The Break Room

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Benefits of Volunteering

Jan 13, 2016, 12:53 PM by User Not Found

When you can take on an internship or network at events and parties, why should you make time in your schedule to volunteer? Naturally, volunteering has many advantages for job seekers. Take a look at these reasons why volunteering should be a must for many who are on the job hunt.

Explore New Careers

Learn more about what’s out there. This is your chance to try different organizations and roles without the tedious and frustrating experience of job hopping. Expose yourself to the work and environment. It may not be the same as being a staff member, but you as an outsider can also be aware of conditions that you wouldn’t otherwise notice.

Develop New Skills & Gain Experience

If your current or past jobs haven’t provided the opportunities you needed to grow or earn a promotion, you can train in those areas. Learn project management by organizing fundraising events, sales skills by contacting people for donations or recruiting volunteers and managing a team by becoming a coordinating leader. 

Nurture Existing Status

The longer you are unemployed, the weaker your social skills and the increase in difficulty of receiving a referral. In a way, you are putting to practice the skills you already have instead of leaving your abilities dormant while you remain on the job hunt. You can also apply your current skills in new ways to show your flexibility and adaptability.

Network and Opportunities

According to a survey by Robert Half International Inc, 41% of US professionals volunteer outside of work. Very likely you will meet professionals on the field while you are volunteering. These people may hold similar interests as you or may even be working in your aspired career. Use the connections you make wisely. You can learn about job openings, affiliated organizations that could be of interest to you and get to know which people you should meet. The people you network with while volunteering will also serve as good references when you are applying for jobs.

Impress Employers

Having a volunteer record on your resume may illustrate to prospective employers that you have social awareness, is dedicated, educated and concerned about issues. You can show that you are hardworking and motivated even if you are not paid for your efforts. Your volunteer work may also display you as person who can acquire and demonstrate your skills in other ways and avenues. Be noticed by prospective employers for the more positive things you do.

Fill Employment Gaps

Volunteer experience can be used as professional experience. In your resume, list the title of your position, the organization and dates of when you volunteered. Mention your responsibilities, the results and your accomplishments. Show to prospective employers that you have remained active, motivated and learning despite an employment gap.

Increased Odds of Employment

According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, individuals associated with volunteering have 27% higher odds of finding employment than non-volunteers. Likewise, volunteers without a high school diploma has a 51% increase in odds of employment. Raise your chances of employment by getting the experience you may need and show your readiness to do work.

Motivate Yourself

If nothing else, boost your confidence and self-worth by volunteering. Harness energy by continuing to remain active. It may be difficult to pull yourself out of a slump that you may have fallen into, but not impossible. Prove to yourself and prospective employers that you have the drive and ability to keep moving forward.

There are many reasons to involve yourself in your community among the ones listed above. Ultimately, volunteering as a job seeker or just in your spare time is worth it.

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