Volunteer Info

This article describes how to offset a lack of paid work history and attract positive attention. For example, most recruiters say that candidates with international volunteering experience stand out and are more likely to get the job!

Volunteering Builds Skills Employers Want

One of the most important things you can highlight on your resume is your work experience. This raises the question: how do people get jobs in the first place if employers look at work history?

Work history does not just mean paid jobs. It also includes volunteer work you may have done in the past. Employers often focus on this when reviewing resumes. They are even more likely to do so if you have never held a paying job or recently went through a period of unemployment.

Even if you already have work history, volunteering looks good on your resume. This is because it helps you build important skills. It looks even better if it was international volunteering, which employers highly value. According to The Muse, a majority of recruiters agree that people with international volunteering on their resumes stood out and were more likely to get the job. Here are some of the job skills you can gain from volunteering:

Leadership Experience

What did you gain during your experience?

Did you:

  • Create a program?
  • Lead other people?
  • Organize an event?

People Skills

Employers often look at who you volunteered with.

Did you:

  • Work with others?
  • Team up with other volunteers or with individuals?


Most businesses look for people with a personality that fits into their workplace.

They look for someone who:

  • Is productive.
  • Is assertive.
  • Works well with others.

It is important that you have volunteer experience as it can reveal a lot about your personality and your work ethic. Your experiences may reveal that you are a person who can work in many different situations, or a person who can work with many different people.


Volunteers often work in groups. This helps them build teamwork skills, which most employers look for. When considering your volunteering history, ask yourself, "Were you able to work with others to meet your goals"?

For example, you may have volunteered with people you know, such as church groups or friends. You also may have volunteered with people you met on the job.

The most important part of volunteering is working as a team to accomplish goals. After all, volunteers often work collaboratively to support causes they believe in. Employers may take this into account when they look at your resume.


Volunteering is a great way to expand your skills and knowledge outside your comfort zone. The variety of opportunities out there gives you a great chance to try things you have never tried before. For example, you could build new skills within your career field. This could open you up to a wider selection of jobs, whether you are already employed or looking for your first job.

Volunteering also gives you the freedom to explore outside your career field without requiring you to make a career change. Regardless of your field, being well-rounded is great for any employee. So, do not feel limited by your job title; go out and volunteer for what interests you! It will make your skillset more impressive and appealing as a potential employee. After all, you never know when something will come up at your job requiring those skills.

Source: Illinois workNet, https://apps.il-work-net.com/ArticleViewer/Article/Index/74/100
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License.

Last modified: Tuesday, August 18, 2020, 12:31 PM