Most often, volunteer work appears toward the end of a resume, after work history. Related: Top 7 Resume Trends For 2015 However, if you have been out of the workforce for a while, are a recent college graduate or are changing careers, your volunteer activities may be the showcase for your most important skills and accomplishments. As a recent college graduate or a career changer, you might hone new skills as a volunteer in your field, in preparation for a full-time job. For example, if you want to work in the healthcare industry, you might volunteer at a hospital; if you want to become a graphic designer, you might lend your skills to a nonprofit in search of a logo. If you’ve been out of the workforce for a while, volunteering may be an excellent way to keep your skills sharp. An IT professional might volunteer to help a nonprofit organization maintain its computers; develop a program to track donors or clients; or enhance their website. In all those cases, it might be worthwhile to mention your volunteer work early in the resume. Wherever it is placed in a resume, even a brief mention of volunteer work is important. Most companies are conscious that they need a thriving community around them in order to succeed, both as employers and as providers of products and services. Hiring managers and recruiters know companies appreciate a spirit of “giving back” in their employees. Your volunteer work identifies you as someone who also appreciates that spirit. This post was originally published at an earlier date.
In the nonprofit world, your resume is what can make the difference between getting an interview and getting thrown into file 13. Your resume must concisely communicate your training, experience, and your education in a way that highlights your strengths and generates increased interest from the employer.