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    How to Write a Volunteer Resume [Example, Template & Tips]

    Write a standout volunteering resume with our expert tips on job descriptions, skills section, education, and more. Boost your chances of landing your dream job in no time!

    Mariusz Wawrzyniak
    Mariusz Wawrzyniak
    Career Expert
    How to Write a Volunteer Resume [Example, Template & Tips]

    Perhaps you've recently graduated or are still pursuing your academic endeavors and are eager to embark on your career journey. However, a significant challenge awaits—crafting a resume from scratch.

    With limited professional experience, it's natural to feel overwhelmed. But there are great ways to gain that experience while contributing to the community. Start your career by creating a volunteer resume and embark on an altruistic endeavor. Not sure how to do it? You’re in the right place.

    In this guide:

    • A volunteer resume sample that stands out from the rest.
    • How to craft a compelling job description for your volunteer experience.
    • Expert tips and examples to make your volunteer resume shine.
    • The value of showcasing both hard and soft skills on a volunteer resume.

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    CREATE YOUR RESUME NOWVolunteer Resume Example

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    Looking for similar resume guides? I recommend:

    Volunteer Resume Example

    Tom Grint

    Volunteer and Recent Graduate with a passion for community service





    Enthusiastic volunteer with a Bachelor's degree in Communication Studies and 3 years of volunteering experience. Skilled in project management, event planning, and communication. Successfully implemented a new volunteer training program, resulting in a 20% increase in volunteer retention. Seeking a volunteering team lead role at Hearts On Fire to positively impact the community.

    Work History

    Volunteer Coordinator

    Unity for Change Foundation, San Diego, CA

    June 2019–September 2021

    • Improved participant satisfaction ratings by 25% by implementing feedback-driven improvements in event logistics and programming.
    • Coordinated and managed volunteer teams for various events and projects.
    • Utilized strong communication skills to communicate effectively with volunteers and stakeholders.
    • Implemented a new volunteer training program, resulting in a 20% increase in volunteer retention.

    Volunteer Event Coordinator

    Hopeful Horizons Organization, San Diego, CA

    September 2018–May 2019

    • Planned and executed successful community events to raise funds for the center.
    • Increased event attendance by 12% through targeted marketing campaigns and strategic outreach efforts.
    • Collaborated with team members to secure sponsorships and event donations, resulting in a 30% increase in funds raised.


    Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies

    University of California, San Diego

    September 2016–June 2020

    • Relevant coursework: Event Planning, Non-Profit Management, Public Relations.
    • Member of the Communications Society from 2017-2019. Delivered a workshop on effective communication skills during the annual conference in 2019.


    • Event planning and management
    • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
    • Project management
    • Team leadership
    • Social media marketing
    • Conflict-resolution skills


    • Project Management Essentials, Project Management Institute, May 2020


    • Community Champion Award, ABC Non-Profit Organization, December 2019


    • Member of the Communications Society since 2017. Assisted in organizing and promoting the annual fundraiser for local charities in 2018 and 2019.


    • Spanish—Fluent

    Volunteers dedicate their time and effort to support various organizations, causes, or events without financial compensation. They often assist with the planning, coordinating, and executing events or projects. They need great communication and empathy skills to excel at their roles.

    Here’s how to write a resume that showcases you have what it takes to be a volunteer:

    1. Choose the Best Volunteer Resume Format

    Crafting a flawless resume format often starts with a structure that is not just aesthetically pleasing but is also functionally efficient.

    The reverse-chronological format is the gold standard. It elevates your most recent activities and achievements, aligning perfectly with volunteer work that you're currently undertaking or have just completed.

    Here's a breakdown of how to make your resume look stunning:

    • Uniformity in the resume font choice and size and the careful use of bold and italics greatly help with readability.
    • Set the margins on your resume to 1 inch on all sides.
    • With no more than a year or two of experience under your belt, I recommend a one-page resume. It’s the best length of a resume for most applicants.
    • While intricate designs can be eye-catching, they’re often distracting. Stick to a clean, simple resume template with lots of white space to facilitate easy reading.

    Expert Hint: What if your accomplishments can't fit on just one page? They can spill over into additional pages of a portfolio, website, or LinkedIn profile. Use every platform at your disposal to showcase the full breadth of your skills and achievements.

    2. Write a Compelling Volunteer Resume Objective or Summary

    The introduction statement of your resume is like the introduction to a gripping story—a single paragraph that piques the recruiter's interest. This is your chance to convey your passion for the role and demonstrate how you’re a puzzle piece that’s the perfect fit for the organization.

    A resume summary is ideal if you’ve already accumulated some job experience. This snapshot of your professional life should include:

    • A compelling resume adjective that encapsulates your work ethic or personality.
    • Your relevant job title, or one you're aiming for.
    • The number of years you’ve volunteered for and in what capacity.
    • A brief prediction of how you can contribute to this specific role or company.
    • At least 1 of your most impressive achievements.

    A resume objective is more fitting for candidates who are fresh out of the university gates. It typically answers the question, “How do my academic background and personal skills prepare me for this role?”

    Expert Hint: In the sample above, the line “Volunteer and Recent Graduate with a passion for community service” is called a resume headline. This is an effective way to draw attention to your resume.

    3. Develop a Strong Job Description and Skills Section

    This is the meat of your resume—your opportunity to illustrate the value and versatility that your volunteer work brings to a prospective non-profit. Articulate your experiences in job descriptions using action verbs and quantifiable achievements to demonstrate your impact.

    Here’s how to write a work experience section on a resume:

    • List your volunteering experience starting from the most recent one. In each entry, give the position name, the company/institution name, and dates employed, then list your responsibilities and professional accomplishments in the form of strong resume bullet points.
    • Identify the most relevant experiences to the position you’re applying for and ensure they’re prominently featured in your job descriptions. If you’re applying for a leadership role, focus on the times you supervised a team of volunteers or led a project from inception to wrap-up.
    • Quantify your achievements wherever possible. This gives recruiters a clear idea of the scope of your work and what you consider successful. Numbers are powerful—they add depth to your claims.

    So what about the resume skills?

    This section should reflect a mix of both hard and soft skills. Hard skills are teachable abilities or skill sets that are easy to quantify. Soft skills, on the other hand, are harder to measure and refer to your interpersonal abilities, like communication, teamwork, and adaptability.

    Here’s a short list of some popular ones:

    Volunteer Resume Skills

    • Fundraising and donor management
    • Event planning and coordination
    • Grant writing and research skills
    • Database management and data entry
    • Project management experience
    • Knowledge of community outreach tactics
    • Ability to design and lead workshops or training sessions
    • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
    • Teamwork and collaboration abilities
    • Problem-solving and critical thinking skills
    • Adaptability and flexibility in changing situations
    • Empathy and compassion for others

    Expert Hint: A Deloitte Volunteer Survey shows that 82% of respondents said they would be more likely to choose a candidate with volunteer experience.

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    4. Show the Best Of Your Education on Your Volunteer Resume

    Education on a resume speaks volumes about your commitment and eagerness to learn, both crucial traits in any profession.

    How to prepare this section of your volunteer resume?

    • Include degrees that are related to your volunteer work. This can demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in a particular field. Don’t mention your high school diploma if you have a university degree.
    • If you have taken any relevant coursework during your education, be sure to mention it on your resume. This showcases your specialized skills and knowledge in a specific area.
    • Add academic achievements: If you have received any academic awards, honors, or scholarships, be sure to include them in your education section. This can further demonstrate your dedication and accomplishments.
    • Mention your GPA only if it’s above a 3.5.

    5. Add Bonus Sections on Your Volunteering Resume

    To make your resume truly yours, consider including sections that allow your personality to shine through your paper presence.

    Here are bonus resume sections that you can include:

    • Certifications and Licenses: Showcase any additional certifications or licenses you have obtained to make you an even more qualified candidate.
    • Language Skills: In today's global marketplace, being multilingual is considered an important asset by many employers. Therefore, if you are proficient in multiple languages, make sure to include that information on your volunteer resume.
    • Hobbies and Interests: While it may seem unprofessional to include hobbies and interests on a resume, they can actually demonstrate valuable skills or habits that make you a well-rounded candidate. For example, if you enjoy painting, it can showcase your creativity and attention to detail. Similarly, if you are an avid runner, it can show dedication and perseverance.
    • Relevant extracurricular activities: If you were involved in any community service projects during your time as a student, be sure to list them on your resume.

    Expert hint: Do not forget to write a cover letter to complement your volunteer resume. Remember to highlight your passion for the organization's cause and relevant skills and experience.

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    Key Points

    Here is how to write a job-winning volunteer resume:

    • Use a professional resume template.
    • Put your achievements front and center in your resume profile and job description. Quantify them whenever possible.
    • Make sure to highlight the skills that are in line with the job at hand.
    • Write an outstanding cover letter for a complete application.

    Do you still have doubts about writing a volunteer resume? Let me know in the comments. We’ll be happy to help out!

    About ResumeLab’s Editorial Process

    At ResumeLab, quality is at the crux of our values, supporting our commitment to delivering top-notch career resources. The editorial team of career experts carefully reviews every article in accordance with editorial guidelines, ensuring the high quality and reliability of our content. We actively conduct original research, shedding light on the job market's intricacies and earning recognition from numerous influential news outlets. Our dedication to delivering expert career advice attracts millions of readers to our blog each year. 

    Mariusz Wawrzyniak
    Written byMariusz Wawrzyniak

    Mariusz is a career expert with a background in quality control & economics. With work experience in FinTech and a passion for self-development, Mariusz brings a unique perspective to his role. He’s dedicated to providing the most effective advice on resume and cover letter writing techniques to help his readers secure the jobs of their dreams.

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