The ABC’s of Resume Writing | “V” is for Volunteer

V: Highlight VOLUNTEER Activities to Showcase Your Leadership Skills.

We all know that employers focus on career experience and skills when trying to decide if a candidate should be considered for an interview and ultimately employment. However, there is another area of your professional career that you should give consideration to when writing your resume: volunteer activities. Volunteer activities can be an important aspect of your professional career and there are three reasons why you should definitely list volunteer activities on your resume.

You have a leadership role.

Employers like leaders. Holding a leadership role in a volunteer activity, whether it be as president of your home owners association or secretary of your local rotary club, shows that you are well-rounded and can accomplish things outside of your work activities.

You have been involved for an extended amount of time.

Showing membership with a volunteer organization over a number of years shows consistency and disputes the fact that you may be trying to “pad you resume” with volunteer activities just to get interviews. The skills you can learn over time will certainly benefit you on the job and will be a win-win for both you and your employer.

You have accomplishments relevant to your career goal.

Including accomplishments that are relevant to your career goal is important and including relevant accomplishments from volunteer activities will certainly boost your potential as a desirable candidate. The strategy is to leverage your volunteer activities to bolster your professional experience. If you are currently in career transition, volunteering is a perfect way to bridge your unemployment gap and continue to develop professionally until you land your next career opportunity.

What about religious or political volunteer activities? Care should be taken when including your involvement in activities such as these. Just as you typically should not list personal information such as age, weight, and marital status, political and religious affiliations should also not be listed. Take this advice on a case-by-case basis. If you feel listing this experience would work to your advantage, then do so. If not, then you are better off omitting this information.

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