Job Search 101: How Volunteering Can Help You Land Your Next Job

How volunteering can help you land your next job

Other than the warm feeling of charity, volunteering can yield many benefits that can give you a leg up when trying to land your next job.  According to a LinkedIn survey, one in five hiring managers said they have hired someone because of their charitable work.  Volunteer opportunities can 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.

Make New Friends

Maybe the people you volunteer with aren’t the right people to help you land a job, but they are the right people to be friends in your life!  Why not spend more time with them?  Who knows, maybe a friendship will lead to more networking and eventually a job that you love.

Develop New Skills

Seventy-six percent of human resource executives said the skills and experience acquired while volunteering makes 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, communication, 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.

Increase Confidence

Did you know that volunteering can increase confidence?  Volunteering gives you a sense of pride and accomplishment.  When you are doing good for others, you will tend to feel better about yourself and increase your self-esteem.  The better you feel about yourself, the more motivated you become to pursue future life events and goals.

Have Fun

Volunteering shouldn’t feel like an obligation, it should be something you enjoy doing and if it isn’t, why are you doing it?  While you are volunteering you might as well have some fun with it.  Volunteer at something you enjoy doing.  If you aren’t sure yet what you may enjoy, try a few different opportunities and find one that fits your personality and core beliefs.

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 to 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.

Learn more tips, or find a great job in Eastern Iowa.