How to include volunteering experience in your CV

The modern job market demands a strong CV, and volunteer experience is a key component often underestimated. This section explores the effective utilisation of your volunteering history to enhance your CV’s appeal.

Skills gained through volunteering

  • Leadership and teamwork: Demonstrates your ability to lead and work within teams, a vital skill in any professional setting.
  • Problem-solving and initiative: Shows your ability to address challenges creatively and proactively.
  • Communication skills: Engaging with different groups improves your capacity to communicate effectively in various scenarios.

How to integrate volunteer experience into your CV

Placement of volunteer experience

  • Dedicated section: If you have significant volunteer work, consider creating a specific section titled 'Volunteer Experience'.
  • Under work experience: For roles that align closely with your career goals, integrate them with your professional history.

Describing volunteer roles

  • Use action verbs: Start descriptions with dynamic verbs like ‘organised’, ‘led’, or ‘developed’.
  • Quantify achievements: Use numbers to make your impact tangible, like “raised £5,000 for charity”.

Maximising the impact of volunteer experience

Tailoring to job applications

  • Relevance is key: Make sure your volunteer experience relates to the job you are applying for.
  • Examples of transferable skills: Illustrate how skills from volunteering are applicable to the job.

Continuous professional development

  • Learning and growth: Highlight how volunteering contributes to your professional advancement.

Utilising volunteer experience in different career stages

Early career professionals

  • Building foundations: For those with limited work experience, volunteering can demonstrate essential skills.

Mid-career transitions

  • Bridging gaps: Use volunteer experience to fill employment gaps, showing ongoing professional engagement.

Senior professionals

  • Leadership and expertise: Emphasise leadership roles in volunteer work to showcase advanced skills.

In summary, effectively showcasing volunteer experience on your CV can significantly enhance your job application, presenting you as a well-rounded and skilled professional. It's about the skills and experiences you've acquired, not just the roles you've held

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