If you’re looking for a community job then you may already know this, but it never hurts to repeat it: volunteering is a fantastic way to break into a job in the NFP or community sector.
Now a new survey confirms that this is the case for jobs across a variety of sectors. Social networking site LinkedIn surveyed over one thousand professionals in Australia and found that almost half – 47 percent – said that when they are evaluating candidates, they consider volunteer work equally as valuable as paid work experience.
Perhaps even more important was that of the hiring managers surveyed, 22 percent said that they had made a hiring decision based particularly on a candidate’s volunteer work experience.
Despite the strong evidence that volunteer experience can be crucial in securing a job, the survey also found that Australians are not declaring their volunteer experience on their resume – while 77 percent of survey respondents had experience volunteering, only 46 percent of them included this on their resume.
Commenting on the survey, Cliff Rosenberg, Managing Director, LinkedIn Australia and New Zealand said:
“A majority of professionals in Australia have had volunteer experience but perceive it to be separate or irrelevant to their current profession. You may be a sales person by trade, but if you organised a fundraising event, you can add skills, like event planning or event marketing, to your profile. Having those additional skills can set you apart and potentially make you a more attractive employee and business partner.”
Volunteer experience is even more important in the not-for-profit sector, where it can lead directly to a job in the same organisation. Here at EthicalJobs.com.au, we regularly hear of people who have found a paid job after spending a few months volunteering for an organisation that they believe in.
So if you’re lamenting the difficultly in finding that not-for-profit job of your dreams, try giving your dream-employer a call and seeing if there’s a spot for you on their volunteer roster.