Most job seekers understand providing information about their relevant work experience, skills, and education is a must when crafting their resume. But what about volunteer work? Do hiring managers want to see this information?
In short, putting information about your volunteer experience is often a smart move. It can help you stand out, fill gaps in your employment history, and showcase pertinent skills. As long as the details about your experience serve a function, you should include them.
If you are ready to take your resume to the next level, here’s how you can boost it by adding volunteer work.
Choose the Proper Location
When it comes to showcasing your volunteer work on a resume, you generally have two choices on where to put the information. First, you can create a new subsection below your traditional employment history (and potentially your education) that is dedicated to your volunteer pursuits. This approach is typically best if your work history is relatively strong and demonstrates you have the skills and experience necessary to excel in your target position.
Alternatively, you can integrate your volunteer work into your employment history section. Often, this is a smart move if your volunteer positions directly relate to the job you are hoping to land. Just because you weren’t paid for filling to the role doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be alongside your regular employment, so don’t forgo this approach if you need to highlight skills that were acquired during your time as a volunteer.
Be Selective and Concise
Space is a valuable resource on any resume. If the document is over two pages, many hiring managers won’t keep digging, even if the details on the subsequent pages are relevant.
When you list volunteer work (or any other position), you need to be selective. Only provide information about experiences that are relevant to the role or serve another function, like covering a gap in your work history.
Even when you do list a volunteer position, you need to be concise. Focus on points that provide value to the hiring manager and leave out any additional details that aren’t particularly relevant.
Don’t Reveal Too Much
One caveat about volunteer work is it usually relates to aspects of your personal life or your values. This means you are sharing information with a potential employer that provides a peek into who you are outside the workplace.
Before you list a volunteer experience, consider what hiring managers can infer from the information. For example, if you held a position with the PTA, the company will likely assume that you have children. Similarly, working with religious or political organizations also reveal details about your beliefs and could increase the odds that bias, conscious or unconscious, will impact how the hiring manager views you.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t list these positions. Just be aware there could be consequences for that decision.
By following the tips above, you can elevate your resume with your volunteer experience. If you are looking for more information about how to craft a winning resume or are seeking new job opportunities, the professionals at CPS Recruitment can help. Contact us to speak with one of our skilled team members today and see how our expertise can benefit you.