The Capstone International Center would like to invite you to visit The University of Alabama’s first Peace Corps Campus Recruiter, Jody O’Dell. Jody is originally from Columbus, Ohio and recently returned in July 2016 from her Peace Corps service in Swaziland. As a Community Health Volunteer, Jody worked on various development projects within her community dealing with HIV education and prevention, community economic development, education, and gender equality. Prior to joining the Peace Corps, Jody was a Special Education teacher. She is currently pursuing a Master of Social Work degree at the University of Alabama.
Peace Corps is a government agency that responds to requests from over 60 countries for skilled individuals to assist in various development projects. Volunteers commit to living within a community for 27 months, working on projects in one of six different sectors: Education, Health, Youth in Development, Agriculture, Environment, and Community Economic Development. Over 220,000 Americans have served in Peace Corps since its inception in 1961. Peace Corps is looking for United States citizens, at least 18 or older, who are curious about the world and committed to helping others.
Those interested in learning more about Peace Corps can attend an information session or meet one-on-one with Jody at her office in 121E BB Comer. In addition to providing information, she offers Peace Corps specific resume tips and step-by-step guidance through the Peace Corps application process. Jody has open office hours during the fall and spring semesters she can be reached at email@example.com.
Jody’s Office hours for Fall 2017 are on Mondays 2:00pm – 4:00pm. No need to make an appointment! Just drop in!
Job Sector Descriptions
Five Ways to Become a More Competitive Peace Corps Applicant
Show your skills! Have relevant education and work experience (paid or unpaid).
Be involved! Peace Corps is looking for applicants with a history of volunteerism, multiculturalism and leadership. If you feel that you would like to acquire a bit more of these experiences before applying to Peace Corps, there are many opportunities on campus.
- Contact The Community Service Center for volunteer and leadership opportunities.
- Become an English language conversation partner. Contact the English Language Institute.
- Attend International Coffee Hour (121 BB Comer) and meet people from different cultures. You never know who you might meet and what opportunities may arise!
- Get involved with and take leadership roles in student groups such as the Alabama International Relations Club (AIRC)
- Take intercultural based courses such as ELI Intercultural Experience (UA undergraduates meet with ELI students twice a week for discussions focused on issues of culture) and CIP 200/202 – Introduction to Global Studies (classes about intercultural awareness). Contact Frannie James to sign up – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do your research! The Peace Corps website is user-friendly and will provide you with the information you will need.
- You can now preview details of upcoming Peace Corps assignments, including project descriptions, required skills, departure dates and more. Look at assignments that fit your skill set and interest. Then, Look at the Required Skills and Desired Skills section of the postings you are most interested in. This will give you an idea of the assignment that is right for you.
- You can also choose up to three countries of interest or choose the option to go “anywhere I am needed”. If you choose the latter, be certain that you are truly willing to go anywhere.
- Look at the Core Expectations for Peace Corps Volunteers. Reflect upon these to make sure that Peace Corps is the right experience for you.
Utilize your Recruiter! Work with your Peace Corps campus recruiter throughout the application process. She can also help you create a Peace Corps specific resume and answer any questions you may have about Peace Corps.
Be flexible! Flexibility will benefit you greatly during the application process and while serving in the Peace Corps.
Peace Corps Application Tips: The Resumé
Your resumé is the most critical part of your application. Interviews are not guaranteed, so your resumé is the essential component to communicate to Peace Corps staff that you have the stuff it takes to be a Volunteer. Please remember the following points:
Tailor it. Review the “Required” and “Desired” skills for the volunteer position(s) you’re most interested in, and tailor your resumé content and language to highlight the skills mentioned in the posting.
Be comprehensive. Your Peace Corps resumé can be two to three pages, and it should include all relevant professional, volunteer, and leadership experience from college, before college (if applicable) and beyond.
Emphasize the relevant parts. The longest section of your resumé might not be the job you spent the longest amount of time working. Give more bullets to the jobs where you gained skills you might use in a Peace Corps assignment, even if you didn’t spend that long doing it.
Quantify your experiences. Be specific and use numbers to describe your experiences. Include the number of hours you worked/volunteered (full time, 10 hrs/wk), the specific field or category (after-school English 3rd grade tutoring, organic permaculture farming on a 5 acre field), the number of individuals you supervised or worked with (one-on-one, supervised a group of 20), their ages, etc.
Include certifications. Be sure to list all certifications, such as TEFL, first aid, CPR, etc.
Highlight language training. Indicate what languages you have a background in, how many quarters or semesters in college you have taken each, how many years in high school, and/or your fluency level independent of coursework. If you lived or taught abroad in a foreign language, note that as well.
Keep it updated. If you want to improve your resumé to better highlight your qualifications, or if you gain skills after you apply, simply upload a new version by going to your portal on the Peace Corps application page.
Just For Fun
Check out these fun and informative Peace Corps posts from BuzzFeed!
1. 20 Photos That Will Make You Want To Join The Peace Corps Click here!
2. What Country Should You Try Living In? Take the quiz!
4. 13 Things People Who Have Lived Abroad Know To Be True Click here!
5. 10 Ways You Didn’t Know You Could Serve In The Peace Corps Click here!
6. 8 People Share How Peace The Corps Changed Their Lives Click here!
8. 13 Reasons To Join Peace Corps Click here!