If you do not have much on-the-job experience, volunteer activities can be a gold mine for a great resume. For seasoned professionals, listing volunteer work demonstrates valuable personal characteristics and a commitment to community. For recent graduates or people changing careers, volunteer work can form an important part of your qualifications. Whatever your volunteer work has been, you can turn it into valuable experience on your resume.
If you have performed volunteer work that is relevant to your job target, you should list volunteer experience in a resume in the same way you would list any paid work experience.
Advice for Seasoned Professionals
Volunteer work demonstrates initiative, commitment, perseverance, and other personal characteristics and skills that potential employers might find valuable. If you are listing volunteer work to demonstrate personal characteristics or a commitment to community, briefly mention the professional or community organizations where you have volunteered, any offices or committee memberships you have held, and any honors or commendations you have received in relation to your work. This information is typically included at the end of your resume.
Advice for Recent Graduates of Career Changers
If you are a recent graduate or are changing careers and your volunteer work demonstrates valuable skills, abilities, and qualifications that are not communicated through your work experience, then list these skills and abilities in the appropriate Accomplishments, Capabilities, or Skills sections. Additionally, if you have worked with an organization for a long period of time, consider listing this volunteer experience as you would any other organization in an Experience or Employment History section. Remember, non-paid experience is equally as valuable as paid experience