Volunteer Resume Examples

Construct an effective volunteer resume that managers will notice

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Professional Resume Samples for  a  Volunteer

Strengthen your volunteer resume with professional examples

Volunteer Resume Tips and Ideas

Volunteers offer support to people all over the world in many different ways. Volunteer positions are in constant demand and are popular amongst trained professionals and recent graduates alike.

Volunteering is a common feature of many careers such as law, nursing, dentistry, medicine, and psychologist. All of these professions will expect a little experience of volunteer work already, whether it’s assisting in a free clinic, offering pro-bono support or volunteering abroad.

In many ways, applying for a volunteership follows very much the same processes and rules as any other recruitment proceeding. Recruiters are going to want to see an effective, professional resume that demonstrates your skills and responsibility are suited to the role at hand.

In this guide, you’ll find out exactly how to optimize your resume, so that recruiters take notice application and call you into an interview. Although, getting the resume right is much easier with an online resume builder. Tools like this will help you format your document professionally and offer tips to get the best from your application. Let’s now examine what you should include on your volunteer resume to get the position.

Top Tips

Format
  • A reverse chronological format is best for a volunteer resume
  • For entry-level resumes and career changers, a combination or functional resume can work better
Design
  • Use a clean simple design
  • Carefully space out headings and subheadings
  • Write in a plain 12 point font
  • Summarize information in bullet point form
Photo

Not required

Sections

    Required:

  • Contact details
  • Resume objective/summary statement
  • Skills
  • Work experience
  • Qualifications

    Optional:

  • Achievements
  • Certifications
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Languages
Resume Length

1-2 x letter pages (11” x 8.5”)

Format

The best way to organize a volunteering resume is with a reverse chronological format. Using this style of resume will help you highlight your most recent achievements first and show the hiring manager the exact point of your career you’re currently at.

On the other hand, if you’re an entry level candidate or you don’t have as much hands-on experience in the work you’re going to be doing, you can try experimenting with a functional or combination format. These resume layouts focus more on your skills rather than your experience and might give you an edge.

Design

Like most resumes, a volunteer’s resume needs to be a clean and easy-to-read design. Don’t worry about adding graphics or graphs, as these will most likely discourage the hiring manager from reading further.

However, to optimize your resume properly and make it attractive to a recruiter reading hundreds of application documents daily, there are some design tricks you can make use of. First of all, use bullet point lists to break up the information you’re displaying on the page. This will make your key achievements stand out better and make the whole document much easier to read and review.

Whilst you should fill as much of the page as possible, you shouldn’t be afraid to keep a little bit of white space on the design. An overwhelming text-heavy resume in most cases will end up in the trash without even a second thought. Therefore, make sure you space out subsections, headings, and subtitles.

You will also make the recruiter’s life a lot easier if you write in a plain 12 point font like Times New Roman or Ariel. These fonts are much simpler to scan and will give you a competitive edge by helping them pick out your most marketable skills faster.

Photo

Adding a photo to a resume is not a requirement in the USA. In fact, a profile photo on your application could even be disadvantageous to you in the hiring process. This is because it is illegal to choose a candidate based on appearance, race or gender and including this information on a resume by way of a photo could suggest bias in the recruitment procedure.

Sections of a Resume

The sections of your resume need to quickly highlight all the best bits of your career quickly and effectively. That means showing where you’ve worked, what your motivations are and detailing your key skills in just a few inches of text each.

For a volunteer’s resume, you should make it clear what you’ve achieved in your career so far, what practical skills you would bring to the position and also, what qualifications you have to do the work at hand. Therefore, the recommended sections to include on this kind of resume are:

  • Contact details
  • Resume objective/summary statement
  • Skills
  • Work experience
  • Qualifications

If you still have enough space on the page or you have other noteworthy achievements that you think might help you get the role then you can include these too. Simply place this extra supporting information in one of the optional sections for a volunteer resume:

  • Achievements
  • Certifications
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Languages

Resume Length

As with most resumes, the shorter your document is the better. In most cases sticking to just a single letter page is enough to the job. However, if you’ve had an illustrious career in your field or you’ve got oodles of transferable skills, then you might consider extending to a second page. However, with resumes, shorter is often better.

Volunteer Resume Section Headings

To get your volunteer resume off to the best start, you should capture the reader’s attention right away with a targeted resume summary statement or resume objective. Use the advert for the volunteer position to carefully prepare a short description of who you are, what your professional highlights have been and your motivations for applying for the position.

This only needs to be a few sentences long and should focus on what exactly you’d bring to the role. Once you’ve set out your intent and your top career high points, you can elaborate further on these elements in the rest of the resume sections.

Skills

For many volunteering positions, you’re going to be assessed on what professional hard skills you can bring to the table. Naturally, medical, dental, food preparation and teaching expertise are the in high demand in the world of volunteering, so any of these will be of great benefit to your skills section.

However, there are also more generalized skills that a volunteer will have to demonstrate on their resume in addition to their specific professional skills. Some of the top skills for a volunteer resume include:

  • Customer service
  • Organization
  • Problem-solving
  • Teamwork

However, aside from these hard skills, you can also include numerous other soft skills. Volunteering is a great opportunity to display and learn lots of relevant soft skills and having these on your resume can give you a big advantage. These abilities include:

  • Compassion
  • Enthusiasm
  • Communication
  • Planning
  • Flexibility

Work experience

Whilst it’s not always necessary to have relevant hands-on experience for the volunteering work you’re doing, it does give you an edge. After all, hundreds if not thousands of graduates and school leavers do volunteer work to gain experience every year, either at home or abroad.

However, if you’re applying for a position that requires advanced logical planning skills, medical knowledge, or advanced professional skills of any variety, you should include some evidence that you have actual experience of this work. Without this, you’ll probably be passed over by the HR recruiter.

You can also use the work experience section to summarize any previous volunteer positions you’ve done before. Showing you have a good track record in volunteering already is going to give you a little extra advantage amongst the competition.

Qualifications

In most cases, your experience is going to be the biggest selling point for a volunteer resume. However, as stated before, if you’re applying for a volunteer position that requires specific specialist skills then you’ll need a college degree or graduate degree to show that you’ve done the necessary training to perform the job properly.

On the other hand, if the opening is for a more generic function within a volunteering team, then a high school diploma will most likely be enough. In some cases though, you may even be accepted without any formal qualifications, especially if the position is intended for a much younger applicant.

Volunteer Resume Vocabulary & Writing Tips

Overall, the vocabulary you’ll need to use on your volunteer resume will depend greatly on the sector the position is in. If you’re helping with the building of houses, then you should use relevant keywords related to construction work. Alternatively, if the position is focused more on graphic design or web development you should use the lexicon related to these jobs.

Despite the level of detail needed, there are a few general buzzwords that you can get on the page which could be useful in case you’re targeting a position outside your field or on a resume with no experience. These will attest to your collaboration and planning skills, which are vital in any role. You can see these in the table below.

However, one constant for your resume is that you should always ensure that spelling mistakes stay off the page. Errors like this will see your application end up in the waste paper basket in seconds. Be sure to always proof the full document carefully before you send it off.

Words to Use

  • Community service
  • Communication
  • Customer service
  • Problem-solving
  • Supportive
  • Active
  • Promote
  • Coordination
  • Trust
  • Enhance
  • Positive
  • Regulations
  • Safeguarded
  • Experience
  • Helping
  • Life-changing

Action Verbs

  • Collect
  • Transport
  • Assist
  • Prepare
  • Monitor
  • Teach
  • Manage
  • Answer
  • Support
  • Aid
  • Provide
  • Organize
  • Fundraise
  • Deliver
  • Clean
  • Build

Resume Samples

1.Candidate seeking volunteer doctor position

Resume summary statement:

Experienced and enthusiastic doctor eager to offer my skills to deprived children in developing countries.

  • Fully reviewed patient’s medical history in detail
  • Inoculated and vaccinated children under the age of 5
  • Provided treatment and care to patients of all ages
  • Offered a safe and clean environment for medical consultation
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  • MDqualification
  • Experiencedpediatrician
  • 7 yearsexperience
  • Bilingualin Spanish

2.Candidate seeking volunteer construction worker role:

Resume summary statement:

Construction worker with a strong record of volunteer work and 10 years of experience in project management and construction.

  • Ensured that correct safety protocols were followed
  • Coordinated duties with the project manager
  • Reviewed blueprints to ensure plans were followed correctly
  • Assisted with the construction of new school facilities in Latin America
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  • HSDiploma
  • Safetytrained
  • 11 yearsexperience
  • Volunteerexperience