Résumé Creator : Volunteer Work Tips

  • When you include volunteer work, you might want to put very relevant volunteer experience that directly demonstrates skills related to the job to which you are apply in the “experience” category. Here, you can give it a descriptive heading, for example, “Fundraising Experience.”
  • In this section, you might choose to include more loosely related volunteer work, as many employers like to see résumé that show that the applicant is invested in and contributes to the community.
  • No matter which heading you include volunteer work under, many of the same rules as the experience category apply--begin with your most recent (and only the relevant) experiences and continue backwards chronologically and write a bullet-pointed job description that draws attention to the skills and accomplishments that could be applied to the new job.
  • If you are young and have not had much work experience, make volunteer work a focal point of your résumé. Highlighting the skills that you developed from volunteerism is an effective way to show that you are a hardworking and self-motivated candidate. (Though, in this case it might be useful to include volunteer work in the experience category and treat is as you would a job description.)
  • If you are just including volunteer work to supplement a strong, long list of work experience, do not list too many things in this section. Try to include only the most very recent, relevant volunteer opportunities--simply the organization name, your position and the date might suffice.
  • Be specific, descriptive and quantitative about about your role and accomplishments. If you raised a certain amount of money, include that; if you learned skills such as public speaking, newsletter writing or  project planning, include those as well.
  • Try to think of a creative title for your position as a volunteer. Descriptive titles like “Coordination Director” or “Fundraising Chair” will seem much more impressive than simply “volunteer.” If you cannot think of a descriptive title on your own, ask your volunteer supervisor or someone who has been volunteering a long time if they have any ideas.