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Listen Up, Millennials! Volunteer Experience Really Does Help Get You Hired

By Nader Salass 

With half of college grads working jobs that don’t require degrees, the unemployment rate for 20-24 year-olds hovering around 12.6 percent, and an increasing percentage of adults with college degrees, millennials need new ways to impress hiring managers.

A recent study indicates that they can start by volunteering. The Deloitte Volunteer Impact Survey reveals that skilled and dedicated volunteer work makes college graduate job candidates more appealing to human resources executives.

About 81 percent of hiring managers felt that volunteer work makes graduates more attractive job candidates. However, only 46 percent of the surveyed college students felt that volunteering would help them secure future jobs.

The CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), a federal agency promoting service and volunteering, expressed her gratitude to Deloitte, mentioning that their research helped provide concrete data for a hypothesis that the CNCS had anticipated to be correct.

“Many of us in the volunteer sector have long felt volunteering gives a boost to those looking for work, but we’ve never had solid research to back it up,” said the CNCS CEO, Wendy Spencer. “These reports provide strong evidence that volunteering is beneficial for jobseekers. Whether serving in AmeriCorps or sharing your professional skills at a nonprofit, volunteering can provide the skills, contacts, and leadership qualities that make you stand out in a competitive job market.”

The Deloitte study is not the only recent indicator that volunteer work has its benefits. In May, Harvard Business School gave several of its MBA program graduates $50,000 for dedicating their studies on nonprofit work and volunteering.

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