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Volunteering While on a Job Search

The Job Shop Volunteers

Author: Jojo Varona

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 it also has a number of advantages for job-seekers.

Here are a few ways doing volunteer work 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. When employers and recruiters glance at your experience, they will see you’ve always been doing something. Employers are impressed by candidates that use their time to help their community and gain new skills.

You can learn new skills.

Volunteering can involve a myriad of duties and it doesn’t have to be just menial tasks. People can find volunteer positions that allow them to develop new, marketable skills, including learning new software and different operational procedures.

Meeting new people and networking.

You never know who you might meet while volunteering. Choosing 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 could lift your spirits and give you a positive outlook.

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.

Don’t just take my word for it.

In a survey of hiring managers conducted by LinkedIn:41% of hiring managers say they would consider volunteer experience as equivalent to full-time work; 20% say they have hired someone because of their volunteer experience.

A separate study also found that 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.

Good luck!


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