Adding volunteer experience to your resume can make you a more attractive candidate in the job market. Not only will you have devoted your time to helping others, but you will have gained transferable skills and knowledge that you will be able to apply to future jobs. Just because you are not getting paid, doesn’t mean the experience does not count Curriculum vitae.
Omitting your volunteer experience may lead to missed opportunities from employers looking for candidates with specialized skills or for candidates who will go the extra mile to obtain those skills. You may have the same education background and work experience as other candidates, but your volunteer experience will set you apart from the crowd. The fact that you have devoted your free time to an activity that does not result in financial gain speaks volumes about your character. It says you are self-motivated, determined, and more importantly, devoted to learning more and excelling in your field.
Listing your volunteer experience is a way of communicating who you are as a person without using cliché terminology and catch-phrases in your resume and cover letter. It illustrates your personality type and supports your future career goals. For example, if your goal is to become a special event planner for an organization or company, time spent volunteering in that field will bolster your resume and reinforce your claims to being a charismatic leader or knowledgeable and qualified candidate.
Remember that work is work, no matter the compensation. Employers are less concerned with your salary and more concerned with the skills and knowledge you bring to the table. On your resume, be sure to illustrate how your volunteer experience relates to the job you are applying for. If the employers is asking for specific skills that you gained during your volunteer time, be sure to include it, as well as any other soft or hard skills pertinent to the position you are applying for. Demonstrate any accomplishments and successes made during your service. Did you help raise $1000? Did you help write a successful business or financial plan? Any accomplishments that show leadership, organization, planning, public speaking, etc. should be showcased on your resume.
Your volunteer experience will not only result in personal growth, but it will make a valuable addition to your resume. Do not discount anything you learned while volunteering. Employers put more weight on what you learned rather than on how much you made while learning it. Play up your experience and highlight your achievements. They will show your personality as well as professional determination. Enjoy your time volunteering and use it to help steer your career.