Most job seekers believe that unpaid work brings down the professional value of a resume. However, for student and entry-level profiles, it is best to include volunteer service on a resume to boost the professional value of the candidate. We have compiled the total effects and ways to make the most out of listing your history of volunteer services in the resume.
Why add Volunteer Service to the Resume
Volunteer services are excellent to demonstrate transferable and technical skills in a resume.
For candidates who recently switched careers, describing volunteer work on a resume can fill the white space too. Volunteer service is also an emphasis on your personality and can be added to the technical skills section if relevant technical terminologies are used. It can also elaborate on how intertwined your hobbies and interests are with your profession. Moreover, if you were unemployed or out of work in the past, volunteer service can divert the employer from raising a red flag or disqualifying your candidacy
Ways to Include Volunteer Service on a Resume
You might think that putting volunteer work on a resume adds zero value to the candidacy. However, the truth is that pro bono and community service jobs add personality and authenticity to a resume. Instances of charity to volunteer work are best to highlight your exemplary qualities as a professional.
· Make a section named Relative Experience
Instead of adding your history of charity under work experience where you need to quote the duration or job role, it is best to create a separate section for voluntary work on a resume. You can add this to the work experience section to highlight relevant skills and achievements with respect to the job. Separating the same from your main work history also gives you leeway to mention even unrelated skills or accomplishments in the resume.
· Don’t Overemphasize
In case you just switched careers or have zero work experience, focusing on the volunteer section in the resume is ideal. However, overemphasizing your volunteering work without being asked in a job interview is also a mistake not to commit as a candidate.
Overemphasizing on your volunteer work may also work inversely in your favor as recruiters may offer you a lesser salary or consider you unfit for the capitalistic dreams of the company.
· Use Relevant Entries
In case you have more than one volunteer service on the resume, it is best to shortlist the relevant services that apply best to your resume. Also referred to as customizing the resume, it is important to ensure that your volunteer service experience adds value to your candidacy than cluttering the profile.
· List transferable skills in unrelated resume
In case you have translatable skills from your volunteering service, it is best to list it under the same section. For listing your volunteer service on a resume that matches with the job application, it is best to write all the skills you have together as the first step. Now, crosscheck the job application for listed and unlisted soft or hard skills in the resume. Crosscheck both the skills sections and include what applies best to the job role in question.
· Another section for unrelated entries
If your volunteer service section is filled with entries irrelevant to the job application, it is not a crime to list it on the resume. To make the unrelated volunteer service sound professional and applicable to the resume, it is best to categorize the same under a different header. You can title these categories as Volunteering Examples or Community Service to elaborate your bonus soft skills.
Tips to write Volunteer Section in the Resume
Unpaid social service adds personality to a resume. In order to impress the hiring manager, using your volunteer service history on the resume is smart. Before adding volunteer work on a resume, it is important to learn and assess how it underlines your candidature.
A good volunteer service on a resume must be neat and well organized to help the employer read the document easily and efficiently. From the choice of a readable font style to size and white space economy, your volunteer section in the resume must be easy to read for the manager.
Make sure to use relevant section headers and margin space to list the service experience in the resume ideally.
It is important to draft a volunteer section that focuses on the skill section in your resume to make the most out of it. Round up all the technical and interpersonal skills that were used during the volunteer service activities. Spanning from analysis to expert hard skills, there are many ways to spice up your resume volunteer work.
3. Use Neutral Entries
Candidates are advised to add polarized entries that do not specify any religions, sects, gender, race or ethnic bias in the resume. For example, your volunteer service as a Republican or Gospel Mission will not necessarily impress every hiring manager in the world. You must not add extremely religious or political volunteer services on a resume unless the recruiter also holds intimate ties with the organizations of your mention.
4. Avoid Parenting Duties
Often seen on the latest resumes, it is not recommended to add responsibilities as a parent such as PTA Service or Prom Chaperone on a professional resume.
Instead, listing your neighborhood fundraising mission will definitely impress the recruiter and prove your ability to host and profit the company, using fundraisers in the future. However, if the company you’re applying to is focused on parental and motherhood related services, you must highlight your parental duties in the resume.
5. Concise Description
It is important to list a brief description of your duties, responsibilities, and skills used as a service professional under each volunteer work on the resume. You should not assume that the employer would presuppose your skills simply because you were a PETA Volunteer. Also, ensure that your vocabulary is intermixed with technically relevant skills to have a positive impact on the hiring manager.
Spanning from dedication to commitment and aptitude, community service on a professional resume can add weight to many traits of the candidate. It is true that each of us has endless passions and to ensure that the employer understands your proactive skills in charity, you must list relevant and important volunteer services on a resume.