When you write a resume, you’re doing it to show your potential employer why you’re perfect for the role.
Stress no more, we’ve got all the answers you’re looking for.
Check out these tips and examples we’ve put together so you can be confident listing your amazing volunteer work, and even learn why it’s a really valuable addition to your document.
If you’ve worked or given your time for free, then it’s volunteer experience that you can include on your resume.
Maybe you’ve organised a local blood drive or offered support services at a local homeless shelter, or you’ve done pro bono work in your professional capacity, or completed internships in international volunteer programs.
It all counts, and the more altruistic the cause, the better it’s going to look on your resume volunteer experience.
You can even use volunteer experience to show your achievements that match the job you’re applying for.
So you can see the diverse range of activities that count as volunteer experience, check out this list of examples:
Get ahead of the game and prepare your resume in minutes. Find a template and fill in your details; it’s that simple. We’ve got plenty of resume templates that are good-to-go to get your professional resume whipped into shape in short order.
You might be wondering, do you need volunteer experience on a resume?
To start with…
Including your volunteer experience could mean the difference between you or the next candidate landing the job
No matter how much high-level, professional experience you’ve got under your belt, voluntary work is always a great addition to your story. These activities can allow your personality and ethics to shine through.
If you need more convincing, here are more reasons why your volunteer positions belong on your resume:
Think of it like this…
When you add your volunteer work to your resume, future employers can get a more rounded picture of you, what you’re really interested in and what you’re able to do, as well as see you’re willing to work hard even without having prior professional experience.
As well as showing you’re engaged in your community and the world around you, there are piles of other benefits associated with being a volunteer. You can make your soft skills shine, like leadership, compassion, motivation, teamwork, and plenty more besides.
Pro-TipIf you’re looking to establish a career in academia or in the nonprofit sector, volunteer roles will really demonstrate your commitment and are highly valued in these areas.
Now you know why you should be writing about your volunteer experience, now it’s time to understand how to display volunteer experience on a resume. Here’s what you need to know…
There’s 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.
Pro-TipThe vast majority of the time, the right place for your volunteer experience is under your “Professional Experience” section. This works great to cover gaps in employment or if you want to pull attention away from your current job role.
Your volunteer experience should be written just like any other entry on your resume, that is with a couple of sentences explaining what you did or do at the organization and pulling out the main contributions you’ve made and big achievements in a list of bullet points.
The format for your volunteer work will look just like how you’ve structured things for your previous jobs. It’s important to note your role as “volunteer” and also include any position titles like being a coordinator or leader.
Be sure to show the skills that you’ve earned and honed during your volunteering and make sure you tell recruiters how you’ve developed in your role.
Look at the job description and the skills they’re looking for. Organized a city event and the role is looking for you to coordinate across departments? Let them know you’ve got the experience they want!
You can think outside the box a little when you’re assigning a job title to the voluntary work that you’ve done. Make sure that you show off the work that you did whilst also omitting jargon - keep it clear for recruiters.
Maybe you showed visitors around your local wetland conservation area and you’re applying for a role in hospitality, “Volunteer Tour Guide” shows your skills and relates to the industry.
Pro-TipWhen you’ve volunteered far outside the industry you work in or want to move over to, you can add a Volunteer Work section at the end of your resume if you still think your volunteering is going to differentiate you from everyone else or give a more rounded picture to hiring managers.
When you’re writing up your volunteer section, keep these things in mind:
Pro-TipAs well as learning about your volunteer experience on a resume, you should also learn how to format other parts of your resume. Here’s an interesting article about adding your hobby and interests to your resume.
Transferable skills are really easy to show off when you add your volunteering experience to your resume. It’s also a great conversation starter when you land the interview, too; you can really get into what value you can add and how driven you are.
Now you should be well versed in how to write volunteer experience on a resume and know exactly what section to put volunteer experience on a resume.
To keep things fresh in your mind, let’s cover the key takeaways one more time…
Take full advantage of this chance to really make a great impression and put yourself head and shoulders above everyone else on the shortlist.
Use one of our ready-to-use resume templates to get your perfect resume done in a minute!