How to List Volunteer Work on a Resume + Examples

Eric Ciechanowski
by Eric Ciechanowski   Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) 
Published On : April 04, 2024 
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Adding volunteer experience to your resume can be a convincing way to prove your work ethic and dedication. Learn how to list volunteer work on resume examples and follow our examples to impress employers.

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Should you include volunteer work on your resume + benefits

Can you put volunteer work on a resume? The answer: 100%, yes.

Should you put volunteer work on a resume? Well, that depends. Including volunteer experience on a resume is helpful in some — but not all — cases.

Including volunteer work on your resume benefits you if:

Skip listing volunteer work on your resume if:

  • The experience is not relevant to the role you’re applying for.
  • You have years of paid work experience.
  • It eats into the space for your resume’s other necessary sections.

Next, we’ll cover how to list volunteer work on a resume. But, if you’re ready to write a resume, check out our best tool for that job: our Resume Builder.

It features 25+ professionally designed resume templates, so your document will be eye-catching!

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How to list volunteer work on your resume

When adding volunteer roles to your resume, adhere to the same structure as your work history section.

Include the following details:

  • The organization’s name.
  • Their city/state location.
  • The length of your volunteer position.
  • Accomplishments you made volunteering.

Then, list your most recent experiences first and past roles underneath.

Here are good examples of volunteer work on a resume:

Volunteer ∣ Gulf Coast Wildlife Sanctuary ∣ Josephine, AL

May 2021 – April 2024

  • Provided training to three new volunteers, outlining animal safety and protocol.
  • Assisted in rescuing wildlife, including pelicans, cormorants and dolphins.
  • Followed animal care guidance given by staff veterinarian.
  • Organized and executed two successful fundraising events, generating over $2,200 for the sanctuary.

Volunteer ∣ Save a Stray ∣ Mobile, AL

September 2019 – April 2021

  • Maintained order, fed and groomed a rotation of dogs.
  • Cleaned 30+ kennels per week.
  • Oversaw meet-and-greet sessions with potential adopters.

These examples of volunteer work on a resume are most helpful in applying for a job related to animal care. They incorporate quantifiable metrics, such as the number of volunteers trained, kennels cleaned or money raised.

However, if your volunteer experience is less relevant to your target job, keep it shorter and include fewer bullets.

Here’s a shorter volunteer work on a resume example entry:

Volunteer ∣ Big Buddy Reading Help ∣ Denton

June 2023 – Current

  • Conduct reading comprehension tutoring for grade-school children.

Using a builder to put volunteer work on a resume

A resume builder is a faster way to build your document because it automates the whole process. Best of all, it lets you easily add a volunteer work section.

Just click on the “+ ADD SECTIONS” button on the right side of your resume. There, you can customize your resume with additional sections, like volunteer work.

 

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Where to put volunteer work on a resume

There are two ways to list your volunteer experience:

  1. In a dedicated volunteer experience section.
  2. As an entry in your work experience section.

Generally, it’s better to feature your work history section above your volunteer experience section, regardless of whichever resume format you choose. That’s because paid experience best reflects your performance.

Next, we’ll cover the respective differences and strengths of each method.

Including volunteer work in a dedicated resume section

If your work experience section has enough entries of its own, list it in a separate section on your resume labeled “Volunteer Experience,” “Nonprofit Work” or “Community Service.”

Listing your volunteer experience in a dedicated section will call attention to your heartfelt passion for these causes, which resonates with companies that value positivity and difference-making.

Keep your volunteer experience list to three roles maximum to save space.

Volunteer experience resume section example:

Nonprofit Work

Restoration Volunteer

The Nature Conservancy, Upton, WA

March 2018 – Present

  • Participate in monthly habitat restoration projects, including native plant propagation, invasive species removal and trail maintenance.
  • Assist in wildlife monitoring programs, conducting surveys of bird populations and tracking mammalian activity to support conservation efforts.
  • Educate visitors about local flora and fauna during guided nature walks and interpretive programs, fostering environmental awareness and appreciation.

Wildlife Preservation Advocate

Wildlife Protection Association, Jefferson City, MO

September 2016 – February 2018

  • Raised public awareness about wildlife conservation issues through community outreach events, workshops and social media campaigns, reaching over 1,000 individuals.
  • Organized fundraising initiatives to support wildlife rehabilitation centers and research projects aimed at species conservation, raising over $5,000 in donations.

Volunteer roles in your work experience section

If you only have one or two volunteer roles you want to list on your resume, mixing them into your work experience section can be acceptable.

However, by doing this, you may risk seeming like you’re trying to pad your work experience section with fluff, which could backfire. So, make sure it’s clear to employers that you were a volunteer and not hired for this role.

Work experience volunteering example:

Tiffany Torrance for Congress June 2020 – November 2020

Campaign Volunteer Leader

  • Coordinated grassroots outreach efforts, including canvassing, phone banking and voter registration drives, to engage constituents and promote candidate.
  • Managed volunteer recruitment, training and scheduling, overseeing a team of eight volunteers.
  • Conducted research on key policy issues, prepared briefing materials for candidate appearances and debates and contributed to developing campaign messaging and strategy.
  • Utilized data analytics tools to track voter demographics, sentiment and engagement metrics, informing targeted outreach initiatives and refining campaign tactics for maximum impact.

Pro tip: You can also discuss volunteer work in your cover letter! When you write a cover letter, highlight any volunteer experience you may have if it’s aligned to the company’s goal or mission.

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Key takeaways:

To recap some of the primary points about including volunteer work on a resume:

  • Including volunteer experience on your resume can demonstrate your responsibility and dedication, enhancing your appeal to potential employers.
  • Choose whether to include volunteer work based on factors such as your career stage and relevance to the job.
  • When adding volunteer roles, maintain a consistent structure similar to your work history section, including organization name, location, duration and notable achievements.
  • Consider listing volunteer experience in a dedicated volunteer experience section or integrating it into your work history section, depending on the amount and relevance of your volunteer roles.
  • Ensure your resume effectively highlights your most relevant volunteer experiences to showcase your qualifications and suitability for the desired position.

Utilize our Resume Builder tool, featuring professionally designed templates and customizable sections like volunteer work, to craft a standout resume efficiently.

Since it’s fully automated, it will walk you through creating a resume in minutes!

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About the Author

Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)

Eric Ciechanowski Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)

Eric Ciechanowski is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), certified by the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PARWCC). He graduated from Tulane University in New Orleans with a B.A. double major in Creative Writing and Philosophy. His career background includes fields as diverse as education, hospitality, journalism, copywriting, tech and trivia hosting.

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