We are not our jobs. Quality employers seek out well-rounded men and women who volunteer their time to put skills and experience to work for our communities.
Now is the time to share this valuable facet of yourself by adding to your resume. Volunteer work is an excellent way to showcase skills that can help shine a spotlight on your capability. Here’s how to go about it.
Volunteer work listed on your resume is important when…
• You’re just starting out and you don’t have much practical experience in your field
• You’ve been away from the workplace for a significant amount of time to care for a family member
• You’ve experienced a lengthy time of unemployment because of the economy
How to include volunteer work
The most logical location is under a category heading such as “Related Experience.” Let’s say you’re a plumber, and you took some time away from the field to care for an elderly parent. During that time, you volunteered your services to a local nonprofit organization that rehabilitated homes for needy families.
In such a case, your volunteer work and experience are very much like what you would have been doing for an employer. Go ahead and highlight the role, as well as your accomplishments. It’s even more impressive if you’re able to quantify these contributions with tangible numbers.
How to include unrelated volunteer work
Let’s say you’re an electrician who’s coming back online after taking several years away from the job. During that time, you volunteered your time at a local nonprofit organization as a fundraiser.
You were asked to work with a group of 15 other volunteers. It was your responsibility to train them on how to use the software that tracked contributions. You did this by creating a 5-step checklist, and it helped this group beat their fundraising goals by 60%.
You might not think this volunteer work has much in common with the trade you were trained in. You did exercise some very important skills that future employers will see as an indication that you’ve got the ability to manage others. And, you’ve quantified your value.
When everything else is equal
Top employers enjoy a steady flow of applicants for open positions in the trades—especially for home services companies. Even so, they’re struggling to find top-level people. After a while, every HVAC tech’s resume starts to look the same.
What will make your resume stand out? Proof that you’re a well-rounded person. Your volunteer work is more valuable than you think—and it helps even more if you’ve got gaps in your employment.
Add any volunteer work to your resume, and then create a profile with the Nexstar Jobs Network It’s where you’ll find some of the best employers in your field who are looking for people who stand out from the crowd.
Nexstar member companies are employers of choice, and our job board offers exclusive opportunities with these companies for plumbing, HVAC and electrical home service technicians, installers, service managers, customer service representatives and dispatchers across the country.
Find out more about what could be on your job horizon by heading here.