How to Include Volunteer Work on Your Resume

Portrait of happy female volunteers standing together at park
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Volunteer work can be an excellent way to showcase key skills such as event planning, fundraising or patient care and should certainly be integrated with other work experiences on your resume. 

How can you incorporate your volunteer experience into your resume to gain the maximum benefit? The answer will depend, to some degree, on how related your volunteer experience is to your career target.  

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 which highlights skills applied and any accomplishments. Here's an example:

Fundraising Experience
Volunteer Fundraiser, The United Way, Montclair, NJ, Fall 2012 to Present

  • Recruited and trained 14 volunteer fundraisers.
  • Planned and promoted 3 successful fundraising  events including an 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 Example." Most organizations look favorably upon staff who contribute in a positive way to the surrounding community given the public relations benefits for the firm and the opportunity for staff to network with potential new clients for the organization.

Volunteer Experience

Volunteer Fundraiser, The United Way, Montclair, NJ, Fall 2012 to Present

  • Recruited and trained 14 volunteer fundraisers.
  • Planned and promoted 3 successful fundraising  events including an auction, dinner, and concert which generated over $80,000 in pledges.
  • Increased contributions by 25% over the previous campaign.  

    Volunteer Resume Example

    Here's an example of a resume that includes both work and volunteer experience.

    Your Contact Information 
    First Last Name
    Street Address
    City, State, Zip
    Phone (Cell/Home)
    Email Address

    WORK EXPERIENCE

    Boyle and Boyle Communications
    January 2006 - Present

    Web Editorial Associate
    Responsibilities: Website design and maintenance, writing, and editing web content.

    Heathstone Associates
    June 2004 - January 2006
    Web Assistant
    Responsibilities: Website maintenance, web content editing, photo editing, and publishing.

    VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE

    Sarasoga Rowing Association
    March 2008 - Present
    Responsibilities: Website design and maintenance, image editing, and content creation.

    Save Our Strays
    June 2004 - Present
    Responsibilities: Website management, newsletter, and email communications with staff, volunteers, and applicants.

    Sarasoga Hospital
    June 2006 - March 2008
    Responsibilities: Volunteering in the Maternity Unit - assisting nurses with medical duties and daily tasks, watching over infants in the nursery, filing and chart work, stocking nursery supplies, compiling necessary paperwork for patients, bringing infants to and from patient rooms, and checking for correct identification.

    EDUCATION

    Florida University
    BA, English Literature

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