How To Put Volunteer Work On A Resume
The whole idea of altering your resume in different ways is to please potential employers. When it comes to volunteering work, it bodes well to write detailed bullet points in order to impress a hiring manager/recruiter. Check the following volunteer resume samples:The wrong way:
- An administrative assistant at St. Hugo of the Hills Parish.
- Volunteer at Rescue Earth.
- Volunteer at Red Cross.
The proper way:
- Volunteer administrative assistant at St. Hugo of the Hills Parish. Supervised and taught 14 volunteers to help serve lunch at the Baldwin Soup Kitchen in Pontiac.
- As a volunteer at Rescue Earth, I led 10 workers to implement a zero-waste initiative.
- Planned and launched three blood donation campaigns at Red Cross.
If you have gathered experience with professional solutions, you can add a separate list for the various products, tools, and type of systems used. Know-how with companies like Nextiva could provide evidence of corporate-grade skills and serve as proof to set you apart from any other candidate.
Where To Place Volunteer Resume Work When Applying For Paid Positions
Are you wondering where to place volunteer work in resume formats? The general rule is to place volunteer experience in a separate section near the bottom of your resume. Your volunteer experience should be listed below your paid work experience and education.
All volunteer work should be used to supplement your actual work history when youre applying for a paid position. You may want to go into more detail about your volunteer position if the work you did actually relates to the career field youre currently applying for jobs in. For instance, someone who has volunteered at an animal shelter should highlight that fact when applying for a job in a veterinarians office.
What Counts As Volunteer Work
Thats not all the volunteer experience in the universe. Any help for free makes good volunteer work on resumes.
Should you put community service on resumes? That term has a negative slant. Its often given as a punishment. Call it volunteer experiences on resumes instead.
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Heres a recap of how to include volunteer experience on resumes:
- Show volunteer resume items as work experience if they show multiple achievements. Also if they prove skills shown in the job ad.
- Put volunteer work on resumes in a volunteer section if its minor but youve got a lot. That isif it doesnt prove multiple skills shown in the job ad.
- Put resume volunteer experience in an activities section if its minor and theres little of it.
- When listing community service on resumes, call it a volunteer position instead. That dodges the dodgy criminal connotation.
Still not sure how to put volunteer work on resumes? Need more tips for showing volunteer experience on resumes? Leave a comment. Were happy to reply!
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Your Resume Is Your Story
Altogether, your resume is your story. It should weave together a cohesive and compelling overview of your history, experience, skills, and ambition without leaving room for your audience to guess as to where you might excel in their organization.
Regardless of whether you picked up your “expertise” volunteering or working, the same essential resume principles apply.
Regardless of whether you picked up your expertise volunteering, interning, working, or studying, the same essential principles apply to ensuring that you stand out in the application pool. This comes down to intelligently angling yourself so you come across as a professional who knows what direct value they bring to the table.
How To Include Volunteer Experience In Your Resume
Now that we went over the whens, lets go over the most important part – how to include volunteer experience in your resume in a way that highlights your skills and emphasizes your achievements.
As we mentioned before, volunteer experience can be a section of its own or can count as work experience in some specific cases.
DO include it as part of the work experience section if:
- The experience is super relevant to the job you are applying for.
- You have otherwise little paid experience.
For example, lets say youre applying for a job in Journalism, but youve never worked as a professional in the field. However, you have plenty of journalism experience from years of volunteering at your universitys newspaper.
Heres what this would look like in your resume:
Reading Owl Daily
2017 – 2019
- Volunteering experience as Reporter for the Universitys daily newspaper. Covered the News section, as well as handled copy editing.
- Kept track of the newspapers online presence and updated its WordPress site daily.
- Wrote a total of 50 interviews for two years.
Now, when your volunteering experience isnt specifically related to the job youre applying for, youre better off creating a separate volunteer experience section and formatting it just like the work experience section:
- Volunteering Position
- Responsibilities & Achievements
Confused? Let us cover an example:
Heres how you could do that:
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How To Format Your Volunteer Work
Format the volunteer work section of your resume to match the way you have formatted your work experience and your education.
Here’s what I recommend:
Left justified: Title that describes what you did , the organization where you worked as a volunteer
Right justified: Dates
City, and state where you volunteered
Bulleted points describing what you did as a volunteer
Secondly Make A Selective List Of Your Volunteer Work
You shouldnt mention an excessive number of volunteer work roles on your resume. The employer likely has minimal time to review your resume. You should include volunteer work that best projects your personality and interests. You can select up to two to three of your best volunteer experiences to list on your resume. You can then create a positive impression about the volunteer work mentioned on your resume, and you can discuss them further if you are asked about them in an interview.
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Fourthly Follow A Particular Format
You may choose any format that suits your requirements. It is, however, recommended that you select a format that is generally used to mention volunteer work on resumes. An example of the format may include specifying the volunteer work category at the top. You can then add one line, with the name of the work/experience and the address where the activity occurred.
This information can be followed by one or two points elaborating your part in the activity, the results and the benefit of the experience. You may tailor a format that suits your purpose yourself. You may also add or reduce sections or points to the format mentioned above as per your requirements.
Volunteer Work Or Volunteer Experience
This heading is standard on resumes. Employers will know exactly what you mean if you organize your volunteer work under this heading.
Because this heading is a standard, expected resume heading, it’s also the best choice if you’re writing a resume that will be scanned by applicant tracking system software. ATS software will be programmed to recognize the headings “Volunteer Work” or “Volunteer Experience” and will be able to correctly parse that information.
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Make Sure To Include The Following Details
- The locations you are available to work in and whether you are willing to travel or relocate temporarily
- Special skills like your activities on social media with your YouTube channel if you are applying for a marketing Volunteer role or the fact that you are familiar with Sage accounting when you seek a Volunteer role in finance
- Your GPA score is important as well
- Remember to add your computer literacy, for example, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, VisualStudio, Adobe Photoshop, Dreamweaver MX, Flash MX, Oracle
- Any other languages you are familiar with even if it is just a basic competency will also be of interest, especially for opportunities abroad
Don’t Risk Including Too Much Information
If you’ve volunteered with organizations that would reveal information you wouldn’t want a prospective employer to know, consider leaving them off your resume. For example, if you’ve volunteered with religious or political groups, consider listing the skills you amassed rather than highlighting the affiliations of the organizations.
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When To Include Volunteer Experience In Your Resume
While having a volunteer experience section in your resume can be an asset, its not always going to be useful. Theres value in knowing when volunteering can be relevant in improving your chances to get hired and when it can be dead-weight.
Heres our cheat sheet on when to and when not to include volunteer experience in your resume.
DO include volunteer experience if:
- The company you are applying for emphasizes giving as part of its identity. Employees at VMware, for example, are given volunteer hours which they can use instead of doing standard work.
- You have recently graduated and have no work experience.
- You have extra space on your resume or an employment gap.
- You are applying for an NGO, non-profit, or charity organization.
DONT include volunteer experience in your resume if:
- The volunteer work is outdated. Volunteer work is awesome, yes, but you want it to be as time-relevant for the recruiter reviewing your application as possible. And experience from a decade ago rarely cuts it.
- You can fill up your resume with more relevant sections, such as paid work and education. As a rule of thumb, the first thing a recruiter notices in a resume is paid experience and education – volunteering experience is just a nice-to-have extra. This means you shouldnt squeeze in volunteer experience if it means cutting out more important sections from your resume.
Revise Your Resume For Each Job Application
You may need to tailor your resume to each employers required skills, traits and qualifications. Create a personalized version of your resume that works best for each job and matches each job posting by studying the job description. You should also research the company by visiting their Company Page, website and any recent press releases.
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Include Examples Of Volunteer Work In Your Professional Experience Section
If you have extensive professional experience, you should include only the three to five most recent and relevant jobs. If you have little or no professional experience, consider adding volunteer positions to your professional background section.
After youve included key work experiences and internships, list relevant volunteer experience under your professional history section. Format your volunteer work using the same structure you used for previously held jobs, but make sure you identify your role as volunteer along with any additional titles held like management or leadership positions. For example:
Food Bank of West PhiladelphiaVolunteer Shift Manager, June 2016Present
- Organize and managed food pantry operations resulting in a 10% decrease in spending
- Train volunteer base on managing the food shelves
- Create, organize and manage shift calendar for over 100 volunteers
Related: 7 Reasons to Consider Volunteering
Student Volunteer Resume Samples And Guide
Finding the inspiration to write an awesome resume can be tough. You may want to tailor it to fit a specific job description. Or maybe you’re having a hard time deciding what job experiences to include. Everything that goes into creating a perfect student volunteer resume can take hours, days, even weeks. All of that work for an employer to take a glance. Studies show that employers only spend about 5-7 seconds looking at a single resume. No pressure or anything, but that leaves you with about 6 seconds to make an impression.
Now, take a deep breath. We’re going to figure out exactly what you need on your resume as a student volunteer. Since we’ve looked over 12,990 student volunteer resumes, we’re close to being experts to knowing exactly what you need on your resume. No matter whether you’re an experienced student volunteer or an entry-level student volunteer what you want to make sure the resume captures exactly what you can bring to the table, so let’s hop to it.
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Where To List Volunteer Work On Your Resume
If a volunteer position is related to your industry and relevant to your job search, then you can certainly mix it right into your Employment History section. Whether or not you are paid for a position is not the impressive part. The substance of the position and what it entails is what remains important, whether it is a paid or volunteer position. So if you are in Business Managementor Finance, you might add a volunteer section on resume that looks something like the one below. What are examples of volunteering?
Why List Volunteer Work On Your Resume Again
Listing volunteer work on your resume can only make your job application stronger. Does volunteering increase employability? Yes, absolutely! Do employers look for volunteering experience? Quite possibly. While resume real estate is at a premium, it is important that this volunteer work complements and adds to your application and is relevant to the role in question. If it is not relevant, then you should consider not including it after all. Having said this, there are multiple benefits that can benefit any job application:
- You will be seen as a community-minded and team-oriented employee
- Volunteering on resume can be a useful distraction from gaps in your employment record.
- Volunteer experience on resume can showcase skills that are not in your employment history.
- If you want to change careers, volunteering on resume can show that you are keen on the change.
It is easy to list volunteer work on your resume when you use one of our resume templates– have a go. You might be surprised at just how easy and intuitive it is to create a powerful and inspirational resume.
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Where Does Volunteer Experience Go On A Resume
Now you know why you should be writing about your volunteer experience, now itâs time to understand how to display volunteer experience on a resume. Hereâs what you need to knowâ¦
Thereâs no hard and fast rule about where this information can go in your resume. You need to think about what your professional experience looks like and what your current career goals are, too.
- For students and those who are freshly graduated, without much work experience, treat your voluntary work the same as your paid work. You can list it all in your work experience section.
- When youâre an experienced professional with strong work history, make a separate section on your resume to cover your volunteer work. If youâve volunteered in a role that relates directly to the role you want, you can add it to your work experience section.
Pro-Tip The vast majority of the time, the right place for your volunteer experience is under your âProfessional Experienceâ section. This works great to cover gaps in employment or if you want to pull attention away from your current job role.
What Are The Best Characteristics Of A Good Resume
The look of a resume matters, a lot, but many people tend to overlook this concept. While you may think that labeling and font choices dont matter, it is not always the exact same thing for the reader. The look of a resume matters might somewhat sound rather crazy. You may also see Doctor Resume Template.
But what exactly do you intend to achieve with a resume that doesnt look good in the terms of structure? Save yourself the embarrassment of submitting a dirty resume to a potential employer. Present the document in a clean, easy-to-read format. Make sure you label each section appropriately. Lastly, if you cannot make your resume perfect, make it the best.
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Create A Separate Section At The End Of Your Resume For Unrelated Volunteer Experiences
If you have volunteer experiences that are unrelated to your industry, you might consider including a brief volunteer work section at the bottom of your resume if you feel it will set you apart from other candidates or provide helpful context for employers.
For example, if in your company research you find that the employer values hiring and supporting employees with a rich life outside of work, it might be helpful for them to learn about your contributions to a certain non-profit organization that you are passionate about. Another example might be that you started volunteering for a certain cause at a young age that eventually informed your decision to study a certain topic in college or pursue a certain career.
To do this, create a new section at the end of your resume and include your volunteer experiences. While you can format this section the same as your professional work experience section, you can also write a shortened version that takes up less space.
Here is an example of how you might write a shortened volunteer work section:
Volunteer work: ASPCA of Phoenix, Intake Manager, Jan. 2016May 2019 | Big Brothers Big Sisters, June 2017Present
Headings You Can Use For The Volunteer Work Section Of Your Resume
You can use a variety of headings for the volunteer section of your resume including:
- Volunteer Work or Volunteer Experience
- Community Involvement
- Volunteer Experience and Hobbies
- Related Experience or Relevant Experience
Let’s look at each heading in some more detail, so you will understand when you might use a specific heading, and when you should avoid using certain headings.
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