Can Including Volunteer Work on Your Resume Give You an Advantage?

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You spend hours, days and weeks writing your resume. A hiring manager spends a few seconds reviewing it. How can you get them to stop and take notice of you and your key strengths? You need to stand out in a positive way and including volunteer experience is one way to do that.

In fact, consider this statistic: According to a 2016 report by Deloitte, which studied 2,506 hiring managers, 82% of them prefer candidates who have volunteer experience. They know that these are the kinds of opportunities that help to expand knowledge, broaden horizons and build leadership skills. They also know that it says something about a candidate’s character and what they value in life.

Even better, according to that same study, only about 32% of candidates actually have this kind of experience on their resume. Many underestimate the importance of it and mistakenly think that including it will distract the hiring manager from their professional experience. So if you have a background in volunteering – and you include it – it will go a long way in distinguishing you from the sea of other candidates.

But where and how should you list it?

As a top resume writing service, ResumeSpice knows it depends on the type of experience it is. While hiring managers like to see any kind of volunteer experience, they do put more weight on the type that’s associated with the field you work in. So if you have industry-related volunteer experience, you can actually include it under your “Work History” section and format it like any other job. Just make sure you’re clear that you worked there as a volunteer.

If, however, it’s not related to what you do for a living, still include it. Just create a separate section on your resume for “Volunteer Experience” and place it under there. When you do, make sure you also list your volunteer position title, the organization it was with, and the dates you volunteered there. Even though it’s seemingly unrelated, any kind of volunteer experience tells an employer you’re motivated and willing to go above and beyond.

Have other questions or need more help with your resume?

Contact ResumeSpice. Our resume writing team knows what’s important to include on your resume – and what to leave out – all to help you create the most persuasive one possible. Find out more by reaching out to us at 832.930.7378 or by contacting us online.