Weaving Volunteer Work in Your Resume

thGNFHGNUAOne in five employers hired a candidate because of their volunteer work.  While that doesn’t sound good, candidates need to add everything they can through Resume Writing to increase their chances of being hired.  Volunteer work is another way of making sure you’re the best candidate for the job.

Volunteer work is an excellent way to show off work done outside the office.  It can blend in with work experience nicely and show employers that you did something productive during unemployment or college.  Don’t leave it out; use it to your maximum benefit.

Volunteer work that relates to your industry profession is the easiest to integrate.  Skill-building volunteer activities attract employers to your resume.  It shows off skills related to your profession, and it should be listed as work experience.  Let them know, however, that it’s volunteer work.  Try a functional heading similar to “Office Experience” or “Medical Experience.”  List the job title (add the word “volunteer” in it) and the charity name.  Then list it the same way you would write work experience on a resume.  Be honest and straightforward.  Really explain how the volunteer job relates to the open position without taking up half the page to do so.

Volunteer work that doesn’t relate to the profession is usually ignored, but it is a smart idea to add it on the resume anyway.  Use a separate category with the word “volunteer” or “community service” as the heading.  Then list the job title (add “volunteer” in the job title) and the charity name.  List it the same way you would list work experience.

What you don’t do is list every volunteer experience on the résumé.  Work anyone can do (set up chairs, bring potluck, hand out brochures, etc) should not be listed.  It’s a waste of space, and adding it to prove that you volunteered will actually clutter the resume and turn off employers.  Don’t add volunteer services with “red-button issues.”  Political and religious organizations are good because you believe in it, but it turns off employers.  Think about how the employer would feel if that was listed.  They may not agree or believe your stance.  They won’t hire you because of it.  Sad but true.  Also don’t list volunteer work related to motherhood (i.e., PTA) unless you have some skills that truly relate to the job.

Forty-one percent of LinkedIn professionals feel that volunteer work is just as important as work history.  Eighty-one percent of them don’t add it on their resume.  It’s time to treat volunteerism with respect.  Add them to the resume and maximize them to your benefit. Contact Us for more information on adding volunteer work to resumes.

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