Enhancing Experience: Boost Your Résumé with Volunteer Work!

Can You Put Volunteer Work Under Work Experience

Wondering if you can include volunteer work in your work experience section? This article explores the benefits of showcasing your volunteer experience, how to format it on your resume, and how to effectively highlight the skills gained through volunteering. Discover how to make a positive impression on potential employers by emphasizing your commitment to social causes and community service.

Are you wondering whether you can include volunteer work in the work experience section of your resume? The answer is yes! In fact, incorporating volunteer experience into your professional history can be a powerful way to showcase your skills, dedication, and values. Transitioning from unpaid roles to paid employment can be challenging, but highlighting your volunteer work as part of your work experience can help bridge that gap. By strategically framing your volunteer experience, you can demonstrate to potential employers that you possess the necessary qualifications and qualities they are seeking. Let’s delve deeper into why including volunteer work under work experience can greatly enhance your resume.



Volunteering is a selfless act that allows individuals to contribute to their communities and make a positive impact on society. While it may not come with a paycheck, volunteer work can provide valuable experiences and skills that are transferable to the professional world. Many people wonder if they can include volunteer work under their work experience on their resume or CV. In this article, we will explore whether or not volunteer work can be considered as work experience and how it can enhance your professional profile.

The Definition of Work Experience

Work experience is typically defined as the knowledge and skills gained through employment. It involves performing tasks, responsibilities, and duties within a specific job or profession. Traditional work experience is often paid, but it does not exclude unpaid or voluntary work from being included in this category. Therefore, volunteer work can indeed be considered as a form of work experience.

Highlighting Volunteer Work on Your Resume

When including volunteer work on your resume, it is important to present it in a way that highlights your skills, accomplishments, and the impact you made. Treat your volunteer work as you would any other professional experience, focusing on the relevant tasks and achievements. Use action verbs and quantify your results whenever possible to showcase the value you brought to the organization or cause.


The Transferable Skills Gained

Volunteer work often provides individuals with a range of transferable skills that are highly valued in the workplace. These skills can include teamwork, communication, problem-solving, leadership, adaptability, time management, and many others. When applying for jobs, it is essential to identify and highlight these skills, demonstrating how your volunteer experiences have equipped you with the abilities necessary to excel in a professional setting.

Networking Opportunities

Volunteering offers excellent networking opportunities that can expand your professional connections. By working alongside individuals who share similar interests or are already established in your desired industry, you can build meaningful relationships that may lead to future job opportunities. Don’t underestimate the power of networking while volunteering, as it can help you gain insight, mentorship, and access to hidden job markets.


Impressing Employers

Employers often value volunteer experience as it demonstrates your commitment, initiative, and dedication to giving back to society. It showcases your willingness to go beyond what is required and your ability to manage multiple responsibilities. Including volunteer work on your resume can help you stand out from other candidates, showing potential employers that you possess a diverse skill set and a strong work ethic.

Relevant Volunteer Work

It is essential to carefully select which volunteer experiences to include on your resume based on their relevance to the job you are applying for. If you have engaged in volunteer work that aligns with the responsibilities and requirements of the desired position, be sure to emphasize those experiences. This will help recruiters understand how your skills and achievements as a volunteer directly relate to the job at hand.


Volunteer Work for Career Changers

For individuals looking to transition into a new career, volunteer work can be particularly beneficial. It allows you to gain practical experience and knowledge in your desired field, even if you haven’t held a paid position in that industry. By showcasing your volunteer work and the skills you have acquired, you can demonstrate your commitment and passion for the new career path you are pursuing.

Volunteer Work as a Stepping Stone

While volunteer work may not replace traditional paid employment, it can serve as a stepping stone towards securing a job. The experiences and skills gained through volunteering can make you a more competitive candidate and provide you with valuable talking points during interviews. It is important to leverage your volunteer work effectively, highlighting its relevance and the personal growth it has brought you.



Volunteer work is not only a way to give back to your community but also an opportunity to enhance your professional profile. By including volunteer work under your work experience, you can effectively showcase your skills, accomplishments, and dedication to making a positive impact. Whether you are starting your career or looking to make a change, volunteer work can provide valuable experiences and networking opportunities that can help you succeed in the professional world.

Understanding the Significance of Volunteer Work in Work Experience

Volunteer work, although unpaid, holds considerable value when included in your work experience. It demonstrates your commitment, dedication, and ability to adapt to different work environments, enhancing your overall professional profile.

Differentiating Between Paid and Volunteer Work Experience

While paid work experience is preferred by employers, volunteer work can still be included under the work experience section of your resume. However, it is crucial to clearly distinguish between the two, highlighting your volunteer roles separately to ensure transparency.

Showcasing the Relevance of Volunteer Work to the Desired Job

When incorporating volunteer work into your work experience, focus on showcasing the skills and experiences gained that are directly relevant to the desired job. Emphasize transferable skills such as teamwork, communication, leadership, and problem-solving that align with the requirements of the role you are applying for.

Formatting Volunteer Work on Your Resume

To effectively include volunteer work under work experience, create a separate section dedicated to volunteer experiences. This section should include the organization name, your role or position, the duration of your volunteer work, and a brief description of your responsibilities and accomplishments.

Highlighting Accomplishments and Contributions in Volunteer Work

Similar to paid work experience, it is essential to emphasize your achievements and contributions during your volunteer work. Include specific examples of projects completed, outcomes achieved, and any measurable impact you had on the organization or community during your volunteering tenure.

Leveraging References from Volunteer Organizations

If possible, obtain references or recommendation letters from the organizations you volunteered for. These can add credibility to your volunteer work experience and further strengthen your qualifications in the eyes of potential employers.

Incorporating Volunteer Work in the Interview Process

When called for an interview, be prepared to discuss your volunteer work in detail. Emphasize the skills, experiences, and lessons learned during your volunteer experiences, relating them back to the desired job and highlighting the value you believe they bring to your professional profile.

Utilizing Volunteer Work to Bridge Employment Gaps

If you have gaps in your paid work experience, volunteer work can fill those gaps and demonstrate your dedication to staying active and engaged in a professional capacity. Be sure to highlight the volunteer roles you undertook during these periods to emphasize your motivation and drive.

When it comes to the question of whether volunteer work can be included under the work experience section of a resume, there are differing opinions. Some argue that volunteer work should not be considered as part of work experience, as it is typically unpaid and does not involve the same level of commitment and responsibility as paid employment. However, I believe that volunteer work can indeed be included under the work experience section, as it provides valuable skills and experiences that are relevant to professional development.

Here are a few reasons why volunteer work should be considered as part of work experience:

  1. Transferable Skills: Volunteer work often requires individuals to develop and utilize a range of transferable skills, such as communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and leadership. These skills are highly valued in the professional world and can be applied to various job roles and industries.
  2. Relevant Experience: Volunteer work can provide individuals with hands-on experience in specific fields or industries. For example, volunteering at a hospital can offer insights into healthcare practices, while volunteering at a non-profit organization can provide exposure to project management and fundraising. This experience can be highly relevant when applying for jobs in related sectors.
  3. Demonstration of Commitment: Including volunteer work in the work experience section demonstrates a candidate’s dedication and willingness to contribute to their community or a cause. It showcases their ability to manage their time effectively and prioritize responsibilities, which are qualities that employers value.
  4. Networking Opportunities: Volunteering often involves interacting with professionals from different backgrounds, which can lead to valuable networking opportunities. These connections can provide insights into potential career paths, open doors to job opportunities, or serve as references when seeking future employment.
  5. Personal Growth and Development: Volunteer work allows individuals to develop personally and professionally. It can enhance self-confidence, foster empathy and compassion, and improve problem-solving skills. These personal growth experiences can positively impact an individual’s work ethic and attitude in a professional setting.

In conclusion, volunteer work should be considered as part of work experience due to the transferable skills acquired, the relevant experience gained, the demonstration of commitment, the networking opportunities it presents, and the personal growth and development it fosters. Including volunteer work on a resume can provide a well-rounded picture of an individual’s capabilities and potential, making them a more desirable candidate for prospective employers.

Thank you for taking the time to visit our blog and read our article on whether or not you can include volunteer work under your work experience without a professional title. We hope that the information provided has been insightful and helpful in guiding you towards making an informed decision about how to showcase your volunteer work on your resume.

When it comes to including volunteer work under your work experience, the key is to highlight the skills and experiences gained during your time volunteering, rather than simply focusing on the lack of a professional title. Transitioning from volunteer work to paid employment can be challenging, but by effectively portraying the value and relevance of your volunteer role, you can demonstrate to potential employers that you possess the necessary skills and qualities for the job.

It is important to remember that even though volunteer work may not come with a professional title, the experiences and skills gained can be just as valuable, if not more so, than those gained through paid employment. By utilizing strong action verbs and providing concrete examples of your accomplishments and contributions during your volunteer work, you can effectively convey the level of responsibility and impact you had in your role.

In conclusion, when considering whether or not to include volunteer work under your work experience without a professional title, it is crucial to focus on the skills, experiences, and achievements gained during your time volunteering. By effectively highlighting these aspects, you can demonstrate to potential employers the value you can bring to their organization. Remember, it’s not always about the title, but rather the skills and qualities you possess that make you a valuable asset to any team. Good luck with your job search, and we hope that this article has been beneficial in your career journey!


People also ask about whether they can put volunteer work under work experience, and here are some commonly asked questions along with their answers:

  1. Can you list volunteer work as work experience on a resume?

    Yes, you can include volunteer work in the work experience section of your resume. While it may not be paid employment, volunteering often involves similar skills and responsibilities that can showcase your abilities to potential employers.

  2. How do you describe volunteer work on a resume?

    When describing volunteer work on your resume, emphasize the specific tasks and achievements you accomplished during your time as a volunteer. Use action verbs and quantify your impact whenever possible to highlight your skills and contributions.

  3. Should I include volunteer work if it’s unrelated to the job I’m applying for?

    Including volunteer work, even if it’s unrelated to the job you’re applying for, can still be beneficial. It demonstrates your commitment, work ethic, and ability to contribute positively to the community. Additionally, it can help fill gaps in your work history.

  4. Do employers value volunteer work?

    Many employers value volunteer work as it shows your willingness to go above and beyond, your ability to work collaboratively, and your dedication to making a difference. It can also indicate your adaptability, time management skills, and passion for learning.

  5. Where should I mention volunteer work if not in the work experience section?

    If you have limited work experience or want to highlight your volunteer work further, you can create a separate section on your resume specifically for volunteering. This allows you to provide more detail about your volunteer experiences, including any leadership roles or significant projects.

Remember, the decision to include volunteer work under work experience depends on your individual circumstances and the relevance of the experience to the job you are applying for. Tailor your resume to highlight the skills and accomplishments that align with the position you’re seeking.

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