Do you want to gain volunteer experience? Or maybe you found something you believe in and desire to contribute to a cause?
Despite your selfless intentions, recruiters do not return the calls?
Don’t get upset!
Some positions require specific qualifications and an extraordinary approach. That’s why we are here to help you in your journey! Here you will learn to build a top-notch resume that highlights your best attributes and catches attention.
Follow this ultimate 2022 volunteer resume guide and achieve your goals!
What you’ll learn here
- how to list volunteer work on your resume
- where to put related volunteer work for the best effect
- how to include volunteer experience using bullet points and prove to be perfect for the job
- how to choose between resume summary or objective
- what other sections will fit the volunteer resume, and how to build them
How to write a volunteer resume
“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”
Remember this quote because it’s the basis of what we are about to discuss here.
The idea of the volunteer resume is to show how you can give away your:
Yes, you might want to volunteer to add experience to your resume when applying for college or else. And that’s okay!
However, you should take a human-centered approach and prove to the recruiters that you can indeed:
- help people be one step closer to their dreams
- contribute to a specific cause that will make the world a better place
How are you going to do it?
Firstly, you have better tailor all resume sections to the volunteer position.
That’s a must!
Secondly, you should prove to recruiters that you could apply all you’ve learned from college or professional experience.
Focus on skills and strengths like empathy and communication that directly benefit people.
Describe how you will contribute to the cause you chose.
It’s needless to point out that self motivation is crucial.
After all, your desire to leave your mark on someone’s life is a driving force!
Continue reading and learn what volunteer resume formats will earn you extra points!
Volunteer resume formats
You can use these three resume formats:
- Reverse-chronological resume
- Functional resume
- Hybrid resume
The following two factors will define your choice of a resume format:
- Years of experience
- Industry experience
- Reverse-chronological resumes are a good option for candidates with a couple of years in the niche.
- Functional resumes match professionals that change careers or job seekers. However, this format is not widely popular among recruiters
- Hybrid resumes combine the best of both worlds, as they are suitable for all types of professionals-beginners and seniors.
Pay attention to the style and layout! Here are some resume tips:
- Utilize the 12p resume font size
- Use 10’ resume margins
- If you have under 10 years of experience-use one-page resume, otherwise-two-page resume
- Check your grammar and spelling
- Focus on the PDF format
If you want to get the interview call, you should add References and Languages!
Top resume sections:
- The Summary section introduces you as an individual, lists your qualities and skills and reveals the cause you believe in
- Your expertise is a clear sign of whether you will fit a specific volunteer position
- Skills and strengths show how you could contribute to the volunteer program
- Decent education is a bonus
- References from reputable figures also add more credibility to your resume
What recruiters want to see:
- What do you believe in? How can you make the world a better place?
- How could you put your knowledge acquired from school/college into practice?
- What are your personality traits? Does helping people give you pleasure?
- What are your goals? Do you apply to be a volunteer to add experience to your resume? Or do you have other motives?
- Are you a self-motivated person? How do you act in difficult situations? Are you capable of working in a team?
Build an Attention-Grabbing Header
It’s unbelievable how many people build their resume header wrong.
They rush to skip the “no brainer” section and focus on the content.
However, if you do not introduce personal information and contacts, you might miss the train to success.
Here are some tips on what to include in your header to make a positive impression on recruiters:
- Try to use the same name on all your social platforms: if you put Jonathan in your resume, avoid writing “Johnny” in your LinkedIn profile
- Always write down your job title: try to add volunteer positions that are relevant to the one you are applying for
- List the phone number that you use most
- Include a professional email address: it’s preferable to contain your first and last/middle name
- Web portfolio address or LinkedIn profile that will provide evidence of your previous volunteer experience
- Accurate location: do not lie about your address because this might cause only troubles
These are two examples: one wrong and one right. Analyze them carefully and build an attention-grabbing header!
2 Volunteer resume header examples
Coherent Summary Section & Secret Formula
It is scientifically proven that people always remember the first and the last sentence of each discussion, monologue, or text.
Therefore, the Summary section is worth your attention.
Your introduction should convey the feeling of confidence, self motivation and empathy.
Thus, you can describe your skills and experience and outline how they will help you contribute to your cause.
You can follow this simple but quite effective formula when building your volunteer summary section:
- Mention the years and field of experience supported with favorable adjectives
- Use quantitative data to describe your duties and responsibilities
- Add skills that you excelled in, tailored to the job description
- Include achievements, awards, or similar recognitions from authoritative institutions and people
- Finish the summary with a sentence saying what you are looking for
If you follow these steps, you can expect a return call from recruiters soon!
Take notes and be careful when writing yours!
2 Volunteer resume summary examples
The following sample is not that bad, but it’s far from impressive.
There is no quantitative data and nothing specific at all.
Such a wrong approach might cost you the job interview, so avoid:
- Mediocre sentences like starting with “I”
- Vague and general information without proven facts
- Adding skills or duties irrelevant to the job offer
The volunteer summary above is 10 out of 10! Nothing short of success! Don’t try to be “extravagant” and follow the steps we provided for you! You will be mesmerized by what simplicity might do for you!
objective that is straight to the point
Let’s set the difference between volunteer summary and objective:
In the summary section, you can include achievements, education, skills and an explanation of why you are the right candidate.
On the other hand, the objective is more straight to the point.
It is a brief statement that communicates your career goals: the job and the skills you want to acquire.
It’s preferable also to add your experience backed up with facts and quantitative data.
Here is a coherent example of an objective that speaks volumes:
Volunteer Experience Focusing on Action & Contribution
Believe it or not, you should treat the volunteer experience just like a job!
You don’t have the right to describe irrelevant details that offer no value.
Your bullet point should show determination and self motivation.
That’s how you will prove to recruiters that you are on the right track.
To take the right approach and prove your contribution, you should:
- Describe your duties using proven facts, action verbs and numbers
- Emphasize activities and projects that you personally led and organized
- Mention what soft/hard skills you acquired and how you utilized them
- Use high-performance metrics and do not hesitate to add references or recognitions
It’s essential to follow these 4 to describe your volunteering efficiently.
Do not forget to tailor all the bullet points to the job description!
Recruiters search for candidates with relevant expertise to maximize the project outcomes.
If you lack creativity now, ask yourself questions and answer them:
What were my responsibilities? How did I excel in them?
How did I manage to cope with stress in the dynamic environment?
How did communication and empathy help me build trust in people?
Was I recognized for my contributions? Did I get positive feedback? By whom?
Follow this advice and show to recruiters admirable volunteer resume experience!
Volunteer resume experience examples
- Provided patient education
- Received positive feedback and praises
- Participated in fundraisers and organized events
- Monitored a lot of patients
One word, 8 symbols:
Unfortunately, this applicant has no idea how to list and describe their previous experience.
Thank God you ran into our volunteer guide and learned how to write it!
Prove us right and take notes from the following well-built Experience section!
- Provided patient education sessions twice per week
- Received 98% positive feedback from patients and was highly praised by the hospital manager
- Participated in 3 fundraisers and organized 3 events to raise funds to support hospital’s innovative cancer treatment program
- Monitored 60+ patients and ensured all medications were administered on time
Attention! If your volunteer experience is relevant to the position you are applying for, include it in the Experience section. Otherwise, if you mention it to fill the resume gaps, use it as a separate Volunteering section.
Must-Have Volunteer Skills & Strengths for a Resume
Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.
The meaning behind this quote should be your maxim.
Yes, you should balance your soft and hard skills and tailor them to the job description.
Nevertheless, if your abilities do not correspond to giving value, they are useless.
Remember that volunteering is all about the people you help.
Then, you should offer skills that match these vital criteria.
5 Volunteer Hard Skills:
- Microsoft Office
- Physical Fitness
- Good Memory
- Foreign Languages
- Basic Computer Skills
5 Volunteer Soft Skills:
The Strengths section is an amazing opportunity to stand out from the competition.
Here you could list your talents or the skills you excelled.
Then, you can back them up with examples or quantitative data.
Of course, it’s crucial to focus on strengths related to the job description and focus on positive personality traits.
Education Section in a Volunteer Resume
If you are a skilled professional with deep expertise, there is no need to add bullet points in the Education section.
However, if you are a freshman or a youngster with little to no experience, you need to stand out.
You must show how your school/college prepares you to apply your skills in a real-life situation.
Here are 4 vital steps to follow when describing your education:
- Write down what skills you acquired and how you applied them in your experience
- Mention some high-performance metrics you achieved and back them up with numbers
- Show self motivation and positive personality traits: volunteering focuses on helping people
- Add GPA (higher than 3.5), references from your tutors, or other achievements
Volunteer resume certificates worth mentioning
Below are listed the most common volunteer certifications in the USA.
It’s easy to declare that all of them indicate self motivation.
However, try to include these certificates only if relevant to the job offer.
Thus, you increase your chances of getting hired by at least 50%.
Top volunteer certificates for your resume:
- Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE)
- Certified Healthcare Administrative Professional (cHAP)
cohesive day of my life section offering authenticity
Time management is crucial when it comes to taking serious responsibilities.
The “Day of My Life” section is a cohesive way to prove you are an organized and dedicated candidate.
However, many applicants repeat the same mistake.
They build the diagram without including the time they would spend on volunteering.
Such action would make the whole section pointless.
Take your time, decide how much of your time you could give away on volunteering and add it to the diagram.
- Use action verbs and quantitative data to support every section of your resume, especially your experience
- Focus on positive personality traits and describe how you want to contribute to the cause you believe in
- Tailor your soft and hard skills to the volunteer position. Emphasize self motivation, communication and organization
- Add a Day of My Life section, References, or Strengths to build trust in recruiters