When it comes to looking for a job, your resume is one of the most important tools you can use to sell yourself. While most people include prior work experience and education history information on their resumes, others choose to include volunteer experience as well.
Listing any volunteer experience you have on your resume can often be a great way to gain an advantage over your competition when seeking a job, and many times, doing so can allow potential employers to learn more about who you are as a person.
If you haven’t considered putting volunteer experience on your resume before, here are three great reasons why you should do so:
1.) Volunteering Shows a Sense of Selflessness
In virtually all business environments, employers are seeking employees who will be team players. By listing your volunteer experience, you are showing that you think of more than just yourself, and this can show that you would be able to work well within a group of people to forward a company’s goals.
2.) Volunteering is Experience
There are many ways to gain experience in life. One of the best ways is through education. Fortunately, there are also many ways to acquire an education that will prepare you for a dynamic job market. Remember: just because you aren’t getting paid when you volunteer doesn’t mean that the experience doesn’t count toward your overall education.
Students aren’t getting paid when they attend school to earn a degree either, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable. Attending a versatile, hands-on school like Sanford Brown, which provides students with volunteering opportunities, creates new skills. So too does volunteering. Like being trained at school, volunteering is an intimate commitment of time that often leads to an enhanced education and job prospects.
In the end, employers are interested in hiring candidates that bring strong qualifications to the table, and the skills you learn through volunteering can often be just as strong as any paid position. Volunteering your time to a noble organization is no less strategic than attending college to pursue a degree, and often these two can be undertaken simultaneously for a maximum effect.
3.) Volunteering Shows Dedication
Volunteer work can also show a potential employer that you can dedicate yourself to a task. This can be especially helpful if you’ve been out of work for a while or if you’ve been in school recently. Many employers will look more favorably upon an applicant who has volunteered during times of unemployment or school attendance as opposed to someone who has sat around doing nothing.
You should also remember that no volunteer work is too large or too small to list on your resume. If you help out at your local house of worship on a regular basis, put it on your resume. Likewise, if you volunteer with a global non-profit organization, list that experience as well. The goal is to show a potential employer all of the positive personal and professional qualities about you, all while selling your skills and assets.
Guest poster Liz Becker is a blogger, freelance writer and recent college graduate. She currently performs market research for an online marketing firm when she is not contributing her own thoughts and observations to the online community.