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Volunteering is great for your community, but it’s also a great way to land a job. Why does volunteering help you find work faster?

Volunteering helps you sharpen current skills or learn new ones

It can be used as experience on your resume or job applications

It expands your network and increases the number of people who can help you find a job

There is almost no instance where volunteering can’t help you get hired in some way, but here are some specific circumstances where it can help:

Employment Gaps: Whether due to long-term unemployment, family responsibilities, or returning to work after an unfortunate life event, volunteering fills up that blank resume page and shows you are committed to the community. It can also earn you references, which are key to getting back to work after an absence.

First Job: The big hurdle with first-time job hunting is that often you have no marketable skills, experience or references. Volunteering doesn’t just look good on job applications either. If you are a student thinking about continuing your education and applying to a new college, you can list your volunteer experience on many college applications, which is looked upon in a favorable way.

Changing Fields: If you are trying to change careers and having a hard time, see if you can volunteer for a position related to the one you want. Not only will you get valuable experience, you will determine in advance if the grass is really greener in the new field you’re dreaming about, or whether you’d rather consider different options.