Including Volunteer Work in Your Résumé

A reader writes…

If I volunteer in the community, should I include that in my résumé?

Dear, “Volunteer,”

Hands down, no question about it, you should DEFINITELY include volunteer work in your résumé. In fact, sometimes the skills, experience, and responsibilities associated with your work as a volunteer will be more relevant than that of your previous jobs.  Just because you were not paid to do something does not make it any less relevant or credible.

For those of you who are just starting your job search and do not have an employment history, you will want to list your volunteer work under the category “Work Experience.”  For others, you may want to include a separate section called “Community Service” (or something similar). You should probably present your Community Service as secondary in importance to your Work Experience, in this case.

The key is to present the information in such a way that it documents and supports your career goal. In other words, you want to feature the skills and experience (whether paid or unpaid) that make you unique – and that ultimately emphasize to employers why YOU should be selected for the position.

My friends at Monster.com posted a detailed article on “How to Leverage Volunteer Work on Your Resume.”  It includes several pointers that I think you’ll find interesting and helpful!

Anita

8 Comments (+add yours?)

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    May 26, 2014 @ 13:47:27

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    Mar 13, 2013 @ 03:25:18

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  6. m.capriola
    Jun 13, 2011 @ 06:49:05

    I’ve seen applications that ask the applicant to list any volunteer work performed.
    Some employers like to see a prospective employee who is active in the community and who takes on additional responsibilities.

    Reply

    • BJ
      Jun 25, 2011 @ 14:17:34

      I read that on the “Monster” web site. If you are unemployed, do volunteer work. It looks great on your resume! Future employers see that you are working, (not being a slacker) and still being active. Another great point is, that it gets you foot in the door. Chances are you will hear of a job posting where you are voluntering, before the masses. Or, due to interacting with other people where you are voluntering, will hear of a job posting. Always put your best foot forward, in your volunter job! Who knows, they might be your next paying boss/job!

      Reply

  7. amita
    Jun 07, 2011 @ 13:52:17

    Heloo! This is Juan CArlos Gomez, I’m working on clearing a traffic violation and I’m planning to pay it with some community hours can I do em here with you?

    Reply

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Anita Clew's blog posts are intended for general guidance and should never be taken as legal advice. In all instances where harassment, inequity, or unfair treatment is believed to be present, please consult your HR Department or legal representation.
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