Do I put volunteer work on my resume? Let’s cut to the chase. Yes. It’s imperative to list your volunteer experience. This can be reflected one of three ways:
1. If you have an expansive work history with a lot of information, you can utilize a separate section and just list your volunteer title, organization and dates.
2. If you are utilizing this volunteer experience as the major basis of your background, than you will want to list this as part of your experience section because it shows that you are working, just not for monetary gains. Sometimes your volunteer experience will be your only experience, or will flow into the actual professional experience. It’s also a nice filler for any gaps. If you were out of work for a year, actively searching for jobs and having a hard time, but did some volunteering or consulting on projects, these can be used to fill in those date gaps.
3. The third factor is if you’re an outlier candidate with an extensive background but wanting to shift into a new career, you can list any volunteerism under your experience that is relevant and will showcase your transferable skills, accomplishments or achievements relating to this new industry/role.
The volunteer experience communicates some key items about the candidate. While it doesn’t affect the hiring decision as much as, say, your completing a degree, having a solid work history, working for high-profile organizations, demonstrating a background that can be easily transferred into the new role, (maybe you work for a competitor doing the same job you’re interviewing for) or an ability to utilize certain software or process methodologies.
It does, however, offers insight about your values and perception of being a more well-rounded individual that can manage his or her time beyond the 9-5 workday. It also demonstrates your involvement in doing something towards a new cause, and is interested or passionate about helping his or her community.
Do you agree? Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think.
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