20+ Examples of How to List Volunteer Experience on Your Resume

Created by CakeResume

A resume is a document that lists your qualifications. Besides professional experience, education, and skills, volunteer experience can also convey your professional competence in your resume/CV.

Listing volunteer experience on your resume helps the hiring manager to understand your interests, passion, and is beneficial for a resume with limited experience.

Benefits of Adding Volunteer Work to Resume

Some applicants might wonder whether to list their volunteer experience on a resume. While it is not necessary to list them, volunteer work on a resume will certainly not be harmful. Moreover, if your professional experience is already abundant, taking a little space to add volunteer work on the resume/CV will show that you are willing to perform out of your job duty.

Several reasons for a candidate to list their volunteer works on their resume:

  1. Unrelated volunteer experience on your resume/CV explains the career gaps. 
  2. Related volunteer experience on your resume is ideal to express that you’re zealous for the industry.
  3. Volunteer experience as a whole demonstrates your transferable skills, such as being willing to help others, positivity, and communication.

For different candidates, adding volunteer work experience to a resume may serve different purposes. It’s notably precious for people who have long unemployment periods, fresh graduates and students who have limited professional experience, and those who are considering a career change.

Should you put volunteer work on your resume?

Most employers agree that volunteer work experience on a resume, if related to the job position, can be an important factor for selecting a candidate. Here’s the basic idea:

  • If you have “related” volunteer experience, there’s no doubt that you should list some volunteer work on your resume. 
  • If you have relatively unrelated volunteer experience, reflect on the skills that you have learned during the process such as project management, fundraising, or interpersonal skills on your resume. You can list these unrelated experiences into applicable skills in the workplace, but don’t sacrifice your work experience section for irrelevant volunteer experience on your resume. 

How to List Volunteer Experience on a Resume

Now that you’ve decided to add volunteer experience on your resume, here is how you can format the section:

Step 1: Mention the volunteer work organization on your resume

Straightforward enough, list the organization or institution that you’ve worked as a volunteer for on your resume, especially if it's renowned or prestigious.

Step 2: Mention your volunteer work position and duration

Next, list your position title as well as the time you’ve served. Don’t just list it as “volunteer”, instead, specify the volunteer work responsibilities on your resume.

Step 3: Describe your volunteer experience and achievements

Similar to writing a work experience section, describing your volunteer experience by giving examples of accomplishments would be ideal on your resume. To make it more expressive, use qualified results to back up your performance. 

Volunteer experience example 1:

Software Engineer Volunteer, 06/2017 - 01/2018

  • Built and maintained an online campus for different platforms to provide education and training for vulnerable people in crisis and conflict contexts

Volunteer experience example 2:

Faith for Animals
Marketing Coordinator, 05/2018 - 04/2019

  • Organized 300k fundraising campaign for dog spaying non-profit that reached 50k audience in 4 months and exceeded the initial goal by 700%

Where to Put Volunteer Experience on a Resume

Based on the type of your volunteer experience, there are several ways to put them on a resume:

1. In the professional experience section on your resume

Consider listing your volunteer work with your work experience on your resume, if your volunteer experience is: (1) highly relevant to the job position, (2) you have very limited work experience, or (3) you had a career gap on your resume.

Take a look at an example below, which blends related volunteer experience with other paid work, placing it in the professional experience section of your resume.

Example of the professional experience section:

MD Bliss
Graphic Designer, 01/2020

  • Created logo and visual identity system for 15 clients’ projects worth up to $300,000
  • Managed rebranding project for 10 clients that enhanced client sales by an average of 200% in 6 months
  • Established robust relationships with clients to develop long-term cooperation

SC Rescue Organization
Graphic Design Volunteer, 01/2019 - 12/2019

  • Monitored and assessed printing brochures and posters for color correction
  • Designed online materials for media exposure and funding presentations
  • Developed organization website and increased monthly traffic by 288%

2. In an additional “volunteer experience” section on your resume

If your volunteer experience is scarcely related to the job you’re applying for, but you have plenty of volunteer work to list, you should add an additional section on your resume.

Suppose that you are applying for a sales executive role, and your volunteer experience is not related:

Example of the volunteer experience section:

Hakka History Museum
Tourist Guide, 12/2016 - 12/2017

  • Guided 200 museum visitors to provide explanations on museum exhibitions and Hakka historical artifacts on Saturdays
  • Awarded for the Best Volunteer Guide for consecutive six months

National Animal Shelter Management System
Photographer, 01/2016 - 09/2016

  • Took pictures of stray animals to establish files and upload data to the online adoption management system
  • Optimized work-flow to improve image quality and document accuracy

3. In the hobbies & interest section on the resume

If there’s only one or limited experience, there’s no need to add a “volunteer activities” section on the resume. Instead, you can merge your volunteer experience with other hobbies or interests in the same section on your resume.

Example of the hobbies & interests section:

California Native Plant Society
Community Volunteer, 2018 - 2020

  • Participated in Native Garden Volunteer Day for 3 consecutive years, pruning, weeding, watering, and collecting seeds to help in conserving native species

Tips on How to Include Volunteer Experience on your Resume

If you’re still not sure about how to describe your volunteer experience on your resume, here are 3 fundamental principles:

1. Highlight volunteer works that are relevant to the job description

Seeking a suitable candidate is their primary concern for every hiring manager. An applicant fitting the job role surpasses someone outstanding but incompatible. Therefore, when listing your volunteer experience on the resume, highlight the ones that are related to the job description, either by listing it upfront or giving it a special title such as “Software Engineer Volunteer Experience”.

2. Use keywords from the job posting to describe your volunteer experience

When describing your volunteer experience, apply the keywords used in the job posting. You not only want to catch the attention of the employer but also pass the ATS (Applicant Tracking System) too. Adopting the exact same keywords as used in the job posting ensures that your content is related to the job position. 

3. Tailor your volunteer work content on your resume for each job application

You are probably applying for several companies simultaneously. However, there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” resume. There is always a little difference between each job position, even if they share the same title. As a result, be sure to tailor the content in every resume you’re sending out. Amend and edit the volunteer experience on your resume to better match the qualifications of a job description. I know that it may be more time-consuming since you have to customize how you describe your volunteer work but trust me, it's worth doing so!

Impressive Volunteer Work Examples to Include in Your Resume

Here are 20 impressive volunteer work examples for you to refer to if you have a hard time describing your volunteer experience on your resume.

  1. Church Volunteer Work
    Led a team of 10 young volunteers to raise 10k funds for homeless Christmas food delivery in Detroit.
  2. Nursing Home Volunteer
    Held entertaining events and talked to 15 elderly Alzheimer patients and residents regularly for 4 hours on Sundays.
  3. Greenpeace Research Assistant Volunteer
    Used Python and Illustrator to visualize data collected from research on student groups environmental awareness in Pittsburgh.
  4. Teach for India English and Math Teaching Volunteer
    Accumulated over 1,000 hours in helping 200 Delhi children learn English and math online.
  5. Children’s Hospital Volunteer
    Assisted in the playroom, bedtime storytelling, and reading for children patients from 18:30 to 22:30 on weekdays for 6 months.  
  6. Philadelphia Animal Rescue Center, Fundraise Project Manager
    Developed a crowdfunding project for dog neutering in Philadelphia and surpassed the original goal by 650%.
  7. Virtues International, Fundraising Consultant Volunteer
    Implemented fundraising program, conducted research to analyze potential profit and loss, and managed email marketing appeals to reach 100k subscribers.
  8. Church Volunteer Work, Training Instructor
    Designed training program for 100 volunteers in the church to ensure newcomers workflow and project work distribution performs smoothly.
  9. United Now, Project Manager Assistant
    Provided logistical support and prepared materials to use in workshops, seminars, meetings, and field trip documents.
  10. WildLife Associate, Social Media Volunteer
    Managed and outlined Instagram post agenda and increased followers by 20k.
  11. DonateCode, Software Engineer
    Developed and worked with 7 team members on a health educational game app for NowHealthy using C# with Unity.
  12. Barthes Cancer Foundation, Front-End Web Developer
    Managed, updated, and tested function feasibility web server software using Linux, PHP, and JavaScript for Cancer Awareness organization for 1 year (8 hours monthly).
  13. Food Rescue Lisbon, Grocery Bagging Volunteer
    Bagged and distributed 200 pounds of surplus groceries every week for 6 months to serve communities in need.
  14. Homeless Support, Gardening Training Volunteer
    Provided gardening training lessons to support 128 homeless in which 80 of them earned certification after the course.
  15. After School Support, Tutor Volunteer
    Initiate age-appropriate entertaining activities with 30 children in grades K-5 and ensure program procedures are followed throughout.
  16. Hope For The Day, Suicide Prevention Volunteer
    Started a SMART (Students Mobilizing and Reducing Tragedies) program in 5 high schools in Chicago and encouraged more than 1,400 teens to reach out.
  17. Sustainable Farming Volunteer
    Engaged with migrants, refugees, asylum seekers in farms to helped marginalized groups develop professional skills and produce ecological produce.
  18. Modern Women Empowerment, Graphic Design Volunteer
    Designed and set up visual design systems, website interface, E-mail DM, and event posters.
  19. CareKids, Childcare Medical Volunteer
    Conducted hospital rounds and shadowed the doctors to assist procedures such as suturing wounds, giving vaccinations, etc. Routine patient check-ups for 1,490 bedridden children.
  20. Disabled Soldier’s Angels, Event Representative Volunteer
    Organized events to boost morale and provide mental care for disabled, ill, and wounded veterans.

🔑 Key Takeaways:

  • If your volunteer experience demonstrates skills mentioned in the job ad and showcases outstanding accomplishments, consider listing them together with your "Work experience" section on the resume.
  • Include a dedicated "Volunteer" section on your resume if you have ample experience to list.
  • If your volunteer experience is limited or irrelevant, consider adding in a "Hobbies" or "Activities" section.
  • Give examples of your achievements by using numbers to describe and backup your volunteer work. Whenever possible, establish connections to the role you're applying for by emphasizing relevant aspects on your resume.

CakeResume provides free resume builder tool & free resume templates download to help you create the perfect resume for your job hunt. Take your career journey to new heights - create a resume online now!

--- Originally written by WuChaoMin ---


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