The way you include it in your resume very much depends on where you are in your career.
How to list volunteer experience if you’re a student or a fresh graduate?
Treat it like regular work experience. Most recruiters see volunteer work as equally impressive and no less important.
Go ahead and list your volunteer roles as you would full-time paid jobs. Include the time you volunteered, relevant tasks you undertook and the skills you gained through the experience.
Be specific. Don’t only list your responsibilities, but also mention your accomplishments. Instead of writing “Volunteered for a university magazine”, write “Wrote 28 articles for a university magazine”.
How to list volunteer experience if you’re a seasoned professional?
If a volunteer experience is relevant to the job you’re applying for, include it in the work experience section.
If it’s not that relevant, create a separate section for your volunteering activities.
Either way, be specific and list your key achievements in the same way you would do with your paid work experience. For instance, if you volunteer as a Blood Program Officer, instead of writing “Administration and control of the blood bank”, write “Administered 7 blood drives with 350+ donors for the Red Cross and Armed Services Blood Programs.”
Relate it to your skills. If you gained or improved some skills through your volunteer work, include these in the description. Pay attention especially to those skills that match the job description.
Use action verbs. Make your volunteer section even more powerful and appealing. The right choice of words can help the hiring manager understand your skillset and see you as a potentially dedicated member of the team.
Stay positive. Focus on how you’re helping the community rather than the negative aspects that you’d like to change.
For more information, check our Career Center.