Voluntary work 'boosts CV'

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The Independent Online

Gap year students who take time out to do voluntary work are more likely to get jobs because it highlights their personal qualities and initiative, research shows.

The survey for V, a charity which encourages voluntary work, indicates that giving up time and effort to a non-paid job can greatly enhance a candidate's employability. Rachel Campbell, from the business advisory firm KPMG, said: "Those who have volunteered are often more self-confident and self-aware, which certainly comes across in interviews."

Employers such as Currys and Dixons took part in the study. Laura Stanley, 22, a graduate who volunteered at a farming project, said: "I wouldn't have got my job as a local authority environmental co-ordinator if I hadn't had the volunteering experience under my belt."

The research was revealed as James Purnell, the new Work and Pensions Secretary, was expected to announce an agenda designed to get people off benefits and back to work, with the help of voluntary bodies across the UK.

Speaking about the initiative, Mr Purnell said: "The reform which I want to bring is to look at how we can use the private sector, the voluntary sector, as well as the public sector to help people get into work."