Deloitte Survey Finds That a Mere 30% of Resumes Include Volunteering, Despite the Known Benefits to Career Advancement

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Monday, June 20th, 2016

Today's job applicants may be undervaluing volunteerism according to the results of the 2016 Deloitte Impact Survey released. The study targeted individuals who are currently employed and have the ability to either directly influence hiring or indirectly influence the person making the hiring decision.

In the survey, 80 percent of hiring influencers indicated that they believe active volunteers move into leadership roles more easily. Yet, despite positive attitudes towards volunteerism and the strong belief that it builds leadership skills, only one in three resumes in the United States actually cite it.

In addition, 86 percent of respondents believe that putting volunteer activities on a resume makes it more competitive. In fact, a strong majority (85 percent) of hiring influencers are willing to overlook resume pitfalls when an employee includes volunteering on a resume.   

"Despite volunteering's well-documented benefits in the workplace, as well as its widespread appeal among respondents to the 2016 Deloitte Impact Survey, the survey results seem to indicate that there may be a disconnect between employees and businesses about volunteering's role in the workplace," said Doug Marshall, director of corporate citizenship, Deloitte Services LP. "At Deloitte, we have experienced the importance of volunteering and understand that it helps build skill sets that are critical to developing well-rounded leaders across our organization."

Considering that 82 percent of the survey respondents said they are more likely to choose a candidate with volunteering experience, not including it on a resume can be a missed opportunity. This is in part because 92 percent of the respondents reported that they believe volunteering is an effective way to gain leadership skills. In addition:

  • 92 percent of respondents reported that volunteering expands an employee's professional skill set

  • 73 percent of respondents believe people who volunteer are more successful

"As the battle for talent continues, volunteering can be a strong leg-up on the competition for both prospective employees and employers," said Mike Preston, chief talent officer, Deloitte LLP. "Companies that create a culture committed to making an impact and to tapping into their employees' sense of purpose have the ability to attract and retain top talent."