There are many benefits that come along with volunteering, such as giving back to your community, feeling a sense of accomplishment, increased self-confidence, and connecting with others. But did you know that volunteering could also improve your job search?
Don’t just take our word for it:
People that volunteer have a 27% greater likelihood of finding a job after being out of work compared to non-volunteers, according to research from the Corporation for National and Community Service. The report also found that volunteerism is associated with an increased likelihood of finding employment, regardless of job market conditions or a candidate’s age, gender, ethnicity, or geographic area.
Here are five ways volunteerism can help your job search:
It can fill a resume gap.
Many people feel awkward when explaining a gap on their resume during a job interview. It’s important to remember that while volunteer experience is unpaid, it is still professional experience and you are gaining valuable new skills. You can add your volunteer work to your resume, but be careful not to be misleading. It is perfectly fine to list your accomplishments and the positive changes you have made for the organization you’re volunteering with. Employers will be more impressed by a candidate that has used their time to help their community and gain new skills.
You can learn new skills.
Volunteering doesn’t have to be about cold calling donors or stuffing envelopes. You can find volunteer positions that allow you to develop new, marketable skills as well as leverage your current skill set in new ways. Keep track of your accomplishments and what you’re able to bring to the table in your volunteer position – you’ll be able to discuss these opportunities later in job interviews. You’ll also have the opportunity to learn about specific causes and be exposed to new industries and roles.
Volunteering proves you’re motivated.
Employers want to see job candidates that have a willingness to contribute to the company and jump in when needed. Volunteer experience is a great way to demonstrate that you are interested in doing things for the greater good and have no problem with rolling up your sleeves and getting the work done.
You meet new people.
You never know who you might meet while volunteering. About 43% of volunteers in the year 2009 had a bachelor’s degree or higher, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, so there is a good chance that you might meet another professional that might be able to refer you for some opportunities. If you choose a volunteer position that aligns with your interests or career goals, you may be able to meet people that have connections to the companies or roles you are interested in pursuing. Additionally, your volunteer supervisor may also be able to serve as a reference when applying to new jobs.
It lifts your spirits.
A long stretch of unemployment or time spent in a job you’re no longer happy at can feel discouraging and it can be difficult to maintain the positive outlook necessary for a successful job search. Volunteering can add a much-needed boost of productivity and meaning into your life, resulting in improved feelings and a refreshed attitude. With these positive emotions fueling your job search, you’ll be in a better position for success.
Volunteering can be a powerful experience and has the ability to affect your personality, your career, and your life.
If you are looking to hire an IT, Accounting, or Finance professional, or work in any of those fields and looking to advance your career, you can contact Equis Staffing via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at (818) 444-0100.