Nonprofits provide valuable work experience

August 8, 2013

Nonprofits provide valuable work experience

Many young professionals donate hundreds of hours each year providing assistance at nonprofits, but some don't realize the opportunity organizations have given them can make them look better in the eyes of employers. Today's job market makes it difficult to gain experience, which is why volunteering has recently become a more viable option. However, only 46 percent of college students that responded to a recent Deloitte survey feel that nonprofits are a good place to grow their skill sets.

Hiring managers value those who have volunteered
Whether young adults are putting in just a few hours per week or have an internship position at a nonprofit, hiring managers are more interested in professionals who have spent spare time volunteering at nonprofits. In fact, 81 percent of HR executives that took part in the "2013 Deloitte Volunteer IMPACT Survey" stated they take the skills acquired by volunteers into account, while the same percentage said they consider recent college graduates who have volunteered as more desirable than those who haven't. Nonprofits that want to benefit from the help of young professionals can use these statistics as a way to draw people into their organization.

"As passionate advocates of skilled volunteerism and pro bono service in our communities, we are excited about its benefits as a bridge to employment," said Joe Echevarria, CEO at Deloitte. "These findings align with our efforts to foster a college-going culture, support returning veterans and in the process make our communities and America stronger."

Volunteering provides valuable experience
When in college, it's often difficult for young professionals to gain the experience they need to be able to compete for entry-level positions. This is why nonprofits should open their doors to college students and provide a flexible environment for them to work in. Hiring managers like to see that candidates have had some type of experience at an organization before bringing them in. Lynn Taylor, a career expert, told Forbes that college students should always be looking for some type of part-time, temporary or volunteer work experience.

"If you can't find a job in your chosen field of study, any job is better than none, as long as you remain focused on your first priority: succeeding in your path of study and absorbing the knowledge you're there to gain," Taylor said.


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