Skip to main content
10 answers
10
Updated 531 views

How to incorporate significant volunteer experiences into the resume?

I'm transitioning from education to community impact.

Office Hours #1: Resume Writing with Judy Park [38:45]

This question was posed by a question during one of our most recent "CareerVillage Office Hours" sessions. During Office Hours sessions, we invite students to pose questions related to a specific topic. In this case, the topic was resume writing. If you answer this question, we will reach out to the students who attended this office hours session to inform them of your response, and all students on CareerVillage will benefit. If you would be interested in hosting an office hours session on a particular topic, please reach out to our staff!

#resume #resume-building #job-applications

Thank you comment icon Judy Park's Answer: I like to call them personal leadership experiences instead of volunteer experiences. List them out, and highlight your major accomplishments. A modest resume does not exist - you have to boast! Diversity, equality, and inclusion is big right now. Do not undersell yourself on these things!. CareerVillage Office Hours

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

10

10 answers


2
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Jasanpreet Kaur’s Answer

Volunteer experience is as important as your professional experience. Proper heading is crucial.

Significant volunteer experience can be framed in the following way:

If you are a fresher and in the college:
> Create a proper heading with Volunteer experience in your resume.
> Write a little bit about the organization. Just one or two line is enough.
> Write about your role along with your contribution.
> If you have any facts and figure to show then do jot them down in it.

Good luck!


fresher resume resumewriting volunteer volunteerexperience
2
1
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Thomas’s Answer

You can put you volunteer experience in just like you would a job. Ex. explain you position, how long you had it and what you did and the impact it had.
1
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Edgar’s Answer

If you're transitioning into community impact, then including your volunteer experience is definitely a great way to demonstrate your experience and impact on your community. Whether you're working in software engineering or in community outreach, the most effective way to describe your experiences is to describe what you did and then try to quantify your impact in measurable terms.

For example, if you were volunteering for community outreach, then an example bullet point in your resume might be something like: Canvassed 20 communities / zip codes to survey residents on thoughts regarding the proposed policy measure, leading to a 30% increase in community awareness of this policy proposal and 50% increase in residents interested in hearing more on updates regarding our organization. If you demonstrated leadership in your volunteer experience, you would use powerful action verbs like organized, led, or proposed.

You can also have your volunteer mentor or manager take a look at your resume and suggest any changes to your resume- I bet they will know tons of ways you can improve your resume because it is likely that they themselves are the ones who look at resumes all day.
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Jojo’s Answer

Hello there! I agree with what many respondents have already touched upon and just wanted to add an additional resume tidbit. When you're writing your bullet points on your resume, it may be helpful to keep in mind the B-A-R method of Background, Action, Result. Begin each bullet point with an action verb, like Coordinated, Managed, Analyzed, etc. so that you're straight to the point. You want to make sure those looking at your resume gain enough context for your work, can see what you did, and what happened because of your action. This should apply to community service experiences as well. Make sure you highlight what you gained from the experience and how it has reflected upon you as a person too.
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Mike’s Answer

When reviewing a resume I spend as much time looking at volunteer time within the community as I do work experience. These opportunities provide a chance to give back, but also to take on assignments that may not be available in the work environment. For example a leader can accept the role of taking direction from others or the volunteer time can provide you with an chance to organize/manage an event.
I would encourage you to include the volunteer time on the resume with a bullet point to share an interesting item from the experience that will generate an interview question and allow you to go into more detail about your experience.
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

shannon’s Answer

If it is work experience or it relates directly to the job you are applying for then you can include it under 'work experience'. However, if it is more general volunteering or doesn't relate directly to the job you are applying for, then you should put it under 'Volunteering Experience'.
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Grace’s Answer

*This answer combines input from a group of marketers with more than 40 years’ experience - all currently working at a global tech company. We hope you find it helpful and wish you the best in all of your endeavors.*

Great question!

We've broken our advice into two areas: (1) how to position the volunteer experience and (2) how to tactically represent the experience on the resume page.

POSITIONING
Since you're transitioning into a community impact role, volunteer work is a great experience set to highlight!

Some considerations:

1) When summarizing your experience, it's key to reflect on transferable skills because while the volunteer experience may not translate directly to the new role, you certainly gained skills and knowledge gain you can apply.

2) Use this as an opportunity to shines a light on the things you're passionate about and your personality. Your volunteer work doesn't have to be linearly aligned to your career ambition; take this opportunity to flex these unique muscles that may make you stand out in the applicacnt pool.

3) Leverage your volunteer work to highlight your desire to make a difference to emphasize your alignment with the core values of the community impact field. Be sure your descriptions of your volunteer work highlight your self-awareness, generosity, empathy, and well-roundedness, which will speak to your fit with company culture. Additionally, your proactive involvement in volunteering will also serve to highlight your work ethic and drive: companies know that the same person that wants to make a difference in the world is the kind of person that wants to make an impact at a company.


TACTICALLY:
Some considerations:
1) If it's robust enough (for example, 3+ volunteer experiences), you can create an entire section on your resume for volunteer experience. Because it's so relevant to the role you're aspiring for, you can dedicate a good amount of space on your resume to this.

2) In terms of where on your resume you add this, if you're a leader in your volunteer work, consider titling the section "leadership" instead of "volunteer work." This emphasizes your contribution. And/or you can include the nonprofit names in a section focused on "organizations."

3) You might consider adding a section on your values. There are examples of creative resume templates on sites like Canva you might find useful and can visually help you stand out. Companies are now more focused on their values as they try to be good corporate citizens, and mirroring this trend in your own resume by adding a "values" section might underline your alignment with the company and give you a competitive edge over other candidates.
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Simeon’s Answer

When you want to highlight some specific experience, such as significant volunteering experience, put bullet points beneath the entry explaining what you did and the skills you used. Specifically, I'd highlight anything that shows your leadership and teamwork capabilities.
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Priscilla’s Answer

As in any other job experience. Show what you accomplished, the impact you had on the organization/projects, etc. Make sure to include action words, and if possible, numbers.
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Gina’s Answer

I would list volunteer experience in it's own category just like you would occupation or school. Title of the position, duties, etc-- and any attributes on how it pertains to the job you're currently searching for.
0