Volunteering makes you more employable and helps to bridge the gap between education and the world of work, so it’s vital that you present this valuable experience properly in your CV. But how do you go about this?
Where do you include voluntary experience?
When you have not got much paid work experience, or your paid work experience is less relevant to the role you’re applying to, the most effective way of showcasing your volunteering work is by thinking of these placements as equivalent to paid work.
If your CV is chronological, include voluntary or work experience places in the correct chronological order with your other work, but make sure you flag up that it was voluntary. If it was a fixed length placement, e.g. a two week internship, make sure this is made clear too.
You can also include work experience in a separate heading, but this is more appropriate when you have a lot of relevant paid work experience on your CV already.
What information should you include?
- Include the name of the organisation, your title and the duration of the placement.
- Outline your duties responsibilities, and what skills you acquired, for example leadership.
- Describe volunteer work in terms of what you achieved, such as the amount of money that you raised or the personal progress made by those you were working to help.
- Highlight the communications, planning, team working or time management skills that you may have gained during this period.
- Always tailor your CV to each company and job role you are applying for; this includes any volunteering you may have done. Emphasise the placements and skills most appropriate to each role.