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Do You Volunteer? Make Sure to Flaunt It on Your Resume

Do You Volunteer? Make Sure to Flaunt It on Your Resume
From Recruiter - August 3, 2016

Volunteering is a great way to give back to the communityand, as it turns out, a great way to land yourself a job.

Thats according to Deloittes 2016 Volunteer Impact Survey, which found that 82 percent of hiring influencersthat is, people who directly influence either hiring decisions or the people making the hiring decisions at their companiesare likely to choose candidates with volunteering experience overthose who do not have such experience. Eighty-five percent ofinfluencersalso said they were likely to overlook a candidates resume pitfalls if the candidate included volunteer experience on said resume.

We surveyed a bunch of professionals who have direct influence over hiring, and it wasvery clear that people in those positions are looking for volunteer experience on resumes and during the interview process, says Doug Marshall, managing director of corporate citizenship at Deloitte. Its also clear that they view volunteering as a way of building leadership skills, especially some of the elusive leadership skills that people are always looking for [in candidates].

Ninety-two percent of respondents to Deloittes survey said they felt volunteering was a way for people to build broader professional skill sets, and Marshall notes that volunteering often helps build those softer skills that are so difficult to find, like communication and emotional intelligence.

And yet, despiteholding volunteer work in such high esteem, hiringinfluencers rarely see it on resumes. According to Deloittes survey, only 30 percent of resumes include any volunteer work.

Its not that applicants dont see volunteering as importantits that they dont play it up on their resumes. This, Marshall says, could be for a number of reasons.

[For some,] there isnt enough space on their resume, which may be the legacy of people trying to fit everything on one page, Marshall says. Or maybe they believe that recruiters wouldnt see [their particular volunteer experience] as an important thing or relevant to the job.

But maybe its not that candidates are struggling to fit their entire careers on single sheets of paper or underestimating just how much employers value volunteering, even if it isnt directly related to their field. Maybe, Marshall suggests, businesses arent doing enough to signal how strongly [they]value volunteering.

Join the Conversation: Has Volunteer Work Helped You Land a Job?

If You Value VolunteerExperienceSo Much, Why Dont You Help Your Employees Find Opportunities?

Marshall says that a lot of responses to the Deloitte survey indicated that many candidates dont come from employers with active volunteer programs. Therefore, these candidates dont have as much volunteer work to include on their resumes as other candidates might.

Thats an opportunity for companies,because as we see, most people believe that [volunteer work] can develop leadership skills, Marshall says.

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