And a recent study “Volunteering as a Pathway to Employment” by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), supports the jobipedia.org experts’ advice. The CNCS study revealed that unemployed job seekers who volunteer have 27 percent higher odds of landing a job than non-volunteers. The study also showed that volunteers without a high school diploma have a 51 percent higher likelihood of finding a job than non-volunteers without a diploma.
“Many of us in the volunteer sector have long felt volunteering gives a boost to those looking for work, but we’ve never had solid research to back it up,” Wendy Spencer, CEO of the CNCS, said. “This report shows a definitive relationship – volunteers are more likely to be employed a year later than non-volunteers. We know that volunteering can help job seekers develop skills and expand professional contacts, creating a positive impression that can make a big difference in a competitive job market.”
Recruiters on jobipedia.org also advised jobseekers and students to seek out volunteer opportunities that are not only personally meaningful but those that can offer some active leadership experience. Demonstrating leadership experience, the recruiters said, will be helpful when interviewing for future internships or employment opportunities. They also noted that volunteer experience is valuable to many employers. They suggested job seekers treat their volunteer experience similar to a paid position on a resume and be prepared to explain:
- Lessons learned during volunteering;
- What they accomplished; and
- How the volunteer experiences are relevant to or benefit a prospective employer.