/ Asked by Tanya
How do recruiters view full-time service after college, such as the Peace Corps or Teach for America? Will these experiences help or hurt my application for a corporate position?
Answered by Stuart, Hiring Expert at Gap Inc., on Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Hello! This is a great question and relevant for anyone with unpaid volunteer work. If you have limited career experience these kinds of activities are an excellent substitute. Also if you are unemployed or only currently working part time they also add value to a resume. The key is to include them in your resume and highlight skills used in service or volunteer positions that relate to the position you are applying to, just like any other employment. Planning and event, recruiting other volunteers, teaching a subject or a skill etc. are all valuable skills. Even the simplest volunteer work can show a potential employer commitment, teamwork, following a schedule, and showing up on time.
Answered by Claire, Hiring Expert at American Express, on Friday, March 10, 2017
Hi there! Long story short, these types of post collegiate programs should not hurt your chances of getting a corporate job. However, I would be very mindful of how you speak about these opportunities. You always want to have a story behind your decision making process as this helps the recruiter understand how you ended up where you are now. For example, instead of saying, " I joined the Peace Corps because I wanted to travel and see the world," you could say, "I was draw to the Peace Corps because of its many leadership opportunities. I now feel much more comfortable taking on projects where I may not have all the answers or where we may have to pivot quickly." The goal is to help the recruiter see how traveling the world benefited your career goals.
Answered by Brittany, Hiring Expert at ManpowerGroup, on Wednesday, July 19, 2017
These experiences will absolutely help your application for any corporate position, you just need to show the strengths of you and your experience and what you gained.
  • Did you manage others? 
  • Did you coordinate various initiatives? 
  • Did you schedule travel arrangements for more than just yourself? 
  • Did you collaborate with other organizations to achieve a larger goal? 
  • What did you learn from conflict that arose in any given circumstance? 
  • How did you learn to handle conflict, especially in a different culture with different social norms?
  • How did you get to flex your "adaptability" muscle? 
  • How did you grow your learnability - the desire and ability to quickly grow and adapt one's skill set to remain employable throughout their working life? 

By answering these questions, you will be able to better show how valuable your experience was and that will translate into you being an tremendous asset for the company.

Best of luck!!
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