Volunteers demonstrate a variety of skills when lending their time to an organization, including the ability to communicate, make decisions, lead and consider how actions impact communities both locally and globally. If you’re currently looking for a job and have been leaving volunteer experience off of your résumé, you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to showcase these important skills to future employers.
Listing volunteer experience on your résumé can make the case to an employer that you have the skills needed to complete the job if you don’t have an extensive work history or are switching career fields.
Employers are increasingly looking to hire individuals with a social conscience and who show a demonstrated commitment to their community. With a lot of well-qualified people competing for the same job, talking up your volunteer efforts can also help you stand out in a crowd of people who may have similar education and work histories.
If you have volunteer experience that you’re not showcasing to prospective employers, start by jotting down details about your volunteer history, including the organizations you worked with, the timeframe you worked with them, important projects you worked on and the skills you gained from the experience.
Start to shape your list by implementing the following practices:
Don’t forget — when talking up your volunteer experience, traditional résumé rules still apply! Check out Goodwill’s top ten tips to write a résumé at any age for more advice on preparing a professional document that will help you get your foot in the door at a company.