Month: November 2017

The Value of Volunteering

Volunteering Is The Single Most Overlooked Skill On CVs.

(This article was shared with Careers Department November 2017.)

If you knew that as many as 86% of employers/recruiters believe that volunteering would make you more competitive among a pool of job seekers, wouldn’t you make sure to put that activity front and centre on your CV?

If you are a student and are told that most scholarships are given to people who volunteer wouldn’t you go out and volunteer?

If you are a student applying for entry to a university medical course and you’re told that doing volunteer work in a hospital or aged care facility increases the chances of entry, wouldn’t you volunteer?

According to the 2016 Deloitte Impact Survey there is a huge disconnect between how important it is to hirers and how much candidates are leveraging their volunteerism to get jobs. Survey respondents found that only 30% of CVs list volunteering.

In the recruitment world of jobs and job seekers, recruiters are overwhelmingly in favour of volunteering as a professional development tool. Among the findings:

  • 92% believe volunteering expands an employee’s professional skill set
  • 85% are willing to overlook resume pitfalls when an employee includes volunteering on a resume.
  • 82% are more likely to choose a candidate with volunteering experience
  • 80% believe volunteering is an effective way to boost leadership skills
  • 73% believe people who volunteer are more successful

On this last point a European study found,  young people’s involvement in volunteer initiatives stimulates the development of creative thinking and the ability to quickly adjust in new situations, it forms tolerance for others’ values, social sensitivity and an active civil stance – skills which can be capitalized on when both searching for a job and starting a business.

These skills make young volunteers much more successful on the labour market, compared to their peers, who lack volunteering experience.

One of the important conclusions from the study analysis is that there is a correlation between the skills young people acquire while volunteering and the skills employers look for. For students, having volunteer experience on their CV is extremely beneficial and an advantage over those who don’t.

People choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons. For some, it offers the chance to give something back to the community or to make a difference to the people around them. For others, it provides an opportunity to develop new skills or build on existing experience and knowledge. Regardless of the motivation, what unites them all is that they find it both challenging and rewarding.

My Career Match, Newsletter November 2017