With many skilled recent graduates and workers going through long stretches of unemployment at the end of the recession, hiring managers are taking a closer look at unpaid and volunteer experience. Here’s how to add volunteer experience on your resume.

Volunteer Experience

According to a recent LinkedIn survey, 41% of hiring managers consider volunteer experience equally as valuable as paid work. This is great news for entry-level workers, who are often frustrated by minimum experience requirements.

Keep it relevant.

Featuring volunteer work on your resume can help you stand out from the crowd, but first, make sure that the work is relevant to the position you’re applying for. Your volunteer experience does not necessarily need to be in the same field as your career; it can simply involve similar responsibilities. If you spent time as a volunteer leader at your local community garden, for example, you can feature it on your resume when applying for a leadership position.

Include experience that highlights your best qualities.

Sometimes, volunteer experience doesn’t have to seem relevant at first to be worthy of your resume. If you have years of experience with a particular agency, for example, or had substantial responsibilities within the organization, your experience is just too significant to ignore. Including it in your resume can show employers that you’re dedicated and well-rounded.

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But don’t go overboard.

You don’t want a laundry list of volunteer activities that overshadow your true accomplishments. Remember, your volunteer work should supplement your professional accomplishments on your resume, not distract from them. If you have lots of volunteer experience that you’d like to include, only add the most recent experience.

Want help adding volunteer experience on your resume? Sign up with the County of Maui Volunteer Center to find the perfect volunteer position for you, and take advantage of our resume-building tool!

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