If you’re job hunting, or looking around for new opportunities, it might be time to think about volunteering.
Volunteering your time outside of work not only proves you are a well-rounded, empathetic and caring human being interested in the development of others, but also heavily impresses potential employers.
Yep, your dream job could be that much closer if you volunteered.
According to Dr. Chris Spera, CNCS’s director of research and evaluation and one of the authors of the report Volunteering as a Pathway to Employment, active volunteers are 27% more likely to get a job than non-volunteers.
Surveying 70,535 job-seekers in the United States aged 16 or older, the study found “the association between volunteering and employment had the strongest effect on individuals without a high school diploma or equivalent (51% increase in odds) and individuals who live in rural areas (55% increase in odds)”.
And the good news is this relationship stands across categories of race, ethnicity, age, location and unemployment rate.
“Volunteerism can be a way to help unemployed workers expand their network of contacts, improve their résumés, and make a positive impression in a competitive job market,” said United States’ secretary of labour, Hilda L Solis, in the report.
She added even though volunteering is no replacement for actual, specialised job training, “it can be an important complement”.
“It can be a way to give a leg up to job-seekers who’ve decided that enrolling in a training programme is not the right choice for them at this time. The truth is, volunteering may actually expose job seekers to new job opportunities,” she said.