Should I Put Volunteer Work on My Resume?

Should I Put Volunteer Work on My Resume?

Volunteer work is a great way to get involved and help make your community a better place.  It might also help land you your next job.  Many people don’t think to put volunteer work on their resume because it’s not a “regular” paying job.   When writing your resume, include any skills or experience that will help demonstrate that you are the right match for the job.  Take advantage of volunteer work by doing the following:

  • Integrate volunteer experience into the rest of your job history rather than putting it in a separate section.
  • Be specific about your role.  If you helped coordinate a project, use a title of project coordinator rather than volunteer
  • Describe achievements and accomplishments.  Were you able to raise a large sum of money?  Complete a set of goals on schedule?  These are items that will impress an employer and should be listed
  • List the skills you have gained or improved on during this time such as public speaking, newsletter writing, project planning, and training of others
  • Don’t hide the fact that this is volunteer information, but focus on what you have learned and accomplishments achieved.
  • Highlight work that is relevant to the position you are seeking.  If it doesn’t relate to the position, think about the skills you utilized or processes involved and see if you can relate those. For example, a playground volunteer applying for work in the medical field could highlight handling of injuries on the playground.  A volunteer at a food bank applying for work in finance could highlight quantitative or organizational skills.

In fact, consider targeting volunteer work that has a direct connection to your expertise and job target. That way your volunteer experience is more likely to be applicable to jobs for which you are applying.

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