Job Hunting? Volunteering May Be the Ticket to Getting Hired

Intro:  A government study finds candidates who volunteer have a better chance of getting hired over those who don’t.

A recent post by Forbes contributor Nancy Collamer points to a recent study by the Corporation for National and Community Service that shows volunteerism pays off for job hunters. The study tracked 70,000 job seekers between 2002 and 2012 and found those who volunteered had a 27 percent better chance of being hired than those who didn’t.

That report’s link between volunteering and getting a job was supported by a Center for Economic and Policy Research study that found unemployed people who volunteered from 20 to 99 hours a year were roughly 7 percent more likely to have been hired one year later compared with those who didn’t volunteer.

How does volunteering help with your job hunt?

Employers like to hire people who can show they’re motivated and work hard even when they aren’t paid for their efforts.

Volunteering can boost your mood and help you feel productive and needed.  

Volunteering gives you access to contacts you might not otherwise meet, expanding your network and your opportunities.

Tips for volunteering:

  1. Find the right fit. Look for meaningful volunteer jobs that offer new contacts and skills or expertise that align with your professional goals.

  2. Approach your volunteer work like a paid job. Even if it’s only a few hours a week, be professional and committed, and consider taking on a leadership role or board position.

  3. Connect with your volunteer network on LinkedIn and incorporate your unpaid nonprofit duties into your LinkedIn profile and résumé.

  4. Use your expertise and skills to help nonprofits do things they either don’t know how to do or don’t have time to do.

Volunteering can be a win-win deal for everyone involved: The organization benefits from your unique abilities and you’ll have new accomplishments to bring to your next job interview, which just might lead to an offer.

Read the full article here.