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Can you put community service on your resume or even college application?

I have about 50+ hours of community service and I was wondering if I can use it for resumes and even college applications.

Does it count as extracurricular activities or does it entirely depend on the project that I was working on.

I was reading question about this and I remembered that I sent a resume out for an internship but I didn´t put my hours as work experience...

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From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

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12 answers


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Gabriel’s Answer

I have two answers since you hit upon two different subjects...

Resume...of course. As someone who has hired a few dozens in his life...it shows something that you want to help your community...whether or not you got paid for it.

College apps...many ask for a personal essay or statement. I have never been in a situation where I had to decide who does or does not get admitted...I work in financial aid. But rumor has it that activities and variety are encouraged. And community service is something that many aspire to but just don't have the time to take on.

The only caveat I would add...if the community service was of your own choosing and desire...yes...be proud of it! I would be shocked if it negatively impacted your future. If the community service...and I am in NO way suggesting this is what happened with you...but if it was mandatory...just be conscious about it in case it comes up. Sorry. Again...not you, I'm sure...but...in my former corporate life it was why one of my best workers was let go..."mistruth" on his application...

You got this!
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Seth’s Answer

Yes, absolutely.

Your resume / CV should be more than your professional and educational experience. It’s an opportunity to showcase what makes you unique, your passions, and interests. Your 50+ hours of community service absolutely checks those boxes. Many applicants will meet the required skills and requirements and having additional volunteering or community project work, it will help you stand out. Depending on the experience, there are many valuable skills that you can pick up that will strengthen your application. And it shows that you’re committed and passionate about a cause.
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Connor’s Answer

Hello Freddie!

Submitting a resume:
Yes, you should include volunteer work on your resume if it’s relevant to the job you want or if you lack formal work experience. Listing volunteer experience on your resume is a great way to demonstrate to employers that you’re hard working and involved in your community.

Submitting a college application:
Volunteering can provide you with the competitive edge you need in the college admissions process and help you stand out among other applicants.Along with making new friends, finding new interests, and discovering more about yourself, extracurriculars can also help with college applications. According to College Board, staying involved is extremely important to College Admissions Offices. In fact, colleges will use your experiences as a way to judge your character in ways that grades and test scores cannot. Students who are passionate and motivated are exactly what they are looking for in applicants.
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George’s Answer

Resume and college apps, sure. It may help to include it in your college statement letter. Colleges are looking for bright, but also well rounded students. So I think it can only be a benefit, as long as you have other extra curriculars to bolster your application/resume.
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Ankita’s Answer

Hey Freddie! You should not regret if you have missed to mention in the resume for one time about the community service.
There will be opportunity to speak during the interview about the work which you have done. Also do not forget to mention what you have learned and added as a value by working for community service. That would give you a bonus point.

For next job submission, yes do add volunteer or community services work in your resume. Good luck!
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Priya’s Answer

Hi Freddie,
I think it is perfectly fine to list your volunteer experience. You may want to list it under a section like "Community Engagement" or "Volunteer Experience", as opposed to under "Work Experience." Especially include any experiences that are pertinent or in which you gained skills important for the position you are applying for! Good luck!
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Matthew’s Answer

I feel putting community service is important to include as long as you can frame it in terms of your contributions and responsibilities.

As a professional doing hiring time to time, I look at CV/resume inputs mostly in terms of project experience - what was the challenge faced and what ownership did you assume and what was the result. That would be ideal to frame community service projects.

If you don't have a lot to say in that regard, it may still be helpful to include very briefly to show that you take time to have a balanced life - you are not purely achievement and accomplishment-driven, and that you care about activities and causes outside of strict career advances in a company environment.
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MICHAEL’s Answer

absolutely. I am a hiring manager and I often take interest in peoples' non work experience and interests. Its a great conversation starter.

Now if the community service was ordered by a judge (haha) make sure you can spin it properly when asked about it. ;)
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Lindsay’s Answer

Hello Freddie!

Adding community service or volunteering to a resume is a great way to show initiative, interests, and experience even if it was not a technical job. Community service shows dedication even without compensation and can highlight many soft skills important to jobs and colleges. If you have the space in your resume, I recommend grouping the service you have done by the organization you worked with and then listing some bullet points outlining specific tasks you worked on. An example of this could be:

"Volunteer at XYZ Animal Shelter
- Created promotional materials for adoption events and fundraisers, which reached an audience of over 350 people."

By listing specific tasks and giving quantifiable achievements, you can make your application that much more competitive even without traditional work experience.

I hope this helps!

Thank you comment icon This is great advice - be sure to quantify your impact with metrics (number of people you reached, amount of funds raised, animals helped, pounds of waste collected, etc.) & anecdotes (brief line about how your involvement helped move the mission of that org./initiative forward)! Victoria Hay Lindahl
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Stuart’s Answer

Yes absolutely. In fact you should. Not only should you communicate why (your passion or values) but what you learned as far as new skills and also what you learned about yourself, others, or your community.
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Andrijana’s Answer

Of course. You should definitely do that. This will bring the attention to your assertiveness.
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Jovany’s Answer

I would always put volunteering as part of your experience/volunteering sections. I always like to talk about what type of volunteering is and why I was passionate about it. If you are able to talk about the impact it had then I would always do so as well.

However, if you have other material you'd like to mention first, then I would always do what you value more.

I hope this helps!
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