Chances are that by now you are well aware of the best ways to increase your chances of securing that dream job. A cracking CV, a brilliant interview performance and an enthusiastic follow-up are all simple but sure-fire ways of impressing that recruiter.
What if there is one thing you can do however that can make you a staggering 27% more likely to get a job? Believe it or not, it doesn’t require gaining a new qualification, you don’t need to have climbed your way up the career ladder beforehand, you don’t need to spend hours updating your LinkedIn profile and you don’t need to be the best interviewee in the world either.
According to new research that has just been released, if you want to dramatically increase your chances of impressing that recruiter and getting a job offer, you should be doing volunteering work. Experts believe that this is the smartest and most overlooked thing that candidates can do in order to get ahead in an incredibly competitive job market.
Researchers at the Corporation for National and Community Service have been tracking the relationship between volunteering and employment across more than 70,000 respondents over a 10 year period. The findings revealed that those who actively participated in volunteer work were 27% more likely to secure a job than those who didn’t.
Why exactly are people who do volunteering work so much more appealing to a recruiter? It is thought that one of the main reasons is because there is a strong relationship between volunteering and the development of social and human capital – two key attributers in today’s most desirable candidates.
Increased social capital means that candidates have a larger network and more exposure to professional contacts. They’re also more likely to have durable networks, employment leads and better and stronger social relationships. Increased human capital means that as an employee, the person is likely to have greater knowledge, skills, abilities, leadership opportunities and work experience.
The findings correlate a recent LinkedIn survey of 2,000 professionals that revealed that 41% of recruiters consider volunteer experience to be as important as work experience when looking for a new employee. The survey also found that 20% of hiring managers have offered jobs based on a candidate’s volunteer experience.
Many of us shy away from volunteering work because we fear that it will take up too much of our time. It’s worth remembering however that it is entirely up to you how much or how little you dedicate to this. Regardless of whether you give up every Saturday, one evening a week or even one day every few weeks, with volunteering work on your CV, you’re bound to impress any recruiter.