Volunteer work enriches your resume

You already know that volunteering is very important to International Paper, right? Just like us, there are lots of other companies that value this activity. A survey by the Deloitte consulting firm shows that four out of every five human resources directors pay significant attention to experiences acquired from volunteering when hiring. In short: volunteer work enriches your soul and your resume.

But how can you include volunteer work on your resume? We found out for you! Check out our tips:

  • Relevance – all resume activities should always have some relevance to the position you are after. If you want a teaching position, it will be interesting if you have been a volunteer scout leader. But if you are an accountant and provide details about your work with the boy or girl scouts, the recruiter might think: ‘is he going to want to leave work earlier to do this?’


  • Be specific – nobody wants to see a giant list of the organizations where you work. You should only detail the relevant things you did at each institution. Provide results that can be measured in numbers, such as “I helped to build two homes” or “I trained 24 people.”


  • Use social networks – More and more, recruiters are looking at candidates’ profiles on social networks. LinkedIn, for example, has a specific area for people to only list volunteer work.


  • Better than nothing – If you have any gaps in your education, volunteer work could be the best way to fill these gaps.


  • List skills achieved from volunteering – In addition to personal development, volunteer work can teach various skills that the labor market is seeking. For instance, if you were the treasurer for a charity campaign, you know how to deal with finances. If you have coordinated a food drive, you developed logistics, organizational and leadership skills. What you should do is pick the right skills (choose those that you can quantify and prove).

    You should also be careful when including this information in your resume. See what not to do below:

  • Include controversial organizations – It is better to leave out volunteer work done for organizations considered to be controversial, like religious groups or political parties. Although this kind of feeling should not interfere with work relations, your recruiter may have believes that oppose the group identified on your resume. This means the volunteer work no longer favors you.


  • Associate volunteering with family relations – Although there is nothing wrong with doing volunteer work with your family, it could be risky to put this on your resume. The company may get the wrong impression that you favor certain people to the detriment of others, in addition to seeming like you do not leave your comfort zone. So unless volunteer work is very appropriate to the position you want, prefer to leave this experience out.

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