Volunteering gives job-seekers a huge advantage over other candidates, the research reveals. The study shows 80 per cent of employers are more likely to hire an applicant with volunteering experience.  

Bosses believe volunteers have better social skills, are good team players, more hardworking and self-motivated than other applicants. An enhanced ability to get on with people from all walks of life, experience of different organisations, and doing something positive are all cited as reasons why volunteers particularly impress employers.  

The survey of 500 employers, representing a wide spectrum of professional sectors, was conducted by One Poll and commissioned by Oxfam. The charity relies on 22,000 volunteers to staff its shops across the UK. Out of the bosses asked, more than 80 per cent consider volunteers to be better quality job candidates. Three quarters of hirers say given the choice between two identical candidates, they would select the person with a track record of giving their time for free.

Andrew Horton, Oxfam’s trading director said: “This new research is proof volunteering massively boosts a person’s employability, making volunteering a really positive choice for anyone wanting to change jobs or progress their career. Each Oxfam shop relies on its team of volunteers, who work together to give customers a rewarding shopping experience – and raise money to fight extreme poverty around the world.“Our volunteers bring a huge array of skills to the job and receive the support they need to develop new skills too. Window dressing, working behind the till, sorting donations, organising pop-up shop events, managing our social media – there are so many ways to get involved and enhance your CV at the same time.”