Volunteer CV

How to Include Volunteer Work on Your CV

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Volunteer work can be an excellent way to showcase key skills such as event planning, fundraising, or problem-solving and should certainly be integrated with your other paid work experiences. But is it appropriate for all situations and what’s the best way to go about it? There's a certain way to add volunteering and list it appropriately to maximize its value and relevance. Read on to learn how to include this valuable experience on your CV.


How to Include Volunteering on Your CV
  1. Including volunteer work on your CV is an especially important tactic if:
  2. You are a recent college graduate with limited professional experience;
  3. If you have taken a significant amount of time away from the workplace to raise young children or to care for a sick family member; or
  4. You have experienced a lengthy period of unemployment due to a depressed economy.
The goal is to incorporate your volunteer experience into your CV in the most beneficial and appropriate way. The way to accomplish this will depend, to some degree, on how related your volunteer experience is to your career goal.

Related Volunteer Work

Related volunteer work can be combined with related work experience under a category heading like "Related Experience." If the volunteer work demonstrates a critical skill area, then it could be placed within a category with a functional heading like "Fundraising Experience" or "Event Planning Experience."

In either case, the volunteer experience should be listed just like a job with a title that captures the essence of your role and a description that highlights skills applied and any accomplishments.

As you list your accomplishments, it is also a good idea to quantify these contributions with tangible numbers (monetary amounts) or percentages.

Here's an example:

Fundraising Experience

  • Volunteer Fundraiser, The Good Charity, Bristol, Somerset, April 2017 to Present.
  • Recruited, coordinated, and trained 14 volunteer fundraisers.
  • Planned and promoted three successful fundraising events including a silent auction, dinner, and concert which generated over £80,000 in pledges.
  • Increased contributions by 25% over the previous campaign.

Unrelated Volunteer Work

If the volunteer work is unrelated to your job goal, you can incorporate it under a separate category like "Community Service" or "Volunteer Work." Most organisations look favourably on staff who contribute in a positive way to the surrounding community—not only does it reflect well on the company, but volunteering can be an opportunity for staff to network with potential new clients for the organisation.


Here's an example of how to include volunteer work on your CV when it isn't directly related to your career or industry:

Volunteer Experience

Volunteer, Habitat for Humanity, Birmingham, West Midlands, May 2016 to Present
  • Coordinated and led work parties that constructed 15 homes for low income families in need of housing.
  • Conceptualised and successfully launched an initiative that collected contributions of gently used furniture and other household items to sell in the Habitat Humanity store.
  • Directed preparation of Birmingham Carnival parade float to increase community awareness of organisations presence and contributions.

Volunteer CV Example

Here's an example of a CV that includes both work and volunteer experience:

Fundraising Experience

William Applicant
123 Main Street • New York, NY 10036 • (123) 456-7890 • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

WEBSITE MANAGEMENT

Building and maintaining websites that increase traffic and revenue
Experienced web designer builds and maintains sites with professional and engaging content.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

TREMAINE AND MILLER COMMUNICATIONS, Sarasota, Fla.
WEB EDITORIAL ASSOCIATE (January 2018—Present)
Skillfully facilitate design and maintenance of company’s website.

Notable accomplishments:

  • Within 12 months of hiring, increased daily website visits by 50 percent.
  • Sourced third-party provider of images that lowered costs by 15 percent.

DOLAN ASSOCIATES, Sarasota, Fla.
WEB ASSISTANT (June 2016—January 2018)
Brought on board to optimize organization’s web presence and independently handled all website maintenance tasks, including content editing, photo editing, and publishing.

Notable accomplishments:

  • Consistently completed web page development projects within challenging production deadlines.
  • Incorporated Ad Sense program to website that triggered a 30 percent increase in site revenues.

VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE

SARASOTA ROWING ASSOCIATION (January 2015—Present)
Leverage professional expertise to design and maintain organization’s first-ever website.

RESCUE OUR STRAYS (July 2015—Present)
Ensure quality creation and timely distribution of newsletter and email communications with staff, volunteers, and applicants; oversee and manage website.

EDUCATION & CREDENTIALS

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA, Gainesville, Fla.
Bachelor of Arts in English literature, 2016

Are You Looking to Volunteer?

Not only is volunteering good for your community, but it also has the potential to benefit your career. A volunteer position can be a networking opportunity, help you sharpen your skills, and serve as a low-risk way to explore a new industry. If you're interested in volunteering, explore this guide to finding volunteer opportunities online.
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