Many people get a tremendous buzz out of volunteering but did you know it can also improve your job prospects? For International Volunteers' Day, National Careers Service Adviser Rosalind Ansell lists 20 reasons why volunteering is good for you.

Returning to work after an illness, redundancy, a custodial sentence or years of raising a family can be extremely difficult. Volunteering or an unpaid work placement can offer valuable experience, build confidence and skills, and provide the opportunity to develop contacts and networks for future job seeking.

A survey by Deloitte* shows that 82% of employers are more likely to choose a candidate with volunteering experience, and of them 85% are willing to overlook other CV flaws when a candidate includes volunteer work. Employers really do value the skills, experience and development volunteering can offer an individual. In fact, a growing number of employers are allowing their staff time off to get involved with charities as they recognise the value that volunteering brings.

So why should you volunteer?

  1. You can volunteer from home on the telephone or your laptop/tablet e.g. Befriending, Admin, Receptionist, IT etc
  2. It's something current to put on your CV
  3. You can fit it around other commitments
  4. It's usually much quicker to get a volunteering role than a paid job
  5. It enables you to gain valuable experience and learn and practice new skills
  6. It helps you try out different areas and types of work
  7. You can get an NVQ qualification while doing unpaid work
  8. You can often get free training - ask the organisation
  9. You may get travel expenses - check with the organisation
  10. It's a chance to build a new social network
  11. You will hear about vacancies in the organisation before they are advertised
  12. It's easier to get a job when you're in a job (paid or unpaid)
  13. It ticks boxes for prospective employers - can you do it? will you do it? will you fit in?
  14. It shows prospective employers that you are willing to do something worthwhile
  15. It gives you a purpose and builds your confidence and self-esteem
  16. It can get you a reference - very useful if you have a large gap in your career history
  17. It won't affect your work benefits as long as you are still actively seeking work
  18. It helps you keep to a routine
  19. It helps you stay active and healthy
  20. You are helping the charity and supporting a good cause.

Ready to get started?

Call 0800 100 900 to speak to an adviser about volunteering or see the National Careers Service website. 

Find opportunities on these national websites: Do-it, Volunteering Matters, Reach Volunteering, Vinspired (youth volunteering) or contact your local volunteer centre. 

Take a look at our current volunteering opportunities.

*Deloitte Impact Survey Building leadership skills through volunteerism, 2016