Elevate Your Resume – Don’t Forget to Include Your Volunteer Work!

In today’s competitive job market, a well-crafted resume can be the key to unlocking incredible opportunities. For the experienced professional, integrating volunteer work into your resume can set you apart from the crowd and demonstrate valuable skills and character traits to potential employers. For those just entering the workforce and looking for experience, listing your volunteer involvement shows how you have developed your skill set beyond traditional employment and presents a more accurate representation of your full abilities.

Why Highlight Your Volunteer Work?

Volunteering is not just about giving back; it is a rich source of skills and knowledge relevant to various job roles. Whether you have volunteered at a local charity, served on a planning committee, or contributed to community events, these experiences can add depth and credibility to your resume.

How to Showcase Volunteer Work

You can describe volunteer roles as you would your professional experiences. Include the organization’s name, your position, responsibilities, and the duration of your involvement. Highlight your achievements and quantify results where possible. For instance, if you raised funds, specify the amount.

Be sure to highlight gained transferrable skills. For example, volunteering often involves teamwork, leadership, problem-solving, and communication – valuable skills in any workplace.

As you would with any professional role, tailor your volunteer experience to align with the job you are applying for. Focus on the most relevant aspects. If you have extensive volunteer work, prioritize those that are most applicable to the job you are pursuing.

Things to Keep in Mind

Make sure your volunteer experience flows within your resume. Maintain consistency in formatting to match the rest of your resume for a professional look.

If you have any employment gaps, volunteering can fill those spaces, showcasing your proactive approach during periods of unemployment.

Most importantly, be honest.  As you would be with your traditional work roles, be truthful about your skills gained through volunteering. Employers appreciate authenticity.

Volunteer work is a treasure trove of skills, experiences, and personal growth. Integrating it into your resume effectively can present a holistic view of your capabilities and commitment. It’s not just about giving back—it’s about leveraging your capabilities to propel your career forward. It tells the story of who you are and what you will bring to any new position.