If you don't have a job and you want one, volunteering can increase your chances of getting an offer by as much as 27 percent. That's according to Wendy Spencer, the CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps and other service programs. Spencer was the keynote speaker Tuesday at a National Journal and Atlantic town-hall event on millennials in Austin, Texas, underwritten by Microsoft.
Service can be an incubator for millennials (the population born between 1980 and 2000), many of whom are turning to entrepreneurship in the face of a competitive postrecession economy. During a year with AmeriCorps, "you get leadership skills, manage budgets, fundraise," said Spencer. "You learn how to compromise, how to negotiate, how to build consensus."
Couple those skills with the opportunity to see how organizations and businesses operate and sustain themselves, and millennials who volunteer are primed for successful careers, Spencer said. She sees AmeriCorps alums working around the country at nonprofits, in public service, or at private companies. But millennials, a famously entrepreneurial bunch, can also use those skills to start their own businesses.