GNcareers, from Gulf News

Volunteer experience enriches your resume

Resume Writing GuidesImage Credit: Supplied

Do you include volunteer experience in your resume? Do you tack it on as an afterthought or include it in the body of your work experience? If you’re like most people; it’s likely that you discount volunteer work. A LinkedIn survey found that while 89% of professionals had done volunteer work, only 45% included this experience on their resume.

The thing is, the LinkedIn survey also found that 41% of hiring managers consider volunteer experience just as valuable as paid work. Volunteer work can help mitigate any gaps you may have in your work history, and it says a lot about you. Since hiring managers have to scan plenty of dry and factual resumes; your volunteer experience can help you stand out as an individual. It gives a manager insight into your values; it makes your resume more personal; and it helps give the impression that you’re well-rounded. It certainly gives you the opportunity to add something to an interview discussion, and well might be the memorable highlight of the interviewing process for the hiring manager.

Even if you think that your volunteer experience has nothing at all to do with the job you’re looking for; you may be surprised by how a recruiter may look at the work. It can demonstrate character and commitment. It can demonstrate responsibility and a strong work ethic. And, when you consider the actual job descriptions of your volunteer positions; there’s likely plenty of hard and soft skills that you pick up, skills that you may not have gained through your work experience. Volunteer work is like seeking out further learning and training, and tells a hiring manager that you’re driven to expand your repertoire.

Volunteer experience is work experience; be sure to include it on your resume.

Handy Hints
• Adequately describe volunteer work done in your resume
• Be prepared to discuss it in detail during the job interview
• Try to establish its connection with the post that you want


Source: Oksana Tashakova, Special to Jobs & Careers
The writer is HR Training & Development Expert, Academia of Human Potential