Believe it or not, volunteer experience can be just as valuable as paid work experience and even give you the upper hand when it comes to landing the job you want.
Here are seven reasons why you should still consider applying to a job, even if you only have volunteer experience on your resume for that specific job:
1. Transferable Skills
Volunteering isn’t just about doing some good in the world. It also involves developing key skills that are highly transferable to any job role.
For example, communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and leadership are all skills you can develop through volunteering that potential employers would highly value.
Plus, volunteer work often allows you to take on high levels of responsibility, giving you the chance to showcase these skills in a meaningful way.
2. Demonstrates Initiative
When you apply for a job, employers want to see that you’re someone who takes the initiative to learn and grow.
Including volunteer work on your resume shows that you’ve taken the initiative to gain valuable experience and develop new skills outside of paid work.
This not only demonstrates your willingness to learn, but it also shows that you’re someone who’s dedicated to making a positive impact in your community.
3. Passion and Commitment
Volunteering is often an opportunity to pursue your passions and make a difference in a cause you care about.
By including volunteer work on your resume, you’re showing potential employers that you’re passionate about something beyond just a paycheck.
This can be incredibly appealing to employers who are looking for someone committed to their work and genuinely passionate about their job.
4. Relevant Experience
Volunteer work may not always be directly related to the job you’re applying for, but it can still provide valuable experience in areas such as customer service, event planning, project management, or fundraising.
Even if the tasks you did as a volunteer don’t seem directly related, you can highlight the skills you learned and the responsibilities you took on in your resume and cover letter to demonstrate your relevant experience.
5 Ways to Highlight Volunteer Work on Your Resume (with examples)
If you’re looking to include your volunteer experience on your resume, there are several ways to do it. Here are five tips and examples to help get you started:
- Write a separate section for volunteer work – Mention any volunteer work at the top of your resume in a separate “Volunteer Experience” section, just like you would with any paid work experience.
- Include relevant skills and accomplishments – When highlighting your volunteer experience, make sure to include the skills you developed and accomplishments you achieved as a result of your volunteer work.
For example, if you volunteered with an organization that focuses on fundraising, mention any successful campaigns or projects you worked on.
- Make sure to include dates and durations – Just like with paid work experience, make sure to include the duration of your volunteer experience and the dates it took place. This will help provide context and give potential employers an idea of how long you were involved in each project or organization.
- Showcase any awards or recognition you received – If you’ve been recognized for your volunteer work or received any awards, make sure to include them on your resume. This is a great way to show potential employers the value of your volunteer experience and demonstrate your commitment to the cause.
- Use language that demonstrates impact – When you’re describing your volunteer experience, use language that shows the impact of the work you did. Instead