There are lots of benefits to volunteering, giving back to your community, boosting confidence and learning new skills to name but a few. Volunteering also makes you more employable.
But, how do you include volunteering on your CV?
In this article, we look at how to include volunteering on your CV, why you should include it and how you can relate it back to the job you are applying for.
How to include volunteering on your CV
If your volunteering relates to the job you are applying for
When you have not got much paid work experience, or your paid work experience is less relevant to the role you are applying to, the most effective way of showcasing your volunteering work is by thinking of these placements as equivalent to paid work.
If your CV is chronological, include voluntary or work experience places in the correct chronological order with your other work, but make sure you flag up that it was voluntary. If it was a fixed length placement, e.g, a two week internship, make sure this is made clear too. Don’t forget, if you do an insight day or a work shadowing scheme you can include that too!
You can also include work experience in a separate heading, but this is more appropriate when you have a lot of relevant paid work experience on your CV already.
What information should I include?
- Include the name of the organisation, your title and the duration of the placement
- Outline your duties/responsibilities and what skills you acquired. For examples, any technical skills you learnt such as Excel.
- Describe volunteer work in terms of what you achieved, such as the projects you worked on or any presentations you did. If you did a project on a hot topic in the actuarial profession, such as Solvency II, go into some detail about what you learnt.
- Highlight the communications, planning, team work or time management skills that you may have gained during this period
- Always tailor your CV to each company and job role you are applying for
If your volunteering does not relate to the job you are applying for
If your volunteering isn’t really related to the job you are applying for, you can still put it on your CV. This will give you a chance to show off your soft skills and allow you to present yourself as a well-rounded individual to employers.
With this type of volunteering, you should have it under a different section such as ‘Volunteering Experience’ and here you can list the volunteering you have done.
What information should I include?
- The name of the organisation and your title
- Outline your duties and responsibilities
- Make sure you talk about the skills you have acquired while volunteering, such as teamwork, problem solving and leadership skills. Relate these skills back to the job you are applying for.
- Mention any achievements or qualifications you may have gained from this, such as coaching or life-saving. While not completely relevant, they show that you are committed and motivated.
While you may want to shy away from including generic volunteering on your CV, it is something you should definitely consider including. Recruiters obviously want to see high academic achievements, but that’s not all they want to see. They want to see a well-rounded individual with different soft skills and hobbies outside the world of work. You may not think that volunteering at Girl Guides will get you a job as an actuarial associate, but you could be surprised at how much the skills you learn come in handy in the workplace.
There are a few ways in which you can include volunteering on your CV and they are dependent on what sort of volunteering you have done. If it is work experience or it relates directly to the job you are applying for then you can include it under ‘work experience’. However, if it is more general volunteering or doesn’t relate directly to the job you are applying for, then you should put it under ‘Volunteering Experience’.
Regardless of where you put your volunteering experience, you should ensure that you explain how the skills you have acquired will help you do the job you are applying for.