Best Practices in HR

Follow Us:
Kristina Kirby
  July 8, 2021

Improve Your Resume by Adding Volunteer Work

The resume is the first thing from which the employer could get to know your personality before seeing each other in person. If you are in the process of finding a new job, you should definitely use all the hints to improve your resume, especially when the COVID-19 pandemic hits the USA job market. This article is set to make sure that you’ve listed all of your volunteer work in the resume. This feature can help you get the position wanted. Volunteers seem to be more active and socially developed than other candidates without such experience. 

Your professional experience consists not only of your full-time jobs. You should always remember that your additional education, special skills, and volunteer experience are surely needed to be listed among your other achievements. For example, the simple fact that you’ve already worked in charity could increase your chances of getting a job connected to social services. Also, adding information about your pay-free activities when creating a resume can cover the periods when you haven’t worked officially.

When To List Your Volunteer Work

First, you’ll need to know why you want to list your volunteer work in your resume. This is appropriate in some situations. 

We’ve made a list below; check it out if you’re not sure about adding more info to your resume:

  • Student or a recent graduate. If you are a student or recently have graduated from college, you probably won’t have the needed professional experience or even any kind of formal work experience.

  • Career change. If you’re planning to change the sphere you’ve recently worked in and want to try something new, your volunteer work could fill in the needed gaps in your working experience. The skills you’ve improved with volunteering could be crucial in the new industry. 
  • A long period of unemployment. Sometimes people experience a long period without having any workplace. Imagine a young mother taking care of her child or a relative who takes care of their elder family member. In those cases, you should definitely use all the hints to close the gaps between the workplaces listed in the resume.

Win the Job with a Professional Resume Builder

Now, this is a tough one. You should consider adding only the volunteer work that is closely connected to the job you’re applying for. To build your resume correctly, you should definitely try using a professional resume builder. For example, go to Resumist.com to check out the free templates for your resume. The smart resume builder significantly simplifies the entire process of a job application.

These templates could give you an idea of changing the subheader in your resume if volunteer experience shows skills that are critical for the job. Try the “Related Experience” header or specify it with the name of a certain skill. For example, you could use terms like “Fundraising Experience” if your future work is connected to raising funds. 

Unrelated Volunteer Experience

If your volunteer work is not related to the job you’re applying for, you can still list it on the resume. You can show the employer some additional skills with that. Just list the following information under the header “Community Service.” People who gain much trust from the community they live in have far more chances to get the job. In some countries and states the term “community service” is closely connected to the punishment system. If you feel that way, too, just use the “Volunteer Work” header instead. About 82% of employers prefer resumes of candidates with volunteer experience.

Volunteer experience can reveal special qualities and skills that are not directly connected to professional abilities but still can tell a lot about your attitude. Most employers will choose a competitor that seems like a nice and kind person. Remember, the social life of a jobseeker is very important for HR managers, and most of them will google their way through the resumes. Add links to your social network profiles to your resume. It might help too.

Try volunteering if you have no such experience

Volunteer work is not only great for the community you live in. Making good things for free will evaluate you among other people who simply sit in the office for eight to twelve hours. Today, most companies that work on the international level have special policies about volunteering for their employees. 

Personal growth is another good thing about this. You can learn new skills and try new things voluntarily without risking your career. If you want to help people or the environment you’re in, try to find volunteering possibilities nearby online. There’s a lot of special services on the Internet that connect people with special organizations that provide volunteer work.  

What Counts As A Volunteer Work

  1. Pro Bono Work. This means that you are using your professional skills to help people for free. It is one of the most important ways of volunteering to add to your resume.

  2. Work for volunteering organizations. This could include hospitals, animal shelters, homeless shelters, nursing homes, and churches. Otherwise, there are always different types of charity organizations to come.

  3. Volunteer work connected to care. This can go in many ways. You can take care of a child or a relative who is temporarily unavailable to perform daily actions by themselves. Also, you can voluntarily work in hospices or in daycare services.

  4. Student volunteering. This one is connected to those who learn by themselves and want to help others. Students can voluntarily teach younger pupils or become basketball coaches in their spare time.

  5. Habitat for Humanity. Taking part in constructing shelters for people who were left without a home due to natural disasters or war refugees could become a very important feature for your resume. Construction work requires collaboration skills and a certain amount of physical abilities. This one line in your resume could tell a lot about your personal qualities and skills. 


You can always find volunteer work that suits you. Do not be scared with hard work: it might pay you off in the future. Maybe the only thing that will help you get the position wanted is the certain skill you’ve learned while volunteering. Basically, any help that you provide for free can count. Try not to show yourself as a petty man: describe the work you’ve done functionally. Describe the elements of the work that might give an employer a good overview of your leadership qualities and the special skills needed to get it done.