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There are clear signs that the United States is experiencing a burgeoning economic recovery, as job creation soared and unemployment tumbled to a rate of just 8.3% at the turn of 2012. With the jobless rate now at its lowest point since February 2009, the economy is growing at a far faster pace than was expected, and creating an increasing number of opportunities for job seekers to forge new career paths. With the job market still extremely competitive however, and a number of well qualified candidates keen to secure work, those seeking employment must consider developing and showcasing their non-academic skills in order to gain a crucial advantage.
While the for-profit sector has endured fluctuating fortunes since the turn of the century, nonprofit organizations and ventures have remained a consistent source of employment opportunities. In fact, in the decade between 2000 and 2010, the nonprofit sector added jobs at a faster and more sustainable rate than commercially driven companies. During this time, nonprofits increased their levels of employment by a healthy 2.1%, while their for-profit counterparts saw a corresponding decrease of 0.6%.
Given that the nonprofit sector has more diverse sources of funding and is therefore less susceptible to the effects of a struggling economy, job seekers are afforded the opportunity to find work while experiencing enforced breaks in their career. Undertaking a voluntary role also adds additional skills and experience to your resume, while giving employers the impression that you are someone who is able to display initiative and seek out less obvious opportunities for advancement. In a competitive job market, this can only have a positive impact on your long-term job search.
The nature of the employment market has evolved significantly in the last decade, with companies looking to outsource an increasing number of job roles. Last year's figures suggest that this trend is likely to...