A culture of giving back

How can volunteering impact your career?

As job seekers look to find new and innovative ways to stand out in a sea of resumes, an often-overlooked quality is the value of volunteering.

The power of giving back

Volunteers can provide needed resources to help mission-based organizations accomplish their goals and help to promote a culture of giving back. Olivia Trudo, a senior consultant, and Younes Ben Makhlouf, a senior manager within Deloitte, are both engaged with the Deloitte CARE programme, an initiative to empower refugees in Switzerland to lead better and economically more successful lives while positively impacting the local economy. As part of their engagement, they have been coaching refugees in Geneva to set up their own business or find a job that matches their skills. Along with gaining an understanding and appreciation of refugees’ challenges, the volunteer experience also allowed them to hone their coaching and leadership skills in a completely new way – and to get involved in a cause with a true impact on the local community and society itself.

“Being a CARE mentor to a refugee increased my empathy but also required me to strengthen my self-confidence and assertiveness to become a true enabler to my mentee. Organizing integration or promotion events was another opportunity to practice and develop time management, organization, prioritization and communication skills. The overall experience enriched me, and I evolved by getting out of my comfort zone, reassessing my own challenges and putting them in perspective,” says Olivia.

Younes adds: “As part the CARE initiative, I mentored Pierre who had to flee Iraq after the war broke. Similar to being in a client relationship, I needed to first align on the objectives, the approach, the ways of working, and install that trusted relationship to achieve great ambitions. It helped me realize the positive impact I can make, empowering people and helping them become self-aware of what they can achieve by themselves, with a bit of support. This experience helped me grow as a leader.”

Using your volunteer experience to build and demonstrate highly relevant skills

So, by tapping into your skills as well as initiate qualities of goodwill, through volunteer work you can develop and demonstrate capabilities that employers are seeking and that are highly relevant for any role. Skills such as:

  • Leadership
  • Time management
  • Planning
  • Empathy
  • Communication
  • Professionalism

In a Deloitte Human Capital Trends report, executives now consider soft skills critical to fostering employee retention, improving leadership, and building a meaningful culture. In fact, 92 percent of report respondents rated soft skills as a crucial priority.

The volunteer experience: underrated? We don’t think so!

Many people do not include their volunteer experience on their CV and solely mention their work experience. Some reasons candidates may exclude their volunteer experience are:

  • They would rather their employer focus on their professional skills
  • Their volunteer experience wouldn’t fit on their resume
  • They don’t think employers care about their volunteer experience

These views contradict the results of a Deloitte Impact Survey, which indicated that volunteering experience may play a significant role in developing leadership skills considered to be “must haves” for successful leaders. Findings from the study confirmed that including volunteering experience on a resume may make candidates significantly more attractive to employers. Check out more tips and tricks for your CV.

A culture of giving back

At Deloitte, we believe we make the greatest societal impact when our people use their expertise to help others develop job skills, improve educational outcomes and opportunities to succeed in this new economy. Deloitte’s global WorldClass ambition is to support 50 million people by 2030. By aligning around a common goal and mission, we are focusing our resources and efforts to make a meaningful impact on a shared global challenge.

Deloitte fosters a culture of volunteerism and giving back through various initiatives like Deloitte Care, Pro Bono work and our own The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Challenge where we engage the entrepreneurial spirit of our employees here in Switzerland. Learn more about WorldClass, SDG and Deloitte Care and how Deloitte makes an #ImpactThatMatters.