Volunteer Resume: Examples and Tips
Volunteer work in social services involves diverse responsibilities ranging from administrative tasks, fundraising and marketing to social work projects. The work hours depend on the job position as well as the availability of the volunteer. Charity organizations, local authorities, nonprofit organizations and private trusts hire volunteers.
Peruse our resume examples and tips to polish up your own resume for volunteer opportunities.
Table of Contents
Featured Resume Example: Volunteer
Name: PATRICK GRANIER
Address: City, State, Zip Code
Pragmatic Social Work student pursing a Master’s in Social Work. Genuine desire to serve others and passionate about helping people in need. Eager to assist the community through volunteer work to help meet goals, facilitate treatment, assistance and counseling services.
- Assisted three social workers with file documentatation and data entry.
- Completed intake assessment and analyzed information to determine treatment goals and objectives.
- Prepared and submitted accurate reports and forms in compliance with protocals.
- Reached out to nonprofits and other organizations to find funding for at-risk groups.
- Worked with the community to improve life choices and maximize benefits of programs.
- Educated potential participants on available services and processes to engage in program.
- Taught support skills such as anger management and conflict resolution as needed.
- Communicated with the community regularly and offered resources to assist with issues.
- Reported to the Lead Social Worker on a daily basis.
SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATION
- Background in social work with internship experience.
- Ability to communicate effectively with children and parents.
- Acts as an advocate and guide throughout difficult and emotionally-draining situations.
Top 4 Characteristics of a Best-in-Class Volunteer Resume
- Summary Communicate your willingness to help and your passion for the sector the organization belongs to, e.g., environmental welfare or health care. Write a brief description of your top skills and experience. For example: “Energetic and dependable health care volunteer seeking to utilize my clinical skills for patient care. Experience in performing hospital administrative tasks and assisting health care professionals.”
- Skills Whether it’s your first job as a volunteer or you have experience in this field, most organizations mainly look for soft skills. This job requires reliability, commitment, strong interpersonal and communication skills, problem-solving skills and adaptability. You should also mention specific skills that you may have gained, such as budget management and fundraising for a community welfare project or your social media marketing skills.
- Work History Volunteer work involves helping people overcome varied life challenges. Show quantifiable work experiences that proves your performance in this action-driven role. For example: “Designed and executed system to track work hours for 50 volunteers.” Or, “Managed and distributed aid supplies to flood-stricken town of 2,000 residents.”
- Education Begin with your highest qualification, followed by other courses and certifications that you’ve completed or are in the process of completing. Add specialized skills like Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) certification, which would be an added advantage if you are applying for volunteer work in the healthcare sector.
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Do’s and Don’ts for Your Resume
- Do highlight all types volunteer experience Volunteering work ranges from traditional volunteer work at an NGO to voluntourism, gap year volunteering and online volunteering. While mentioning your work history, specify the type of volunteer work, including the sector or industry. For example: “Volunteering at a hospice” or “Blogging on human rights and online fundraising for the rehabilitation of human trafficking victims.”
- Do make sure your resume is up to date Before you submit your job application, update your resume with the relevant contact information, your recent qualifications (completed or in the process of completion) and current work experience. If you have a permanent job and are looking for a part-time volunteer job, mention the skills and experience you’ve accumulated from a full-time job.
- Do emphasize the positive While volunteer work helps broaden your life experiences, you may have also had to face harsh life realities. Don’t focus on the negative aspects of previous jobs (for example, dealing with bureaucratic issues, or difficult housing conditions) when describing your work. Instead, focus on successful results and the role you play in them. For example: “Planned and coordinated the construction of 20 homes for a poverty-stricken community.”
- Don’t use a complicated or unprofessional email address Using an inappropriate or unprofessional email address in your contact information can hinder your securing a volunteering job. Show recruiters that you’re serious and reliable about your work, and avoid silly usernames such as boomshakalaka, and create an email that uses your actual name, such as JohnSmith94.
- Don’t lie in your resume Make sure you don’t lie or make false claims about your qualifications or work experience (for example, lying about receiving a ‘Coordinator of the Month’ award in an NGO). Don’t compensate for your lack of experience with false facts. Instead, focus on the skills you do have, and communicate your willingness and ability to pick up new skills.
- Don’t include irrelevant job information While writing your resume, you may want to recount all your benevolent deeds to make the best possible impression on the recruiter. However, don’t make the resume your autobiography, with minute details of each job. (For example, do not elaborate on the details of volunteering at a one-day charity event.) Instead, focus on your successes with sustained volunteer work. For example: “Created an automated cloud database of 8,000 clients and implemented data segregation based on client demographics.”
Volunteer Resume FAQ
- 1. What are the skills you should emphasize for this specific job?
- 2. What are some examples of training and certifications that fit this specific resume?
- 3. How should you format your resume?
- 4. How should you craft your resume if you’re looking to take the next step forward in your career?
1. What are the skills you should emphasize for this specific job?
For volunteering, while proficiency in computer programs and social media is a plus, emphasize your interpersonal and intangible skills: being enthusiastic, purpose-driven and comfortable interacting with a diverse set of people. Feature these attributes in your resume, along with some of the following skills:
- Effective verbal and written communication
- Strong interpersonal skills
- Time management
- Ability to work under pressure
- Ability to grasp quickly
- Empathy and tolerance
- High standards of integrity and confidentiality
- Project management
- Organizational skills
2. What are some examples of training and certifications that fit this specific resume?
Formal training isn’t usually required for a volunteer job. You should have a keen interest in helping people and a strong commitment to your passion for social work. A high school diploma, associate degree or bachelor’s degree in any field will be sufficient to perform most volunteer responsibilities. The ideal training for volunteering is on-the-job experience in the sector of your interest. Also, familiarity in computer software such as Adobe Photoshop, Dreamweaver or Oracle could open doors for opportunities that require these programs. Foreign language proficiency can also increase your opportunities for volunteering abroad.
3. How should you format your resume?
For your first volunteering job, choose a functional format to focus on your qualifications and skills, especially soft skills such as organizing and prioritizing tasks, a strong work ethic and excellent communication skills. If you’re an experienced volunteer, pick the chronological format, which focuses on your work history and credentials. A combination format works well if you have a variety of work experiences, as it allows you to focus on relevant job accomplishments as well as transferable skills, such as the ability to work under stress, a meticulous approach, adaptability and problem-solving skills.
To learn more about how to format you resume, visit our resume format page.
4. How should you craft your resume if you’re looking to take the next step forward in your career?
For most applicants, volunteering is not a life-long job, but if you wish to continue in the volunteering field, make a list of your existing skills. If you’re passionate about a particular sector (healthcare, for example), identify skills and/or certifications that you are lacking. For example: the American Hospital Association Certification Center (AHA-CC) offers a Certified Administrator of Volunteer Services (CAVS) credential. Also look into training up in areas such as bookkeeping, computer applications and social media tools, as well as any other skills that can help you with budget management, fundraising, marketing and other dynamics of volunteer work.