The Importance Of Including Volunteer Experience On Your Resume

Wednesday, 31. August 2011

The stale economy of the last few years has not only made the job market more competitive, but it has also put many people out of work for lengthy periods of time. Having these blocks of downtime can usually send up red flags to potential employers.

So how do you flesh out your resume to make it more appealing to hiring personnel?

Glad you asked.

A recent article at states:

“If you’re one of the millions of unemployed Americans, or if you’re returning to the workforce after an extended absence, your volunteer experience can be the one thing that sets you apart from the competition.”

Volunteer experience on a resume is becoming more prevalent these days. In the not too distant past, employers and jobseekers alike undervalued volunteer experience, or even dismissed it altogether. When it was included, it was often added to the end of a resume as an afterthought.

By giving more value to your volunteer experience on your resume you will not only be able to demonstrate your skills, such as leadership and interpersonal skills, a prerequisite for many jobs, but you will also be able to fill in those employment gaps that usually send up red flags, which can jeopardize your chances to be invited in for an interview.

A professional resume writer can help you to integrate your volunteer experience with your employment experience, creating a cohesive timeline of professional experience allowing you to get one step closer to employment.

Some of the other benefits of volunteering include:

  • The ability to gain valuable work experience
  • Possibility of permanent employment with the organization you are volunteering with
  • Networking opportunities, as we mentioned in Step #3 of our post ‘Not Even A PFO Letter’
  • The opportunity to apply and practice your skills
  • Volunteer experience will also help you to gain confidence in yourself, making transition back to the workforce that much easier.
  • And best off all, you’ll be helping out your community.

If your resume lacks volunteer experience, it is never too late to start acquiring some. Many NGO’s, non-profit and charitable organizations have opportunities to volunteer in your current capacity, or even in a position where you can gain some new skills. So get out there and start volunteering.

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