How to List Volunteer Experience on a Resume

How to List Volunteer Experience on a Resume thumbnail
You can translate volunteer experience into desirable job skills.

Starting out or changing your career can present a challenge -- especially if you do not have extensive experience. Unpaid positions, including volunteer work, may include marketable hard and soft skills, including computer, leadership and communication experience. Volunteering also requires a certain level of compassion and reveals a service-oriented attitude. Many employers appreciate volunteer achievements, especially if they relate to the company's industry or to the job functions. List your volunteer experience to add another layer of experience to your resume.


  1. Prepare the Information

    • 1

      Gather details about your volunteer work, including the skills, values and experience you gained, as well as the group name, location, contact information and project type.

    • 2

      Write a brief paragraph explaining how the volunteer experience relates to your target career. For example, if you lead a small team, contributed to a newsletter or taught a group of people, translate that experience into valuable skills for your target job. Use this paragraph to help you formulate answers to interview questions about your skills and to help you write your resume and cover letter.

    • 3

      Choose a resume template or open a blank document in your word processor. Insert your name and contact information at the top of your resume. Make the font for your name stand out by using formatting options such as bold or a larger size. Place your contact information in the font and size you plan to use for the remainder of the resume.

    • 4

      Select the type of resume best suited for your work history, education and experience. The chronological resume lists your work experience first, followed by your education, volunteer work and awards. People with recent and relevant work experience typically use the chronological format. The functional resume lists experience by skill set, followed by work experience. The functional format provides an opportunity to highlight volunteer work and skills.

    Chronological Resume

    • 5

      Insert a section called "Career Objective," "Career Focus" or "Professional Profile." Include a brief synopsis of your career goal or target position.

    • 6

      List your work experience immediately below your "Career Objective" section. Start with your most recent employment and work backward through past positions. Make a brief list of your responsibilities. For a current position, use present tense phrases. Use past tense phrases for previous positions.

    • 7

      Insert a new line underneath your work experience. Call this section "Volunteer Experience." Insert the name and location of the organization for which you performed volunteer work. Include a synopsis of the duties you performed.

    • 8

      Insert a new section called "Education." List the degree, university or college, years attended and location.

    • 9

      Add any awards or other accomplishments below the education section.

    Functional Resume

    • 10

      Insert your objective or career focus.

    • 11

      Write your qualifications. The qualifications section should directly address the requirements of the position. It should include your most qualifying skills.

    • 12

      Insert your professional experience, including volunteer positions. You can list the volunteer positions you held or their function. For example, for child care, you could create a "teaching assistant" or "child care" category and list your skills there.

    • 13

      Insert your education, awards and accomplishments at the bottom of the resume.

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