-line or in app store for iOS and Android.


Basically, it’s the on-line tool that help volunteers in different roles (participants, leaders, trainers…) reflect on what they learnt during their volunteering activities. You can have all the volunteering activities recorded here. See the intro video!


How does it work?


Easily - remember when we showed you in previous chapter the real-life examples and connected them with competences? This is the basic principle the IM-PROVE works on.

  • Step 1 Sign up on IM-PROVE App


  • Step 2 The application will lead you through filling in your profile


  • Step 3 You can enter your first project. The app will lead you through it. You basically put some info about the type of project, your role in it, select few experiences you have already done in the project and put some details to these. After this process, the application will show you, which competences have you developed by these experiences.


  • Step 4 Then, you can either add other experiences to the same project, add new projects or browse through other functionalities of the application



Find our about other things IM-PROVE can help you with.


To sum up, IM-PROVE will help you realize what you learnt and what you’re able to do, plan your next steps in volunteering, and present your valuable experience on the outside (e.g. on the labour market). It helps you to show, that volunteering is, among other things, valuable tool how to learn important competences for personal and professional life.


Concrete examples, how to use IM-PROVE:

  • Your CV - Once you've used IM-PROVE to find out which competences you've developed by volunteering, you can easily fill them to your CV. It’s beneficial to show you are aware of your competences and add information of where you developed them - it increases credibility and attractiveness of your CV for potential employers. More info about how to fill in your CV: europass.cedefop.europa.eu.


  • Your Youthpass - in case you have participated in a project granted by the Erasmus + Programme, you should fill in what you learnt at this project to Youthpass - IM-PROVE will advise you, how to do it. More info about Youthpass: www.youthpass.eu.


  • Presenting your profile on the outside - if you want, you can activate your IM-PROVE public profile and show the world (friends or potential employers), which competences you have developed by volunteering.


  • Recognition of the experience - for each project, you can ask for an eBadge, which will be confirmed by the organizer of your project. This eBadge will display on the public profile and will prove you really have the experience your public profile is showing. It raises credibility of this page, especially for example if you apply for a job.


  • Selecting your personal goal(s) and the competences you would like to focus on - better target your learning and choose the next volunteering activities based on what you actually need to work on.



Go back to the chapter about reflection to find out more about how does labour market actually perceive volunteering experience.



Does the labour market want to know?

It’s a good question - the same one we have asked few years ago. INEX-SDA together with Zavod Voluntariat has done a research on how does labour market perceive volunteering. Here are some results relevant for you.


  • Volunteering is seen in both Czech Republic and Slovenia as beneficial to both the employees and the companies. To the employees, skills development, teambuilding and socializing effects are seen as the biggest assets; while to the companies, the resulting PR potential is seen as important.
  • Volunteering experiences increase loyalty of the employees towards their employers, since they are provided with a meaningful activity above the framework of the working contract.
  • Offering satisfactory volunteering experience can positively affect the work performance of the employees, combining all positive effects: skills gain (organizational and communication skills, creative thinking, etc.), socialization impacts, valuable personal development (self-confidence, determination, openness, etc.), and the overall boost in loyalty of the employee.

When it comes to job applicants, it is seen as important in both countries, that any experience, including the volunteering one, should be related to the working position the person is applying for; and in both countries, the volunteering experience is seen as rather valuable especially to the young people with no or little previous working experience (e.g. fresh graduates, etc.), who are therefore able to show favourable personal attributes, such as willingness to work, or a proactive attitude.


On the other hand, while companies based in the Czech Republic usually do not enquire about the volunteering experience of their job applicants, in Slovenia-based companies, the volunteering is one of the topics often touched-upon during the job interview. Volunteering experience is in this context usually considered to be a positive factor and is taken as an advantage of the job applicant.


See recommendations for the volunteers

  • Engage in company volunteering.
    Reports from both countries show, that company volunteering has a positive potential for personal and professional development of the employees. Like any volunteering, it cannot exist in absence of initiative. If your company already provides volunteering opportunities, use them. If not, ask for them and initiate them.


  • Utilize the information to your advantage during job hunt.
    In both countries, the findings suggest that simply stating all and any volunteering experience when applying for a job is not enough. Potential job applicants should pick particular volunteering experience to mention in their CVs and during the job interviews, in order to maximize the profits of such experience. This experience should always be linked to the position the applicant is running for.


  • Stress the creative volunteering experiences.
    Job applicants, especially in Slovenia, with long-term volunteering experience might put a special emphasis on their own initiatives within such experience, in order to avoid being perceived as less entrepreneurial than their peers. Examples of such initiatives within their volunteering experience might be included into their CVs (e.g. as a special achievement listed at the volunteering position) and should be presented during the job interview as well.




CONTACT

E: improve@inexsda.cz
T: +420 222 362 713

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