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Unemployed? Increase your chances of landing a job by volunteering

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We already know that volunteering can increase your chances of finding a job, but a recent report by the Corporation for National and Community Service not only demonstrates how much of a boost you get, but also whose career benefits the most from giving back:

Unemployed Americans stand a much better chance of finding a paying job if they first work for free. That is the key finding from a new federal study that is billed as the first empirical examination of the benefits of volunteering for out-of-work Americans.

The report, to be released Tuesday by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that encourages and facilitates volunteerism, found that jobless Americans increase their odds of finding work by 27 percent if they volunteer.

Strikingly, the benefits of volunteering flow most generously to those who do not have a high school diploma and to jobless people who live in rural areas — two of the groups that have the hardest time finding new jobs. While they forfeit income during the time they spend volunteering, the effort can be an investment: Those groups increase their chances of finding work by more than 50 percent by volunteering, the study found.

Read more at the Washington Post. And click here to read the full report.

This report highlights another powerful benefit of volunteering. In addition to providing much needed services to communities and strengthening ties between neighbors, volunteering also provides necessary social and economic skills to people who struggle to find opportunities that will give them a leg up.

Has volunteering helped you find a job? What advice do you have to share for people looking to make the most of volunteering? What questions do you have about volunteering and your career?