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

Survey released in conjunction with Deloitte’s 17th annual Impact Day celebrating year-round commitment to local communities
Jun 10, 2016 9:00 AM ET

NEW YORK, June 10, 2016 /3BL Media/ - Today’s job applicants may be undervaluing volunteerism according to the results of the 2016 Deloitte Impact Survey released today. 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 workplace1, 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.”

The survey was released in conjunction with Deloitte’s 17th annual Impact Day. This Friday, June 10, tens of thousands of Deloitte professionals will spend their day contributing to community service projects in more than 80 cities across the U.S. Impact Day is a celebration of Deloitte’s year-round commitment to its local communities and year-round volunteerism. To learn more, visit the Impact Day website.

About Deloitte’s Corporate Citizenship
Corporate Citizenship drives measurable change in our communities, inspires our actions as societal leaders, and instills great pride in knowing that what we do best – applying our skills and experience – accelerates positive, societal impact. We drive impact that matters through workplace giving, pro bono efforts and other skill-based volunteering, as well as key programs such as board service opportunities and Impact Day. In addition, by focusing on our signature national issues – education and veterans – we are helping strengthen America's workforce and the U.S. economy. To learn more, visit us online.

About the 2016 Impact Survey
The 2016 Impact Survey interviewed 2,506 respondents in 13 major metropolitan areas across the United States: Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York Metro (NY/CT/NJ), Philadelphia, Bay Area (San Francisco/San Jose), Seattle, and Washington, D.C. This survey, which was administered from April 18-22, 2016, was not intended to provide a broad representation across the entire U.S.

The study was a 10-minute online survey targeting individuals who are currently employed and have the ability to either directly influence hiring or indirectly influence the person making the hiring decision. The survey aimed to examine how members of this population define leadership; how volunteerism drives leadership skills; and how volunteerism impacts the perception of job candidates during the interview process.

To learn more about the Impact Survey, download it online.

About Deloitte
Deloitte provides industry-leading audit, consulting, tax and advisory services to many of the world’s most admired brands, including 80 percent of the Fortune 500. Our people work across more than 20 industry sectors to deliver measurable and lasting results that help reinforce public trust in our capital markets, inspire clients to make their most challenging business decisions with confidence, and help lead the way toward a stronger economy and a healthy society.

As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries.  Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

[1] William D. Eggers, Nate Wong and Kate Cooney, “The purpose-driven professional,” Deloitte University Press, September 8, 2015.