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When and How to List Volunteer Work on a Resume

When and How to List Volunteer Work on a Resume

When and How to List Volunteer Work on a Resume :Are you getting ready to graduate from college and start your job search? Maybe you’ve decided that it’s time to make a career change because you’re no longer happy in your current role. No matter what your situation, if you are currently job seeking, you will need a tailored resume to help you land your next job. But sometimes it can be difficult to determine exactly what you should include in your resume and how to stand out from the crowd. For example, should you discuss past and current volunteer work on a resume? If so, how? Here are some tips and guidelines to help you determine if you should include your volunteer experience on your resume.

When and How to List Volunteer Work on a Resume
When and How to List Volunteer Work on a Resume

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Pros of Listing Volunteer Work

When and How to List Volunteer Work on a Resume :Listing volunteer work on a resume can be a great addition. It can help showcase your soft skills, your interests and how qualified you are for a job position even if you don’t have extensive work experience. This is especially helpful if you are a recent grad or making a career change. This is also important if you work in an industry where volunteer work is encouraged, such as health care, academia or nonprofits. If you have been laid off, including any volunteer work can show a hiring manager that you are staying active and using your time productively while job searching.

The Step-by-Step Guide to Career Success

When You Shouldn’t List Volunteer Work

When and How to List Volunteer Work on a Resume :If you are a mid-career professional and already have a lot of relevant work experience, you can be more strategic with your resume. If your work experience already showcases your skills sufficiently and your other resume sections are robust, it may not be worthwhile to eliminate one of your other work experiences or accomplishments to include volunteer work. Also, consider how long ago you volunteered. If you haven’t volunteered for many years, it may not be worthwhile to include your volunteer experience on a resume.

How to List Volunteer Work on Resume

When and How to List Volunteer Work on a Resume :When you consider putting volunteer work on a resume, first you want to determine what kind of volunteer work you have done. If asked to explain your volunteer work, would you be able to talk about it as if it had been a previous job position? Will it showcase skills that are relevant to the job position you are applying for?

When and How to List Volunteer Work on a Resume :If your volunteer work is relevant to the job position, you may want to include it under the professional or work experience sections on your resume. Use the same formatting as your other work experience and highlight any measurable accomplishments, just as you would a regular job position.

Avoid the common mistake of listing your volunteer experience on a resume in the following:

When and How to List Volunteer Work on a Resume :Volunteer Doctor: Doctors Without Borders

Instead, list your relevant volunteer work experience as you would a regular job:

Community Service Organization: 2015-2020

When and How to List Volunteer Work on a Resume :Led marketing and communications efforts with Community Service Organization, which brings together community members, city government leaders, business professionals and nonprofit organizations in Atlanta.

If your volunteer work isn’t relevant to the job position but highlights your dedication to your community or shows what is important to you outside of work, you can include it on your resume under an additional information section or even consider adding a section exclusively for volunteer work.

AWARDS / DISTINCTIONS, VOLUNTEER WORK, ASSOCIATIONS

When and How to List Volunteer Work on a Resume :Translators Without Borders: 2010-present

Actively using Spanish language skills to assist in the translation of 20 medical documents monthly to serve those who otherwise can’t afford this costly service.

When and How to List Volunteer Work on a Resume :If you are a recent grad and don’t have a lot of work experience, you may especially want to highlight your volunteer experience on a resume. You could list any internships, leadership positions in a student organization and mentoring programs where you served others. Again, try to measure accomplishments in those roles, not just the tasks you performed.

University of Georgia Agricultural Club: 2019-2021

When and How to List Volunteer Work on a Resume :Assisted in planning in-person and virtual events for the benefit of the local agricultural community. Efforts resulted in more efficient practices and a 15% increase in donations.

If you are changing careers and don’t have a lot of work experience that highlights your transferable skills, you can consider adding a volunteer work section near the top of the page. This will ensure that the hiring manager doesn’t miss that section and understands that you are qualified for the position based on the volunteer work you have done.

VOLUNTEER WORK EXPERIENCE

Volunteer Organization Name, 2018-2022

Created marketing program for Volunteer Organization Name by obtaining $60k+ grant funding and engaging volunteers.

Remember When and How to List Volunteer Work on a Resume

When and How to List Volunteer Work on a Resume :It’s important to tailor your resume to each job opening. This means you shouldn’t submit a standard resume to each job listing. You may find that it makes sense to include your volunteer work for one job position, but it doesn’t make sense to include it for another. For example, some organizations may have a company culture of giving back to the community; you can highlight that you fit in with that culture by including your volunteer work. Keep a master copy of your resume with all of your work and volunteer work experience. Then, you can personalize it to each individual job posting.

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