Can I put a volunteer job on my resume?

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Comments (5)

ZoeySnap in Orange County, California

29 months ago

So I've been unemployed for the past 8 months. I am seriously looking for a full time job, but starting to really worry about the ever growing gap on my resume.

I am very soon going to begin volunteering at a local animal shelter which will keep me busy for a couple days out of the week and is something I have always wanted to do anyway.

My question is, can I put that on my resume? If so, do I just add it to my work history? Or should I just mention it in my cover letter?

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Yep in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

29 months ago

Yes you can, no employer would penalize you for volunteering, they hate gaps in resumes. In fact, they expect people to work part time or volunteer, or both, while looking for full-time work.

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Jencan in San Francisco, California

28 months ago

I think it's great to put down any volunteering work you do on your resume. It shows that you have interests outside of work. More and more employers want to see the whole you, not just your prior work experience. They want to see what you like to do with your space time because that allows them to see if you will fit with their company culture. And volunteering itself makes a person look good.

As far as where to put it on your resume.. I would try googling it and seeing if you can find examples out there. I would maybe make a separate section under your experience that says "Personal Development" and there include any classes you have taken (an excel or adobe class or something), an award you have received if you have any and then I would put there that you volunteer at the animal shelter and how long you have been volunteering there.

Good luck!

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jenab in Austin, Texas

27 months ago

Absolutely put volunteer work on your resume, if it's relevant, or it helps fill gaps in the chronology (two gold stars for both). Resumes are about relevance, not salaries.

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Kylie Dowell in Sydney, Australia

26 months ago

If it is relevant infidelity, plus also highlight any transferable skills you gained from this volunteer work. I know of many situations where volunteer work has resulted in full time paid work.

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