A new study shows what I have always believed (it worked for me) and what I tell people who ask me about the relationship between volunteering and getting a job - it works.
The report is here
The report point's out things that matter about finding a job - networks & skills.
By volunteering you are increasing your network! Linked in is great, but it's nothing like making a new contact face to face who can evaluate you, see what you are made of and if you would be a good fit (without interviewing you). This is especially true if you are volunteering in a market/company you are trying to break into.
While volunteering you are learning/sharpening skills needed on a job. Whether they are new or specific skills or keeping up on software or customer service skills. Learning is good for you.
Another big plus if you are out of work, is gets you out and connects you with real live people. Looking for a job is hard work, and often hard work done alone in front of a screen. So you volunteer a few hours a week, make an impression on the world and meet new friends and something wonderful will happen.
Need reinforcement ? Another Article from May pointed out some of the same advice.
So lets go out and increase our volunteer rate this new year, especially if you are looking to find a new job or change fields.