Why high school and college students should volunteer was originally published on College Recruiter.
In addition to the benefits to society and the personal well-being of the person who volunteers, there are also tangible career benefits when you volunteer. You get experience and are able to communicate to prospective employers that you have a demonstrated ability to do the work for which they are considering hiring you.
Few employers care how much you were paid to do the work by another organization. They primarily care about your ability to do the work for them. The more that you can convince them that you can do the work, the lower their risk in choosing you over another candidate and, therefore, the greater the likelihood that they will hire you.
Another tangible benefit to volunteering is building your network. Study after study shows that most hires come as a result of referrals. The more people you know who are familiar and appreciate your work, the bigger and more powerful your network. When you’re searching for a new job, those people are more likely to be eager to help you and some of them may even be eager to hire you.