How to List Volunteer Experience On a Resume

How to List Volunteer Experience On a Resume

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What is a Resume Volunteer Experience Section?

The volunteer experience section of a resume includes any unpaid work you’ve done that could be relevant to your application.  In addition to being an effective way to showcase your professional skills, it also shows that you are a purpose-driven person. The studies speak for themselves - volunteering can open a new 

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What is a Resume Volunteer Experience Section?

path to employment. You can list volunteer experience either under the work experience section or as a separate section entirely. Below, we’re going to explain how, exactly, you can do both.

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When 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.

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When to Include Volunteer Experience in Your Resume?

– You are applying for an NGO, non-profit, or charity organization.

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When to Include Volunteer Experience in Your Resume?

DON’T include volunteer experience in your resume if: – The volunteer work is outdated.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 

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When to Include Volunteer Experience in Your Resume?

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 shouldn’t squeeze in volunteer experience if it means cutting out more important sections from your resume.

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How to Include Volunteer Experience In Your Resume

Now that we went over the whens, let’s 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.

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How to Include Volunteer Experience In Your Resume

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. Now, when your volunteering experience isn’t specifically related to the job you’re applying for, you’re better off creating a separate volunteer 

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How to Include Volunteer Experience In Your Resume

experience section and formatting it just like the work experience section: – Volunteering Position – Organization You Volunteered For – Dates – Responsibilities & Achievements

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How to Get Your Volunteer Experience Section Right

Tip #1: Follow the Format. As we mentioned before, there is a pretty straightforward format one can follow to list volunteering experiences. Here’s what it looks like: – Your position and/or title – Company/Organization name – Dates – Location – Achievements/Responsibilities – Volunteering timeframe

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How to Get Your Volunteer Experience Section Right

Tip #2: List Achievements Over Responsibilities. When possible, you want to focus more on achievements as opposed to responsibilities in your resume (and this applies to volunteer experience, too). Here’s what we mean by that: Let’s assume that you have volunteer experience as a research assistant. The responsibilities are pretty 

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How to Get Your Volunteer Experience Section Right

obvious - i.e. compiling and distributing questionnaires, collecting and analyzing relevant data, doing statistical and analytical work, etc. The HR knows all this - they’re reviewed hundreds of similar resumes, all of which mention the same responsibilities. If you, however, focus on showing how you concretely contributed to the research,

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How to Get Your Volunteer Experience Section Right

by say, pointing out that 50% of the data analyzed by you was used to advance it, you’d have told the recruiter something completely new and compelling that makes you stand out. Focusing on your achievements, when relevant, is your best chance at giving your resume the upper hand.

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How to Get Your Volunteer Experience Section Right

Tip #3: Keep It Relevant Only mention your volunteering experience if they’re recent and relevant. For example, if you volunteered 5 years back, and since then you have worked several professional roles in your field, you don’t need to go back in time and mention that volunteering experience (even if it was an amazing learning experience).

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How to Get Your Volunteer Experience Section Right

In such a case, your volunteering experience is neither recent (it happened 5 years ago), nor relevant (you probably learned a lot more from your recent positions).

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