Is Volunteering Important for Your Resume?

Volunteers have the ability to impact the wellbeing of their community. Whether it’s planning a fundraiser, mentoring students, or helping build houses, volunteers leave a positive mark. So, should you add volunteering to your resume? The answer is yes, but with a few parameters.

Let’s start with why volunteering improves your resume. In Deloitte’s 2016 study on volunteerism, they found that respondents only saw volunteering on about 30 percent of the resumes they received. However, 82 percent stated they would be more likely to choose a candidate with volunteer experience. What does that mean? Volunteerism may offer you an advantage over other candidates and show that you are continually developing yourself professionally. Additionally, if you are an entry-level worker, or have a break between career positions, it can highlight skills that you have learned as a volunteer.

Before adding volunteer experience to your resume, determine if it is relevant to the job. If it is, include skills and accomplishments that relate to the position’s qualifications as they relate to your experience. For example, if you are applying for a financial position and your volunteer experience is with your child’s PTA, spell out that you helped with fundraising initiatives or managing budgets.

If it is not directly relevant to the job, include characteristics that show leadership development and commitment. For example, if you are applying for a communications position and your volunteer experience is with a soup kitchen, describe how you mentored new volunteers or took a leadership role.

If you are new to volunteering, there are several websites to help connect with an organization in need.

Do you volunteer? If so, have you added your volunteer experience to your resume?


Posted on February 8, 2017 .