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6 Ways Volunteering Can Advance Your Job Search

Making a difference in the lives of others is rewarding and life-changing. Volunteering helps non-profit organizations deliver their mission and improve the community. In turn, it helps you feel useful and productive, thus improving your confidence and self-worth.

There’s another benefit that you may not have recognized: volunteering can also boost your career and job search. Here are six ways:

  1. Practice new skills. Volunteering is a great way to develop marketable skills. Coordinating volunteer activities, for example, enhances your organizational, communication, and problem-solving skills. Helping to organize a fundraiser develops skills like project planning, time management, and teamwork.
  1. Expand your network. You often hear that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. No matter the role, your participation with an organization connects you with others who may be able to direct you to an opportunity.
  1. Bridge resume gaps. When you have a break in employment, volunteering is a great way to shows that you’ve stayed active and involved in your professional life while looking for a job.
  1. Demonstrate your values. Volunteer work illustrates a commitment to social responsibility and community involvement. It shows that you think beyond yourself.
  1. Stand out from the crowd. Most people do not include volunteer work on their resume. Highlighting your volunteer work will differentiate yourself from others in the job market.
  1. Spark a new passion. If your current job isn’t ideal, volunteering can fill a void. If the volunteer work sparks an interest, you can use the opportunity to transition into a new career. Tap into your new network of fellow volunteers for help.

While you should never volunteer with the intention to “get ahead,” there certainly are ways that it can help your career and job search while making a contribution to your community.  If you approach volunteering with a pure heart and good intentions, the return is a win-win!