How Volunteer Work Can Lead to a Job
Last updated November 29, 2022
There are many great reasons to volunteer: you may feel connected to a cause, need to earn community service hours for school, want to gain perspective, and build community. Volunteering can also benefit you in the long run - you'll learn valuable skills, explore your interests, and expand your network - all of which can help you find a job!
According to a federal study by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that oversees AmeriCorps, volunteering can be a great way to gain skills that will boost your chances at finding a job. The study found that:
- Volunteers have a 27% higher likelihood of finding a job after being out of work than non-volunteers.
- Volunteers without a high school diploma have a 51% higher likelihood of finding employment.
- Volunteers living in rural areas have a 55% higher likelihood of finding employment.
There are many benefits to volunteering that can translate into getting a job. Here are just a few:
Develop new skills
Volunteering can be a positive way to gain skills. Depending on what kind of volunteering you’re doing you can learn project management, volunteer management, and working on a team. Be sure to take time to reflect on not only the activities you are doing, but also the skills you’re learning and write them down for your resume!
Add experience to your resume
Volunteer experience is also professional experience. On your resume, list the organization and dates of your service to show that you take initiative, strive to grow, and give back to your community. Who doesn’t want those qualities in a new employee?!
Expand your network
Finding a job can often be connected to “who you know”, or your network. When you volunteer, you will likely meet new people and get exposed to folks you wouldn’t meet otherwise. Be sure to introduce yourself, ask about what they do outside of volunteering, and develop a relationship. You already know that you share values around being a positive influence in the world so who knows what else you have in common?
Build self-esteem and confidence
Volunteering means that you are stepping into something larger than yourself which is a proven means to boost positive self-image and self-esteem. It feels good to be of service to others and you can feel confident in the positivity you are putting into the world. Take that confidence with you into your job applications and interviews.