Other than the warm feeling of charity, volunteering can yield many benefits that can give you a leg up when searching for a job. According to a LinkedIn survey, one in five hiring managers said they have hired someone because of their charitable work. Volunteer opportunitiescan open doors to new connections and skills while also giving you a fresh perspective. Below are some of the benefits of volunteer work for your job search.
Expand Your Network
One of the benefits of volunteering is the chance to make friends and grow your personal and professional networks. Whether you're walking dogs at an animal shelter or ladling servings at a soup kitchen, you'll work closely with a brand new group of like-minded people. These new connections could be great sources to learn about other industries, hear about job openings or just connect you with someone else who can help land you a job. Your volunteer supervisor could even serve as a reference when applying to jobs.
Develop New Skills
Seventy six percent of human resource executives said the skills and experience acquired while volunteering make a job candidate more desirable, according to Deloitte's 2013 Volunteer Impact Survey. When you volunteer, you gain an opportunity to develop old skills or learn new skills your former or current jobs did not provide. Some skills you can learn through volunteer work include project management, sales and leadership.
In addition to new skills, volunteering can also expose you to a new industry or field. If you're thinking about switching careers, volunteering is an easy way to test the waters and determine if you want to make the switch.
Boost Your Resume
According to the same LinkedIn survey, nearly half of hiring managers consider volunteer work to be equivalent to full-time work experience. If you aren't currently working, volunteering can be a great way to keep busy while continuing to grow professionally. It's a rewarding way to fill in resume gaps while you look for a job.
The benefits of volunteering go far beyond the "feel good" feeling you get when you donate your time for a cause you support. It's a great way to keep busy in between jobs while growing professionally and developing new skills. Learn more about how to network for your job search or browse our current job listings.