There are many factors to hiring decisions. 76% of career advisers say a candidate with volunteer experience is more likely to get his or her preferred job. Are you looking to stand out to hiring managers or grow within your current company? Here are five tips from The Muse on how volunteering can benefit your career.
1. Looks Good on Your Resume
Plain and simple, volunteer work looks good on a resume. According to a Deloitte study, 82% of interviewers prefer applicants with volunteer experience and 92% say volunteer activities build leadership skills. Yet, the report says, only 32% of job seekers mention community-service experience on their resume. Make sure you highlight your community involvement on your resume, as it showcases additional skills that might not otherwise be on your resume.
2. Opportunity to Meet New People
There are a variety of ways to network within the community. Generally, volunteering offers a friendly, low-stress environment. This provides a better opportunity to connect with others than a traditional networking event. Volunteer networking initiatives are reported to have more engaging conversation opportunities and attendees feel more natural-formed connections than in formal networking settings.
3. Helps Determine Career Goals
Volunteering provides an environment where one can gain new experiences outside their typical work responsibilities. Volunteering provides exposure to different companies and roles within business institutions that give insight to new interests and understanding.
4. Allows You to Develop and Refine New Skills
If you’ve been in the same position or industry for an extended period, volunteering can be a good outlet to refine new skills. Leadership, teamwork, flexibility and engagement are all skills that one can learn through volunteering. Exposing yourself to new experiences is a way to grow in your professional and personal life.
5. Makes You More Confident
Increasing your activeness within the community will lead to a healthier life style. Many who volunteer report feelings of gratitude, connectedness, fulfillment, empathy and happiness from their experiences. These feelings are directly associated with feelings of confidence. Feeling confident in an interview or your work environment will lead to more opportunities for success.
Volunteering is an easy way to boost your career goals but according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest annual report on this topic, just under 25% of Americans volunteered in 2015, a 10-year low. Many believe the drop in volunteer rates could be related to the limited number of companies voicing the importance it plays in hiring decisions. Volunteering provides an opportunity to stand out to hiring managers and increase leadership avenues in your current company. Look for new ways to get involved this coming year!