Benefits of Volunteering While Looking for Your Next Job

Jeanette Gisbert, Deputy Executive Director, Volunteer New York

At Volunteer New York! we are in the business of making finding a volunteer opportunity in your community easy. Why? Because we believe volunteering is the backbone of a strong, resilient community.  Volunteers help many local nonprofits achieve their missions and increase the quality of life for all. But we also know that something else happens when you volunteer – often the volunteer gets back much more than they give. There are a myriad of good reasons to volunteer including that volunteering feels good and can increase your sense of purpose in life. Acting generously is known to trigger your brain to release chemicals that can help lower stress and improve mood. And, volunteering can also help you find that next job. In fact,
  • 82% of respondents said they would be more likely to choose a candidate with volunteer experience on their resume, but only 30% of the resumes they see have volunteering listed.*
  • Volunteers have a 27% higher odds of finding a job after being out of work than non-volunteers.**
Benefits of Volunteering While Job Hunting
Volunteering can:
  • Increase your Human Capital – Volunteering is an opportunity to learn new skills or get really good at what you’re interested in.
  • Expand your Social Capital – Volunteering is one of the best ways to meet new like-minded people and to increase your network.
  • Helps you stay current on your resume – Volunteering helps fills employment gaps, shows you are engaged in the community, connects you to a possible current reference and gives you a boost in self-esteem.
  • Gives you a feel for today’s work environment.
Job Readiness Through Volunteerism
Volunteering also gives individuals an opportunity to demonstrate certain qualities, such as honesty, flexibility, responsibility, punctuality, commitment, positive attitude and a willingness to learn, which are important to today’s employers.

In fact, Volunteer New York! feels so strongly that job seekers should be volunteering that we developed our “Job Readiness Through Volunteerism” program which is designed to increase awareness that job seekers have of the valuable role volunteering can play in their career and community. To find out when our next JRTV workshop is email

Why do we feel strongly about this? Because we hear from individuals, over and over again, how volunteerism helped them land that next job opportunity. We don’t have to search far. Our own Katie Pfeifer, Director of Programs and Evaluation, volunteered at a local nonprofit, Back on My Feet, when she moved to Philadelphia and was hired by them shortly thereafter.
Ready to find your next volunteer opportunity? Start by calling Volunteer New York! at 914-948-4452 to begin a conversation. You can also search on your own. Visit our website at to create a new volunteer profile.

*2016 Deloitte Impact Survey, Building leadership skills through volunteerism.
** Volunteering as a Pathway to Employment study by the Corporation for National and Community Service.
Jeanette Gisbert Bio
Jeanette Gisbert has been with Volunteer New York! for nine years. As their Deputy Executive Director, Jeanette focuses on mission delivery, supports programmatic strategy and cohesion and oversees revenue generating specifically related to corporate, foundation and government outreach.  Prior to joining Volunteer New York!, Jeanette worked with another volunteer connector organization, New York Cares, for over seven years. As New York Cares’ first Director of Volunteer Relations she was responsible for the recruitment and management of thousands of volunteers and hundreds of volunteer leaders. Jeanette began her nonprofit career as an AmeriCorps VISTA member. She holds a BS in Management from Boston College and her Masters in Public Administration from CUNY Baruch.