What does volunteer work do for your employees?

We get it: resumes can be long and cumbersome. The last thing you want to do is comb through a lengthy list of volunteer work. But perhaps you should take pause and read through that list; volunteer work says something about a potential employee. What it says is that they might just be an important, productive member of your team…if you hire them.

Volunteer work in job candidates shows initiative. An article at careerattraction.com discusses how volunteerism bolsters employability. “Employers want employees who are engaged and committed, as well as problem-solvers and those willing to step up when help is needed.” A candidate who frequently volunteers is probably passionate about helping others and is willing to donate their time to a cause. That’s a solid trait for an employee to possess.

An article in the New York Times called “Volunteering Rises on the Resume” cites the growing importance of volunteer work as an attractive trait in a job candidate. The article sites a LinkedIn study that says 41 percent of employers considered volunteer work as important as paid work. One employee said his volunteer work helped him grow as a worker. Volunteering at nonprofits, which often have tight budgets, “made me look at strategy from a different perspective. It took the big money and the noise out of the equation,” he said.

Community involvement is a solid trait for a job candidate, and volunteer work hints at a host of positive attributes in a potential employee. Don’t underestimate their value.

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