Everyone is looking for a leg up in today’s job market, but most people are going about it the wrong way. Corporations are tired of looking at boosted resumes and reading about how great of a candidate you are for their firm.
Only unique experiences, like volunteering, can truly show an employee’s distinctive value to a company.
Volunteers take on leadership positions, learn new skills, and expand their networks. Many volunteers are also forced to learn to work in new environments and accept challenges outside of their comfort zone. Hiring organizations are avidly searching for these skills, but historically there’s been little statistical evidence showing correlations between volunteer experience and employment–until recently.
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) provides the most robust research to date showing a correlation between volunteering and employment in the United States. According to their most recent reporting:
-Volunteers have a 27% higher chance of finding a job after being out of work than non-volunteers.
-Volunteers without a high school diploma have a 51% higher chance of finding employment.
-Volunteers living in rural areas have a 55% higher chance of finding employment.
Employers recognize that volunteers have experience that surpasses the knowledge of non- volunteer job applicants.
What’s even more interesting is the research was conducted over two years among a nationally representative sample of out-of-work Americans. Meaning, the association between volunteering and employment is independent of other factors such as age, gender, ethnicity, labor market conditions, and geographic area. Overcoming these variables is not an easy feat, which further emphasizes how far-reaching and valuable volunteerism is for job applicants.
You can find the full report of CNCS research here.