Does having volunteering experience improve your chances while looking for a job? Entrepreneurs welcome this choice. This is what emerges from the European research carried out in the frame of the Yes volunteering project.
Over the years partners from 6 countries involved in the Erasmus+ strategic partnership project entitled Yes volunteering have observed how a volunteering experience can accelerate responsibility, self-esteem and proactiveness, favoring the acquisition of relational and professional skills in volunteers.
These initial hypotheses, defined over the years with the management of volunteering projects for a wide umber of volunteers, required the validation of a research. So in 2020, thanks to the "Yes Volunteering" project, we chose to carry out a specific survey, focusing on the Curriculum Vitae as a tool for mapping the skills acquired by the volunteers, verifying its readability and interest on the part of the entrepreneurs.
The survey was conducted in 6 countries (Italy, Spain, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Turkey), and investigated the employers' point of view on the value of volunteering as a training experience for the development of key competences appreciated in a working environment. In Portugal, the survey covered 50 different companies from all four sectors of economic activity. 92% of the entrepreneurs have agreed that a volunteering background can have benefits for employees and 72% have said that they consider volunteering experience as a plus when looking at the curriculums of potential employees, with 64,6% of the respondents declared to have employees with volunteering experience in their companies.
Why is it decisive for employers that the candidate write in his CV whether he has volunteered or not? Most of the respondents agreed that the volunteering experience has contributed to better outcomes for workers and that volunteering is useful for improving a variety of skills, interpersonal skills and transversal but also technical professional skills of workers. Above all, volunteering is recognized as a valid opportunity for candidates with low profile of experience, who finish school and have not yet been able to develop the skills required to enter the job market. An experience of active citizenship and solidarity it is also important because people who have been unemployed for a long time and thanks to volunteering experience return to be socially active, expand their network, gain different experiences and, thanks to their activities, have more opportunities to find a job in the related sectors.
If you are interested in learning more about the research results, we invite you to read the complete survey data available at this link.