Give back to get ahead in your job search

Posted by Amanda Augustine

December 02, 2013 @ 09:30 AM

Learn how volunteering and other charitable works can benefit your job search.

GivingTuesday

Giving Tuesday is a movement created to “celebrate and encourage charitable activities that support non-profit organizations.” Giving back is not only a great thing to do for your community; it can also be beneficial to your job search. [TWEET]

Here are five reasons why giving back to the community will give your job search some extra oomph this season.

It builds your resume

Programs for skills-based volunteering (SBV) are all the rage these days. They match professionals with nonprofit organizations based on the volunteer’s skill set and the nonprofit’s needs. If you’re volunteering your professional expertise to a charity, include it in your resume. Write it as you would any other position in your resume by describing your role and achievements, highlighting the skills that are most relevant to your current career goals. To find a skills-based volunteer opportunity near you, visit sites like Catchafire.

It exposes you to new career paths

Before you commit to a new career path, take it for a test drive. Volunteering is a great way to learn more about a specific function or industry, especially if you’re considering a move to the government or non-profit sector. Additionally, this unpaid work can lead to more permanent placement within an organization. You’re already on the inside, making you more likely to hear about the openings and understand the company culture than the average candidate.

It develops new skills

If you’re switching careers, seeking a promotion to the management level, or pursuing an encore career, chances are you have some skill gaps to fill. Identify volunteer opportunities that will allow you to fill these gaps by exposing you to a new industry or giving you the chance to head a committee or project. Target organizations that provide professional development opportunities for their volunteers. For instance, Step Up Women’s Network (SUWN) offers monthly “Power Breakfasts” with industry leaders in well-known corporations.

It grows your network

Whether you’re attending charity events or volunteering your time, charitable work is a great way to meet new people and expand your network. There’s no better way to form a real connection with someone than through a shared interest. Even if the organization is unrelated to your profession, there’s no telling who you’ll meet and who your fellow volunteers may know. To get involved in a cause you truly care about, visit VolunteerMatch.org and All for Good.

It makes you a more attractive candidate

Jobvite’s social recruiting survey found that recruiters react positively to candidates who participate in charitable works.  In fact, 65 percent of those polled said that candidates whose online professional profiles included good works such as volunteering and donations to charity were met with a more favorable response. If you are volunteering, include this information on your professional social networking profiles.

Click on the following link to learn more about Giving Tuesday, and follow the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #GivingTuesday.

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AmandaAugustine_JobSearchExpert_TheLadders_1Amanda Augustine is the Job Search Expert for TheLadders. She provides job search and career guidance for professionals looking to make their next career move. Have a question for Amanda? Submit your question here for a chance to have it answered in her weekly column, and be sure to follow her at @JobSearchAmanda on Twitter and “Like” her on Facebook for up-to-the-minute job-search advice.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Networking