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How To Include Volunteer Work On Resume

Doctors Nurses And Other Certified Medical Specialists:

Volunteer Experience – Why and how to Include it on your resume

If you work in the medical field, you might already know about the various needs that many people face in terms of healthcare. There are many places that are in need of quality medical attention.

One great way that you can volunteer as a medical professional is lending your expertise and knowledge to society by engaging in free community service for a few hours for free. Places where you can do community services include:

  • Your own hospital where you work and have privileges
  • Volunteering in a non-profit organization or a medical charity.
  • A local health clinic or dispensary
  • A scout group or a helper association

Why Should You List Volunteer Experience On Your Resume

Its as valuable as paid work. About 41 % of hiring managers consider volunteer work as valuable as paid work when evaluating candidates, . About 20 % of hiring managers in the U.S. hired a candidate based on their volunteer experience.

It speaks volumes about your character. In addition to skills particular to every position, volunteer experience always shows an employer that youre willing to get involved in your community, take initiative, and make things happen. Volunteering shows qualities that are highly sought after in every industry. It would be a terrible mistake to pass on such opportunity.

How To Include Volunteer Experience On Your Resume

Is it acceptable to include volunteer work on your resume when you’re applying for jobs? Adding volunteering to your resume can help you get hiredespecially when you don’t have a lot of paid work experience to include.

Volunteer work can be an excellent way to showcase key skills such as event planning, fundraising, or problem-solving and can be integrated with your other paid work experiences or listed separately.

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Examples Of Volunteer Work You Should And Should Not Include

When you’re putting together your resume, volunteer work you might consider listing could include:

  • Leadership roles, whether of an entire organization or an active committee.
  • Any experience that’s relevant to the job you want. For instance, if you are applying for a graphic designer position and you designed your daughter’s elementary school yearbook, that is probably worth including.
  • Service to organizations that share the same mission as your prospective employer, i.e. the companies you’re targeting in your job hunt.

Don’t think this means you need to add every single role you’ve held. The danger in putting anything on your resume, including volunteer work, is that an interviewer just might ask you about it. So you might consider keeping off your resume any volunteer positions such as:

  • Work that involved little effort on your part, such as a one-time walk to raise money for cancer research.
  • A supporting role, such as stuffing envelopes at a fundraising event.
  • That involved controversial or sensitive organizations. Think about the subjects that are borderline in polite conversation: politics, sex, and religion.

Volunteer Work On Resume Sample

10+ Work Resume Templates

Here is an example of a resume that includes both related and unrelated volunteer work.

Michael JohnsonLas Vegas, Nevada 456-7891

A conscientious and skilled public servant with experience providing quality patient care.

SkillsKey nursing skills include: Advanced Cardiac Life Support systems Acute Care Case management Advanced knowledge of medication administration Compassionate Critical thinker Organized Responsive

Professional ExperienceJohnson Medical Center, Nurse Practitioner

  • Worked directly with patients to provide advanced services
  • Handled multiple patient loads

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What Not To State On Your Resume

Job seekers are advised to state if the volunteer experience was for a political, religious or any other organization that is regarded as polarizing. This is to avoid discrimination in case the hiring manager has opposing views.

Although discrimination on such a basis is prohibited under the law, reports about the act still abound. A divided opinion exists on this issue. Some argue that volunteering shows your political or religious affiliation and should not be hidden.

Including your volunteer work on your resume is a way for prospective employers to get a peek into your personality and strengths.

Ensure the experiences included demonstrate character, leadership skill, and teamwork. Bring your volunteer experiences to life on your resume. Use active verbs and be specific about your roles and notable achievements.

Benefits Of Listing Volunteer Work On Your Resume

Here are the benefits of having volunteer work on your resume:

  • Listing volunteer work on a resume is beneficial when applying for jobs from employers who value volunteer work
  • You can use volunteer work to provide information regarding gaps in your work history due to pursuing volunteer work
  • Volunteer work can help you gain an advantage, especially when there is little professional experience, especially for recent graduates and high school graduates
  • Doing volunteer work requires skills known by hiring managers and can put you ahead of the other resumes

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Tips For Listing Volunteer Work On Resume

Resumes play an essential role in convincing employers you are the right candidate for a job position. The resume includes information about your career experience, education and skillset. A great section to add to your resume is a volunteer work section which should advance you in the hiring process, regardless of whether you have professional experience or not. In this article, we discuss the importance of listing volunteer work on your resume and how to highlight this experience in your job search.

How To Add Volunteer Work On Resume

How to List Volunteer Experience on a Resume

Adding volunteer work to your resume can increase the likelihood of an employer believing you are a good fit for a position. Regardless of the nature of the role you are applying for, listing your volunteer background can highlight important skills and a willingness to get involved in the local community. Working as a volunteer is a valuable resume addition, but it needs to be outlined effectively. In this article, we discuss what volunteer work is and how you should include it in your resume.

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When Your Volunteer Work Gives Away More Personal Information Than You Want To Share

You might be surprised about how much personal information can be inferred from your volunteer work.

If you volunteer at your child’s school, and you include that experience on your resume, the employer may assume you are a parent with young children. If you volunteer at your church, and you include that information on your resume, the employer will know your religious affiliation.

Is it a bad idea to include information on a resume that lets an employer infer information about your family situation, or religious affiliation, or other personal information?


But not always.

You need to be aware of what you’re telling an employer when you include certain volunteer information on your resume. Make an informed, strategic decision about whether you want to share that information with a potential employer or not.

Some job seekers completely avoid including on a resume any information that might open them up to employment discrimination.

Governments may have regulating agencies and laws in place to try to prevent discrimination – there’s the Equal Opportunity Commission in the United States, and the Human Rights Act in Canada – but that doesn’t mean discrimination doesn’t happen.

Some job seekers simply want to limit the possibility of opening themselves up to discrimination as much as possible, so they omit certain information on their resumes.

Sometimes more “personal” volunteer work is actually professional.

How To Put Church Volunteer Work On Resume When Its Major

Some people take their volunteer work as worthless. But this is a totally wrong approach.

A Deloitte study found that 82% of the hiring managers prefer candidates who have a resume with volunteer experience. Are you surprised?

Mentioning every type of volunteer work in your curriculum vitae is a way to add value to it.

However, there are some factors which you need to consider before mentioning them. I am sure that you have never thought about properly writing your volunteer work.

The most important factor is to consider the level of your volunteer work. This doesnt mean that any volunteering job of a church has a significant value.

Suppose you have done cleaning of a church for volunteer purposes. That, of course, will not impress a hiring manager.

However, if you have organized an event in a church, the success of that occasion shows your leadership abilities, which in result, dictates your skills.

For better understanding, volunteer work is like any other work. But you do this totally free. Its not a concern of an employer that you dont earn a penny.

What really matters to them is that you may have learned skills that could help their company prosper.

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Optional Sections And Resume Formats

You can also include optional sections like volunteer work, awards and achievements, and interests and hobbies. There are a few different resume formats you have to choose from depending on your background:

  • If you have extensive professional experience, this section should always come first in a chronological resume format.
  • If you have gaps in your professional history or do not have any work experience, consider expanding your skills section and placing it under your name and contact information in a functional resume format.
  • If you have a few years of professional experience and relevant skills, the combination resume format might be right for you.

Listing Other Volunteer Experience On Resume

10+ Volunteer Resume Templates

If the volunteer work is unrelated to your job, it is best to create a separate volunteer section on resume for volunteer work or community involvement below your Employment History section. Even if your position is not closely related to your industry or the skills needed for the type of position you are seeking, it still shows you are a well-rounded person with varying interestsand a dedication to community involvement.

What are some good volunteer ideas? Choose the jobs you list carefully to take advantage of your limited space since you will have an extra section on your resume. There is no need to list jobs from more than ten years ago unless they are directly related to the job you are applying for now.

Can I lie about volunteer work on resume? Can you fake volunteer hours? No. Never lie about anything during your job search. Apart from it simply being dishonest, you never quite know who has certain connections. If person reading your resume at a potential employer knows someone at the place where you “volunteered,” kiss goodbye to any chance of you getting the job. Lying about your work experience can get you the sack at a later date and lying about volunteer experience is equally morally wrong. I feel a little silly even mentioning it. Of course, you wouldn’t do this.

This kind of implementation could look something like the one below.

Volunteer, Children’s Art Counsel, Rhinebeck, NY, March 2012 to Present

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Include Keywords From The Job Posting

Carefully read each job posting for which you intend to apply. Identify keywords used in the job posting, especially those under the qualifications and required skills and experiences sections. Understanding the employers ideal candidate can help you when deciding whether to include a volunteer work section and how you should position it.

For example, if the employer expresses interest in candidates with strong organizational skills, you might take a moment to consider specific times during volunteer work you successfully executed this quality. You should also use this information when writing your skills and professional experience sections.

Permit The Volunteer Job On Your Resume Addresses Itself:

To be precise, let your resume speaks for itself. The companies who find the patch up to be applicable will ask you about it during the interview. But a few companies or HR managers wont consider that mode about any amateur work to be considered pretty much.

In those cases, its preeminent to stay hushed and let the resume speaks when they will come across it. Never advertise your volunteer jobs initiating by your own, instead summarize all your works or tasks performed in a very nice way.

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How Do You List Volunteer Experience On A Resume

Write out your volunteer experience as you would any other position on your resume by including a blurb that describes your role within the organization and then calling attention to your main contributions and relevant achievements in a bulleted list.

If necessary, you can get a little creative when it comes to selecting a Job Title for your volunteer experience. Select something that reflects your responsibilities, while incorporating terms that prospective employers will be sure to understand. This is especially useful if your organization doesn’t have an official title for the work you’ve taken on for the group. In the spirit of transparency, I recommend adding the term Volunteer at the end of whatever job title you decide to use.

Leverage Volunteer Work On Your Resume

Should You Put Volunteer Work on a Resume?

You may have altruistic reasons for volunteering, but giving your time has career-enhancing power, too.

“Volunteer work, whether in addition to a current job or an activity in between jobs, shows an employer that you are willing to try new experiences, be involved in your community and generally demonstrates a willingness to take initiative and make things happen,” says Kara Montermoso, content manager at, a site that connects people and nonprofit organizations.

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So how do you leverage these positive traits on your resume? The best way to format your volunteer work depends on your career level and track. Follow these tips:

New Grads

Entry-level workers with minimal or no work experience should emphasize their volunteer work — even make volunteerism a central part of the resume.

“Many recent college grads do not have that much work experience, so highlighting — in a skills-oriented way — their volunteer experiences is a great way to go,” Montermoso says. “They can highlight communication, leadership and planning skills while showing that they are adaptable and self-motivated.

Career Changers and Workers Reentering the Workforce

Those on a Steady Career Track

Too Much Information?

Target the Employer

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Only Include Volunteer Work When It’s Helpful

Are you making a career change? Or is this section going to be useful to the HR representative who reads it?

It’s important to understand which objective we’re trying to meet.

If the objective is to stand out, it could be a better option to focus on these sections instead:

  • Career objective.
  • Career achievements/career success.

Choose The Right Resume Format

Listing any volunteering work on a resume can certainly lead to more interviews. Make sure that you’re using the correct resume format for your application.

Most job seekers will use a chronological resume. Rather than a functional resume.

Both resume formats allow you to list volunteering work using the formats provided above.

Make sure you’re using the correct resume format for the type of job you’re applying for.

Pro tip: Not sure what to do? Consult a resume expert, resume writing service, or a mentor to help determine what should go on your resume and what shouldn’t.

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Volunteer Work On Resume In Your Professional Experience Section

The resume experts at Hiration believe that the only reason why you must include your volunteer work in your professional experience section is:

  • If it is extremely relevant to your target profile
  • If there are gaps in your professional trajectory
  • If you have minimal professional experience

In our opinion, you have to be extremely cautious when you are including your volunteer experience in this format.

Let’s say you are a freelance marketer who took a break for 2 months, and in that time, you rendered your services at the local animal shelter.

Will you put it in a separate Volunteer Section on resume or will it go in your Professional Experience section?

Depends. On how you frame it.

Hiration Protip: If you are phrasing your volunteer experience on resume as professional experience, you can name it along those lines.Example: “Financing Experience,” or “Accounting Experience.”

If you write

Volunteered at the local animal shelter for 2 months and helped them with their marketing initiatives

You might as well not include it altogether. At best, you can include something like this in a separate volunteer section on resume, but if you are including it in your Professional Experience section, you are doomed.

However, if you include something along the lines of:

Independent Marketing Consultant for Pups4Ever, a local animal shelter

Now this, this changes things.

Can I Get A Job After Volunteering

How to Include Volunteer Experience on Resume: Examples ...

SEEK research found that 95% of employers agreed that volunteering can be a credible way of gaining real-work experience to add to your resume. In fact, as long as the volunteering work is relevant to the role or industry you want to work in, 85% of hirers believe that its just as credible as paid work.

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A Separate Volunteer Section On Resume

In what all instances would you require a separate Volunteer section on resume?

In our experience, you need a separate Volunteering section on your resume if

  • It’s not related to your preferred profile
  • You have a decent amount of professional experience
  • There are no gaps in your professional trajectory

Hiration Protip: Even if it has been a long time since you last volunteered, include that in your resume. While most jobseekers refrain from showcasing their volunteer experience on resume, recruiters actually prefer that.

Add Volunteering In The Summary And Skills Sections

Your summary or personal statement is a perfect place to explain your volunteering experience and how it has helped prepare you for your next challenge. Try to do it in one sentence since your space here is limited to about 100 words.

Dont neglect the volunteer experience on your resume in your Skills Section, either, especially if they are rare or higher-level skills that give you an advantage over other candidates. Make sure you personalize these sections for each application and use resume keywordsand phrases that you take from the job listing. Below is an example of volunteering on resume that has seamlessly combined work and volunteer experiences.

How do I show proof of volunteer work?How do I write a volunteer verification letter? Sometimes, future employers might ask for proof of the volunteer experience on resume. As you may not have had a formal contract of employment, it is often a good idea to ask for a volunteer verification letter or community service letter from where you volunteered. You may not have considered this important at the time, but it is perfectly acceptable to contact a place where you used to volunteer and ask them for a confirmation for the purposes of your job search. You can write a volunteer letter yourself and ask them to sign it if you need to save time.

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