AIM Career Hub

Your connection to Tech Education and Career Development news.

How Volunteering Can Give You An Advantage In The Job Market

When it comes to finding a job in a labor market which seems to be ever more cramped, it’s vital to make sure that your resume stands out to all recruiters and employers who might read it. It’s no longer the case that a part-time job will cut it: now, it’s necessary to go above and beyond in some way.

With 25% of Americans believed to volunteer their time for good causes, why not consider joining them as you fight to get that job of your dreams?

Show initiative

While people go to work for a whole host of reasons, it’s probably true to say that career satisfaction isn’t the most pressing one. Salary is usually the reason why people persist in working, as it means a more comfortable and enjoyable life for them and their families.

That’s why volunteer work really stands out on a resume. Because you don’t have to do it and you have made a specific decision to devote your time to a particular cause, voluntary work is highly prized. Employers who see voluntary work on a resume will clock that you’re someone who goes above and beyond the call of duty, and that marks you out as different in many ways. 

Prove you’re responsible

Sometimes, showing that you’re worthy of trust isn’t easy. Nobody writes “trustworthy” or a similar word on their resume, and it’s easy to see why. Instead, you have to find a way to demonstrate that you are dependable through your behavior and actions. Volunteering allows you to do that.

Often, voluntary roles come with responsibility due to the sheer lack of interested candidates: You may find yourself organizing people in a soup kitchen, or delivering care packages to seniors who are lonely. Volunteering is a great way to prove that you can carry out tasks, and that people can rely on you to get the job done even in adverse conditions.

A social conscience

In the workplace, having an awareness of your relationship to those around you is important. Being selfish or outspoken won’t get you very far, as it will quickly cause time-draining resentment in a team. By volunteering, you’re showing that you’re someone who values the wider world and prioritizes the welfare of others above your own.

For an employer, that’s vital – and a good sign that you, as a potential hire, will not only turn up for work reliably, but will conduct yourself with grace and selflessness when you’re actually there. In fact, it’s probably why one study from the Corporation for National and Community Service found that those out of work had a 27% improved chance of finding it if they volunteered.

Ultimately, the goal of work is to earn a living and support yourself and your family. But in order to get to that position, it’s important to also show that you’re a conscientious and responsible person. Volunteering, with all its associated social benefits, is a great chance to demonstrate exactly that on your resume, and mark yourself out as a good potential hire.