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How to Include Volunteering on Your Resume — Top Tips!

How to Include Volunteering on Your Resume — Top Tips!

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Volunteering shows a side of us that is not only hardworking, but also selfless and caring.

These are all traits which may catch a potential employer’s eye, which is why it can be so important to list these experiences on a resume!

There are certain strategic ways to list these experiences which make them sound more professional on a resume.

Let’s take a look at how this can best be done to help you shine in the best light!


How Should You Include Volunteering on a Resume? 

Where to include volunteering on your resume depends on the amount of experience you have. For those with little experience, it should be put in the experience section. It could also be listed as a skill, which is an excellent place to include it if you can articulate what sort of skill the volunteering resulted in. Make sure that you word the volunteering experience in a way that sounds not only generous, but valuable to your growth.


How to include volunteering in the experience section  

If you are a recent graduate, or have limited real-world experience in the job market, then it is best to include volunteering in the experience section.

Make sure that you list the name of the place you volunteered at as the company, and that the dates are accurate. 


Dartsmouth Humane Society – Volunteer Animal Caretaker – (Jan 20xx – Dec 20xx)

  • Assisted in the maintenance and hygiene of over 50 animals on a weekly basis
  • Gave baths, groomed, and walked animals
  • Kept records of and made appointments for animals up for adoption 

Volunteer Work on Resume

If you are volunteering for a place without an official name, try to name it in a way that sounds professional.

Think of a name which captures the essence of the volunteer work, and reads like a company.

This could cover working for a family friend, or helping out in your community. When done correctly, it should look like this:


Yardale City Beautification Group – Volunteer street cleaner – (Jan 20xx – Dec 20xx)

  • Founded a community group which picks up trash and beautifies the city
  • Managed which sections are to be cleaned on a rotating basis
  • Was featured in three local newspapers, and recognized by the city council

Volunteering on Resume 2

How to include volunteering in the skills section on your resume

If you already have a well-rounded experience section in your resume, then it is best not to clutter it with your volunteering. Instead, you can list it as a skill!

Think about the most important thing you got out of the volunteering experience.

Was it leadership skills? Management? Community outreach? Social media experience?

Pick one or two at most, and then include them in your skills section. If you choose leadership, for example, it could look like this:



  • Proficient in Microsoft Excel, Word, and Powerpoint


  • Founded an animal welfare volunteer group with over 100 current members
  • Managed funds, and delegated tasks to new members as the organization grew

Volunteer Work on Resume 3

You should be careful to not add too many bullet points, as the skills section is typically very short and straightforward.

One or two should be enough to get the point across in your resume.

Just write enough to catch the employer’s eye, and they can ask more about it during your interview. 


How to word volunteer experiences to look impressive

If volunteer experiences are listed too casually, it may not sound relevant to the person reading your resume.

Of course, it is good to know that an employee is a good person who dedicates their time to good causes.

On the other hand, why should this employer care?

By wording your experiences in a way that frames them as valuable work experiences, you can make sure your resume reflects on you as being a well-rounded potential employee. 

Here are a few examples of traits you may have gained from volunteering:

  • Leadership
  • Management
  • Financial experience
  • Independence
  • Social Media experience
  • Data Management
  • Company Email Management
  • Advertising Experience
  • Graphic Design Experience

The list goes on.

The point being, if you can explain that your experience has taught you valuable traits, then it will sound much more impressive to your employer.

Even for something as simple as babysitting! Let’s look at another example:


Independent Childcare Worker (Jan 20xx) – (Dec 20xx)

  • Designed advertisements in PSD, and oversaw distribution to obtain new clients
  • Maintained an email account, social media account, and responded to questions and inquiries promptly
  • Ensured the safety and quality care of children

While an employer may not care about your babysitting experience, they would certainly be impressed by someone who could design advertisements, who has social media outreach experience, or who has experience emailing clients.

The key is to keep in mind what it is that employers are looking for, and to connect your own experiences to those needs. 

If you are looking for something to fill out your resume in one of these areas, perhaps try out a volunteer experience and see how it can improve your chances! 


Should you list volunteering experience on a resume?

This depends entirely on your working history. If you have a well-rounded resume with a robust, relevant job history, it may not be necessary.

Likewise, if your skills section is full of professional experience, it may seem redundant to list volunteer experience. 

If your volunteer experience is particularly impressive, however, it is still beneficial to list it in your resume regardless of experience.

Some examples may include working for well-known philanthropic organizations such as Doctors Without Borders, if you founded your own volunteer organization, or if you were recognized on any mainstream media such as television for your volunteering. 

If you believe that talking about your volunteering during an interview will make you seem like a more interesting and valuable experience, include that talking point to give yourself a chance to bring it up in the interview. 


Frequently asked questions about listing volunteer experience on resume


Could listing a volunteer experience hurt my chances?

Yes. Be careful how you word a volunteer experience because it could make you seem like you have so little experience, you needed to resort to listing it. Do not include unprofessional sounding experiences such as “Babysitting for my sister” or “School led city cleanup”. Format them as shown above, and they will prove far more impressive.


If I have more than one volunteer experience, should I list both?

Be careful of listing too many volunteer experiences. Professional work experience is almost always more impressive to an employer, and too much volunteering may make them question your lack of working experience. If you are listing more than one, make sure they are both relevant and necessary to your resume.