Becoming a volunteer isn’t always as easy as it seems. Just as you would do for a paying job, you should present a well-written curriculum vitae when applying to work for a nonprofit organization. There may be many others looking to join the same cause, so your application needs to be made to impress.
Use the volunteer CV example as a guide when you have questions about what to include and how to present yourself. Remember that a CV is different from a resume in several ways, and you can refer to our tips to give shape to your document.
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Dedicated English teaching professional. Versed in neuroscientific methods to improve learner comprehension and retention. Energetic speaker who connects with individuals as well as the audience as a whole. Committed to results-based teaching and to testing methods that truly evaluate the progress of students. Compassionate listener, interested in helping immigrants adapt to the challenges of life in a new country.
- Manage admissions and marketing, set and meet revenue targets.
- Develop the skills and address the concerns of our six full-time staff members.
- Hired a new coordinator to plan activities, collect payments, and handle accounts payable/receivable.
- Implemented conservation policies that reduced operating expenses by 10 percent over the first year.
- Taught English as second language to recent arrivals from multiple continents.
- Spent time with individual students to give them encouragement and help them improve their study skills despite difficulties they faced in their personal lives.
- Built curriculums around words and phrases of high frequency, emphasizing both natural speech and proper pronunciation.
- Managed the daily balance while keeping an eye out for cash and credit card fraud.
- Treated customers with patience and dignity while handling returns and pricing discrepancy issues.
- Helped elderly shoppers to locate items they couldn’t find while walking through the store alone.
- Strategically packaged items to avoid spoilage and protect delicate items from harm.
Growing up with three sisters, I’ve always been a family person. Now I have a child of my own, and together we enjoy playing sports, having play dates with other kids and visiting zoos and aquariums. We try to take a big vacation once per year, visiting other countries whenever it’s within our budget. I am an avid reader, typically finishing a new book every month. At home, we enjoy arts, crafts, and cooking projects on the weekends.
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Volunteer CV Questions
Many may not see the need to create a CV for a volunteer job. By not doing so, however, you could be inadvertently de-emphasizing the importance of the role. Creating a CV to submit alongside your volunteer application shows organizations your level of commitment to their causes.
Writing a volunteer CV should be no different than creating one for a traditional job. You should list whatever relevant skills and previous experience you possess. If this is your first CV-writing experience, not to worry; our resume builder tool offers step-by-step instructions on how to create a strong and memorable document.
What if you have no prior experience as a volunteer? Often, volunteer organizations will not place a great deal of importance on your previous experience, choosing to instead recognize your willingness to come out and donate your time and effort. Some volunteer roles, however, will require a certain level of knowledge.
Analyze the job listing to determine which of the aforementioned categories this particular role falls in. If it does seem to require a certain level of understanding, you can easily overcome your lack of experience by emphasizing whatever applicable skills and understanding you do possess. Remember to also state your willingness to quickly learn the expectations that come with your new role.
Volunteers are often grouped into teams that share responsibilities and coordinate schedules. This places added importance on you showing that you work well in a team environment. Even if your previous volunteer (or professional) experience was in a singular role, you can still present yourself as a strong team player.
Notice how in the volunteer CV sample, the applicant shares several examples of where she managed groups and projects. This not only details scenarios when she worked as a member of a team, but also when she had opportunities to show her leadership skills.
When sharing your previous volunteer experience (or work history), you only want to include details relevant to your new potential role. Consider this when selecting what information to include in your CV.
Once you know what details you are going to share, start to think of how to group that information into bullet points. You can see that the applicant in the volunteer CV sample shares four bullet points under each position. Four to six bullet points is a good standard to follow when sharing this information.
More often than not, an application will ask for references. This saves you from needing to reserve space for them on your CV (which is likely why you do not see them on the volunteer CV sample). However, there may be times when a volunteer director simply asks you to email him or her a CV. In this case, you may want to include reference numbers so that he or she can verify your previous experience. Include them in your previous experience, along with the names of your contacts.
Volunteer CV Must-Haves
What Does a Volunteer Do?
Volunteers freely give of their time to contribute to a cause. They use their knowledge and abilities to do something that benefits others, whether directly or indirectly. It may include physical work, such as making repairs and enhancements to homes for low-income residents. Professionals such as doctors, nurses, lawyers, and engineers may use their skills to provide services for patients or clients without pay.
Volunteers are especially interested in addressing areas of vulnerability and helping disadvantaged persons to meet their needs. They may donate food or clothing to those who have limited income. Although the volunteer CV example refers to someone who wants to teach English as a second language, it can be adapted to just about any altruistic endeavor.
Tips for Creating a Great Volunteer CV
Each CV may be unique, but certain guidelines make for a document that highlights the best of you. Here are a few tips to keep in mind while working on yours:
– When listing your work experience, focus on accomplishments, and be as specific as possible.
– In your highlights from past and current jobs, use a variety of action verbs rather than statements such as “responsible for” or “in charge of.”
– Make your professional summary as interesting and engaging as possible, as it sits at the top of your CV.
– Be conscious of words that may be repeated throughout your piece, and consult a thesaurus whenever you are short on synonyms.
– Feel free to let your personality shine through, but leave anything religious, political, or otherwise controversial off of your CV.