Resumes & Cover letters Resume Samples & Templates

How to List Your Volunteer Experience on a Resume (With an Example)

Key takeaways:

  • Employers can learn more about your passions and experience—particularly if you’ve got little professional experience—by looking at your volunteer activity on your CV.
  • Volunteering might be listed under professional experience, under skills, or in an entirely separate volunteer section.
  • Use phrases from the job description to tie your volunteer work to the position.

The purpose of preparing a resume is to persuade employers that you are a superb fit for the position. Include details about your education, professional experience, and skills to demonstrate why the business should hire you. You can also think about including a section on volunteer work. Volunteering may assist resumes with barely any professional experience by allowing companies to better understand your hobbies and skills.

The advantages of listing volunteer experience on your resume

There are several reasons you might wish to list your volunteer experience on a resume:

  • To guide transferrable talents for those switching professions or sectors
  • In order to fill up any gaps on your CV caused by a prolonged absence from the workforce
  • To include on a CV with little work experience (essential for recent high school or college graduates)
  • Anyone applying for employment in fields where volunteer work is highly respected, like charitable organizations or jobs in academia, may find it advantageous to participate in volunteer work.

The following advice and examples will show you how to properly list your volunteer experience on a resume. How to format your resume

There are quite a few crucial areas you need to include on your resume:

Contact information and name

Choose a professional email address, don’t forget. Your professional portfolio URL and mailing address are optional pieces of information.

Professional background

When you can, quantify your contribution at every company with numbers and use keywords from the position description.


Include the name of your most recent school and any relevant degrees or honors. If you lack a lot of professional experience, mention pertinent coursework.

Important abilities and credentials

If the company mentioned any requirements in the job description, now is another chance to list them. Consider your special qualifications for the position.

Formats for resumes and optional sections

The extra areas of your resume can also include things like your volunteer experience, successes, interests, and pastimes. You can select from some different resume types based on your experience:

  • In a chronological resume structure, this section ought to appear first if you have a lot of work experience.
  • Consider enlarging your abilities section and placing it beneath your name and contact details in a functional resume structure if your professional history has gaps or you lack any work experience.
  • The combo resume style can be appropriate for you if you have some work experience, relevant talents, and some years of experience.

How to include volunteer experience on a resume

1. Give instances of your voluntary activity in your section on work experience.

If you have a lot of work experience, only list your between three and five most recent, pertinent positions. Consider including volunteer positions in the work history section if you have minimal or no work experience.

List pertinent volunteer experiences under your work background section after you have mentioned significant work and internship experience. Format your volunteer experience utilizing the same format as any previous employment you may have had, but be sure to include “volunteer” in front of any additional titles you may have held, such as executive or managerial positions. For instance:

W. Pittsburgh Food Pantry

Volunteer Duty Manager, July 2016-Present

  • Organization and management of the food pantry operations led to a 20% reduction in spending.
  • Develop a volunteer basis to run the food shelves.
  • Calendar creation, management, and scheduling for more than 200 volunteers

2. Integrate your talents and volunteer experiences

Include your new or improved talents in the volunteer work profile if you developed them through your volunteer activity. Any expertise that might be significant to your prospective employers should be taken into consideration.

3. Make a distinct section for irrelevant volunteer experiences at the conclusion of your CV.

If you believe it would help you stand out from other applicants or give employers useful background, you can think about inserting a short volunteer work segment at the bottom of your resume if you possess volunteer experiences that are unconnected to your industry.

For instance, if you discover from your company study that the employer values recruiting and fostering a rich life beyond work, it can be beneficial for them to get to know about your involvement with a particular charitable organization that you are enthusiastic about. Another illustration would be if, as a young person, you decided to volunteer for a particular cause, which ultimately affected your decision to attend college and study a particular subject or enter the workforce.

To accomplish this, add a new section to your CV at the conclusion and list your volunteer experiences. Although this section can be formatted in the same way as your section on corporate work experience, you can also create a condensed version that fills up less room.

As an illustration of how to create a condensed volunteer work section, consider the following:

Volunteer work: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Charity, August 2017–Present; the American Society for Animal of Arizona, Admissions Manager, January 2016–April 2019

Guidelines for putting volunteer experience on a resume

1. Update your resume for each position you apply for

You might need to modify your resume to reflect the talents, qualities, and requirements of each job. By reading the job description, you may tailor a resume that is appropriate for each position and matches the job advertisement. Visit the organization’s website, Company Page, and any most recent press releases to conduct additional research about the organization.

2. Include search terms from the job description

Read every job description you want to apply for thoroughly. Determine the keywords utilized in the job description, particularly those in the parts describing the necessary education and experience. You can decide whether to add a volunteer part and how to place it by being aware of the employer’s ideal applicant.

For instance, if the business says they are looking for applicants with great organizing skills, you might think back to particular instances when you demonstrated this trait while volunteering. When composing the sections about your talents and work history, you should also include this information.

3. Only mention voluntary work when necessary.

Volunteer work might assist bolster a résumé that is lacking in relevant work experience. Volunteer work might not be the best thing to leave out of your resume, though, if you have a lot of relevant employment experience to list for future employers.

In order to include volunteer work on your resume, you might have to give up some room for employment experiences that are more closely related to your career objectives. Employers only give each resume a brief glance, so carefully assess whether including volunteer experience will be just as helpful as your job history.

Sample resume for volunteer work

Here is an example of a résumé that lists both related and unconnected volunteer activity.

Steven Brown

Henderson, Arizona • (123) 222-3344


A diligent and competent government employee with experience in high-quality patient care.


Key nursing abilities: comprehensive cardiovascular life support systems; emergency care; case management; advanced understanding of drug administration; compassion; critical thinking; organization; and responsiveness.

Professional Background

Nursing Practitioner, Mayo Health Center

July 2011—Present

  • Worked one-on-one with patients to deliver cutting-edge services
  • Managed many patient loads
  • Assisted head nurse in setting up nursing staff schedules

Physicians without Boundaries, Volunteer

July 2009 – May 2008

  • Volunteered in Malawi to provide medical services
  • Assisted in the treatment of infectious disorders
  • Offered neighborhood people instruction on illness prevention


Michigan State University, Oakland

July 2007 – June 2008

4.0 GPA, MSN, Acute, Primary, and Family Care Nursing

Michigan State University, Oakland

July 2003—August 2007

B.S. in nursing with a 3.85 GPA

Volunteer Work

Volunteer, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America

December 2003–December 2004

Served numerous people by offering to be their big brother

Provided guidance, comfort, and care

The Importance of Volunteering in Both Personal and Professional Settings

A great approach to getting involved in your community is to lend a helping hand to those who are in need. Everyone who participates benefits from volunteering, which is a fulfilling activity with many advantages. Knowing the benefits of volunteering and the reason you should participate in yourself will help you determine whether it is a road you want to take further.

Why is it vital to volunteer?

Volunteering is crucial because it enables people to provide selfless assistance to others. People who volunteer could want to support charitable causes, aid others, or give back to their community. Volunteering is also a fantastic way to make a difference in the community and is beneficial to everyone.

Additionally, volunteering is crucial for some nonprofits as they may be entirely dependent on volunteers to run their operations. For instance, some organizations might not have enough money to pay the salaries of every employee because they receive a portion of their funding from the local or federal governments. These organizations work by using teams of volunteers who are unpaid in this way. In this way, the charity may continue to operate and the volunteers can continue to provide assistance to those in need.

Advantages of volunteering

Volunteering has numerous personal and professional advantages, including:

Personal advantages of volunteering

  • Improves good health: For the volunteer, volunteering can assist preserve their mental and physical well-being. A person who volunteers could see an increase in confidence because assisting others can make one feel accomplished. Additionally, volunteering can lower the risk of depression since it fosters strong social connections and opportunities for engagement with others. As you are probably lifting or moving a variety of objects, or at the very least moving your body and exercising, volunteering also aids in maintaining one’s physical health.
  • Develops interpersonal skills: Volunteering aids in the development of interpersonal skills and communication with other volunteers, laying the groundwork for fulfilling social connections. Volunteering can offer chances to interact with others and build relationships in the community for someone who considers themselves to be shy or introverted. The person might improve their social and communication abilities as a result.
  • Creating new connections: People who volunteer have the chance to meet new individuals and perhaps develop friendships with others they might not have otherwise encountered. These new connections are made possible by the shared enthusiasm for the voluntary activity that both sides share. In addition, volunteering is a fantastic opportunity to engage with your area and community.
  • Increases happiness: By offering volunteers the chance to assist others in need, volunteering can make a volunteer happy and joyful. Similarly to this, volunteering can expand your options for interesting and novel experiences and enable you to explore other interests. For instance, if you have a job as an accounting professional and spend most of your time indoors, volunteering at a house construction or animal shelter will allow you to spend more time outside.

The Professional Advantages of Volunteering

Establish a career path: Being a volunteer can aid in identifying your desired professional route because it exposes people to new experiences. Volunteering may help you decide whether you’d be interested in a career in a particular industry if it corresponds with your passions. Additionally, volunteering might reveal important career information about your preferences and work patterns. You might learn through volunteering, for instance, that you enjoy carrying out administrative jobs more than sales or performance-based ones. In the end, volunteering can aid in professional path decision-making and career goal assessment.

  • Stay current: By volunteering, you may keep abreast of any developments in working society. Volunteering allows people to expand existing skill sets and learn new ones, which is advantageous for any career. For instance, if you volunteer at your neighborhood library, you might learn how to use cutting-edge software or more effective spreadsheet procedures that you can use in the future.
  • Give difficulties: Some tasks may prove difficult for people, especially if they volunteer in a field they are unfamiliar with. In this manner, volunteering can offer challenging challenges that can aid in the development of new abilities that will help you hone your existing ones. The ability to take on challenges is demonstrated to potential employers when you volunteer in a sector that is unfamiliar to you. This is a wonderful approach to stand out on resumes.
  • Get a job: Sometimes, volunteering might lead to an organization hiring volunteer. When a company is looking to fill a position internally, hiring managers will probably start by considering internal candidates, such as people who have volunteered before at the company. Volunteers who later apply for paid roles when they become available could have an edge over outside hires. For instance, if a person has been volunteering at an organization for three years, they are already familiar with the organization’s staff, regulations, and corporate culture.

Volunteer opportunities

Here are some places in your town where you can volunteer:

  • Schools
  • Senior Facilities
  • Local child sports organizations
  • Hospitals
  • Animal sanctuaries
  • Construction companies for homes
  • Libraries
  • Food pantries

Volunteering options

  • You can actively volunteer in your neighborhood in a variety of ways, including:
  • Tutoring pupils
  • Playing games or conversing with senior citizens at a senior citizen center
  • Reading to elders and performing dances for them at a senior citizen center
  • Coordinating after-school programs and events for adolescents at risk
  • Overseeing a local youth sports team
  • Accompanying hospital patients
  • Visiting an animal shelter, walking dogs
  • Constructing houses
  • Arranging and stacking library books
  • Plates in a soup kitchen must be cleaned


In conclusion, listing your volunteer experience on a resume can be a valuable addition that showcases your dedication, skills, and community involvement. By effectively highlighting your volunteer work, you demonstrate your commitment to making a positive impact and your ability to contribute to a team. Remember to tailor your volunteer experience to align with the job you’re applying for, emphasizing relevant skills and accomplishments. Include specific details, such as the organization you volunteered for, your role, and any significant achievements or responsibilities. By showcasing your volunteer experience, you not only demonstrate your character and values but also enhance your overall professional profile.

Frequently Asked Questions about how to include volunteer experience on a resume

  • Should I include all of my volunteer experience on my resume?

It’s generally recommended to include relevant and recent volunteer experience on your resume. Focus on experiences that align with the skills and qualifications required for the job you’re applying for.

  • How should I format my volunteer experience on my resume?

Create a separate section for volunteer experience and list the organization name, your role, dates of involvement, and a brief description of your responsibilities and achievements. Use bullet points to make it easy to read and highlight key details.

  • What if I don’t have much volunteer experience to include?

If you have limited volunteer experience, you can still include it on your resume. Focus on transferable skills and highlight any relevant experiences, such as assisting with school events, community projects, or charity fundraisers.

  • Can I list volunteer experience that is unrelated to the job I’m applying for?

While it’s best to prioritize relevant volunteer experience, you can still include unrelated experiences if they demonstrate valuable skills or qualities. Emphasize transferable skills, such as leadership, teamwork, communication, and problem-solving.

  • Should I include references for my volunteer experience?

It’s not necessary to include references for volunteer experience on your resume. However, you can mention that references are available upon request. Be prepared to provide references if requested during the application or interview process.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *