Volunteering experiences: why and how to include them in your curriculum vitae
A good curriculum vitae should be concise enough, but also complete with all relevant experiences to outline the candidate’s professional identity. This is why it might be appropriate to include volunteering experiences in the CV and how to do it correctly.
Volunteering: what is it
The term “volunteering” generally indicates self-help activities carried out free of charge for humanitarian, solidarity, social justice, and similar reasons.
Volunteering can take place in different sectors, usually promoted by non-profit organizations or associations and carried out on the free membership of private citizens.
Why include volunteering experiences in your CV
If you are looking for work and have volunteered, you should consider including them on your CV to enrich your profile.
The experiences of volunteering on the CV, in fact, can help to make a difference and constitute an added value for the recruiter, especially when it comes to activities related to the professional skills required for the profile sought.
Volunteering contributes to enriching the wealth of knowledge that can be spent in the professional field and often allows you to participate in training courses that are important to enhance your skills.
This is an opportunity to develop skills that can always come in handy when looking for a job, especially soft skills. For example, an experience in the coordination of sports groups could be declined, professionally, in leadership skills and teamwork, as well as a volunteer activity in the health sector could help to acquire skills such as empathy, management stress, etc.
Volunteering experiences in the CV are fundamental especially for those who have recently finished studying and for those who in general do not have any previous experiences in the workplace. For this reason, it may be useful to carry out voluntary activities already during your studies, to start with some more information to be included in the curriculum.
In any case, volunteering in the CV is not a strategic card only for high school and recent graduates: on the contrary, it can also be important for those who want to change sector or reposition themselves on the job market after a long period of unemployment.
Mentioning your experiences as a volunteer on your resume will allow you to tell something very personal about yourself, indirectly talking about passions, interests, and character traits.
It is important to remember, however, that this type of information could also bring to light unsolicited details, which could in some way influence the judgment of some recruiters.
For example, periods of volunteering with political organizations or associations and religious communities could arouse prejudices in the selection manager and therefore it could be better to omit them and possibly choose to tell them only during the interview.
Where to include volunteering in the CV
Volunteering activities in the CV should generally be inserted after the sections dedicated to professional and study experiences. Obviously, it is important to prioritize the activities that are most consistent with the role you are applying for, briefly highlighting the tasks performed, the duration, and the type of volunteering.