CAREER ADVICE: The Desi HR Guy on how volunteering makes you stand out

Published: November 16, 2012

Majority of employers would recruit a candidate with volunteering experience over one without.


In my earlier posts, I discussed that interviewers and hiring managers are becoming tired of hearing generic responses to their not-so-original interview questions. Volunteering is another effective way of standing out in the crowd.

There is a lot of information available online about the benefits of volunteering so I am not going to get into details. Peter Drucker is considered the Father of Modern Management. Almost every business management textbook I read in university made some reference to him; when he talked CEOs of major corporations listened. So I was surprised to learn Peter Drucker wrote at great length about volunteering and managing non-profits. He suggested that volunteering in the non-profit sector was the key to fostering a healthy society where people found a sense of belonging and civic pride. It also offered volunteers development and training absolutely free of charge.

Non-profits such as the Salvation Army and the United Way rely on donations from several sources to continue operations. In a tough economy there is increasing pressure on non-profits from donors and other stakeholders to be more efficient. They have to do more with less and that is why volunteers play such a critical role in their organizations.

Today, there are hundreds of volunteering opportunities to choose from. Certain illnesses, such as cancer, touch a large part of the population; volunteering with a non-profit that raises awareness or is involved in the care or treatment of patients would be a good place to begin for young people.

Imagine that you are the hiring manager, who is also a parent, and you come across a resume where the candidate volunteered at a children’s hospice that provides specialized pediatric palliative care for children living with a life-threatening illness. What does that tell you about the candidate? About their character? You don’t need to ask a series of mind-numbing interview questions to find out that this is a remarkable individual.

When I volunteered to conduct mock job interviews with Grade 10 high school students I was impressed with students who volunteered their time at well-known charities or worthwhile causes in the community. Equally shocking was the low numbers of students from our community who volunteered on a regular basis. This made me think that when a difficult hiring decision had to be made between two candidates with the similar work experience and backgrounds, the one with volunteer experience, in many cases, was awarded the position.

Volunteering offers many benefits to the individual both personally and professionally. It will require one to move out of their comfort zone but the rewards are well worth the initial anxiety, it might even help you land that dream job. Mahatma Gandhi said it best, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in service of others.”

Pavi Toor is a Human Resources Manager and operates the site He can be reached at


india flag2

Sporting fans disappointed as Indian flag depicted upside down in Commonwealth Games promotional video

VANCOUVER DESI India is already making headlines as the Commonwealth Games officially kick off in Glasgow – but not for sporting-related reasons. In an official…
Continue Reading »


Heaving, hurling taxi patrons will now be charged a $75 cleanup fine

THE CANADIAN PRESS If you’re feeling queasy, step away from the cab. That’s the advice from taxi drivers across British Columbia after the province’s Passenger…
Continue Reading »


Angry villagers mob alleged suspects after another girl found hanging from tree in India

KOUSHIK DUTTA HINDUSTAN TIMES A 7-year-old girl was found raped, murdered and hanging from a tree in West Bengal on Thursday, resurfacing horrific memories from…
Continue Reading »



Heaving, hurling taxi patrons will now be charged a $75 cleanup fine

THE CANADIAN PRESS If you’re feeling queasy, step away from the cab. That’s the advice from taxi drivers across British Columbia after the province’s Passenger…
Continue Reading »

Homicide investigators are on scene at a stabbing in Surrey.

Homicide investigators on scene of stabbing in Surrey

VANCOUVER DESI A man is dead following an early morning stabbing in Surrey. Surrey RCMP were called to the 10600-block 135A Street in Whalley shortly…
Continue Reading »

Vancouver restaurateur Vikram Vij poses with Barinder Rasode at his new South Surrey restaurant My Shanti at an event Thursday night. Submitted photo.

Will Vikram Vij’s ‘support’ be enough to push Barinder Rasode into Surrey mayoralty ring?

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI Still yet to officially announce a bid for mayor this fall, Surrey city councillor Barinder Rasode had an endorsement party of…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

child abuse

Indian kidnappers agree to handover boy to parents on condition of swapping him for his sister

CEN AGENCY In a bizarre demand, parents of an Indian boy who has been kidnapped, were told that they could have youngster back if they…
Continue Reading »

232-teeth tumour gum

Indian teen boy gets 232 teeth removed from “very rare” tumour in his jaw

VANCOUVER DESI A 17-year-old boy in India underwent a seven-hour long operation on Monday to have a whopping 232 teeth removed from a “very rare”…
Continue Reading »


Indian minister criticizes ‘no-headgear’ rule after Sikh basketball players told to remove turbans during Asia Cup

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW DELHI — India’s sports minister has criticized the ‘no-headgear’ rule of basketball’s world body FIBA after two Sikh players on the…
Continue Reading »


Tipsy British tourist asked to leave church after mistaking it for a disco

CEN AGENCY A tipsy British tourist had to be asked to leave a church in Crete where he started dancing after local kids told him…
Continue Reading »

Surrey-weight lifter-Commonwealth Games-Glasgow

Surrey weightlifter Parm Phangura bound for Commonwealth Games

MICHAEL BOOTH SURREY NOW FLEETWOOD — 163+205=368. That stark equation scrawled in the top corner of a chalkboard means little to a casual observer, but…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood Latest

Priyanka Chopra

Priyanka Chopra fought with professional boxers while shooting Mary Kom

IANS Mumbai  – Actress Priyanka Chopra fought with real boxers in Mary Kom, a biopic on the five time World Champion boxer. She says it…
Continue Reading »


Akshay Kumar to host dance reality show Dare 2 Dance

IANS Gurgaon  – Bollywood action hero Akshay Kumar, who has played host of TV adventure reality series Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi in the past,…
Continue Reading »


What stunt scared Jacqueline Fernandez the most while filming Kick?

IANS Mumbai — Superstar Salman Khan has done a lot of action and stunts in Kick and the film’s leading lady Jacqueline Fernandez says that…
Continue Reading »