Volunteering-How it helps you with a job

Have you listed your charity endeavors on your résumé?  If not, you probably should.  A recent LinkedIn survey found that one in five employers hired someone primarily because of her volunteer service outside the office.  “If you’re unemployed, this work shows you’ve been productive,” says John Challenger, the CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a Chicago-based outplacement firm.  “And if you’re already employed, it supplements the experiences you’ve gained at your job.”  Here’s how to put your good work to good use.

DO: List specific skill-building volunteer activities on your resume’.  Substantive work, like managing the budget of a sizable charity or recruiting and training a team, is attractive to employers because those experiences are applicable to business situations, says Suzanne Lucas, a 10-year human-resources veteran based in Basel, Switzerland.  But only include accomplishments that can be put into quantifiable terms or work that demonstrates your leadership qualities.  (Avoid listing charitable work for which all you did was set up chairs or do some other minor service.)

DON’T:  Include work with organizations that might be considered polarizing.

Listing overtly political or religious groups could turn off a hiring manager who has different beliefs.  (Picking one candidate over another because of such factors is illegal in many cases, but it still happens.)

DO: Let the volunteer work on your resume’ speak for itself.  That is to say, don’t bring it up in the interview.  Why?  The employers who find the service to be relevant will ask you about it.  But some won’t feel that way about any unpaid work.  In such cases, it’s best to stay quiet.

DON’T:  Emphasize volunteering that’s directly related to being a parent.  Researchers have found that women who cite volunteering related to motherhood on a resume’–for example, PTA work–are less likely to be called back for interviews than are those who list a neighborhood group.  So list such experience only if it’s highly related to the job that you’re seeking.

This information provided by Laura Vanderkam.

Thought these were some useful tips for those who are seeing employment.

Have a great day,


2 thoughts on “Volunteering-How it helps you with a job

  1. Nice tip, and so true! Young people often complain about not having a job but they rarerly turn to volunteering work during the time they are looking to get hired. Having somethig to show to a future employer during a “dead” period is also important.


    • Thank you for that insight. That is true, such a different generation. But maybe one day they will realize how great it is to volunteer and giving to another, without expecting anything in return.


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