A common recommendation to prospective students or employees is to be able to show or describe volunteer service. A common response is to participate in a flurry of activities, with not enough thought about why service matters or how it can be a life-long choice.
Another approach is for you to invest your time and other resources in service opportunities that reflect your values, skills, aspirations or just plain how you want to help others. What you learn and how you develop from these experiences will automatically help you be the best possible applicant….and person.
In sum, volunteer to make a positive difference for yourself and your community and the positive benefits for your applications will follow naturally.
Here is a great useful presentation of this topic that is not just for prospective or current students:
Volunteering and its Surprising Benefits: Helping Yourself While Helping Others – by HelpGuide.org