Are you thinking about returning to paid work after an extended absence, perhaps after caring for your family or parents? Last week I shared the advice I’ve given my friends in similar situations. If you have volunteer experience that’s relevant to the paid work you’re seeking, let your future employer or client know!
As promised, here are a couple of examples of how that might look on a resume or LinkedIn profile. If you’re not sure how your particular situation might best be reflected, you can always get help from a pro (check the National Resume Writers’ Association for local members).
If this is you:
– You volunteer as a member of a communications committee for a small local nonprofit, and you’re seeking paid employment as a social media coordinator.
Try this on your resume:
Communications Committee Member (volunteer)
Sanctuary Garden, 2011- present
– Developed an editorial calendar, allowing organization to coordinate content and message over multiple channels for the first time.
– Introduced communications staff to tools for scheduling and editing, improving efficiency and enhancing the online presence of the organization by doubling the number of relevant posts on social media.
If this is you:
– You’re ready to start your own business as a pet sitter, and you’ve got extensive volunteer experience at a local animal shelter.
Try this on your LinkedIn profile:
Assistant Manager (volunteer)
BFF Animal Shelter, 2013 – present
– The role of assistant manager was created for me by the Executive Director of the shelter. In this volunteer position I restructured the staffing and volunteer schedule to ensure all animals received frequent contact with caregivers throughout each day, coordinated first aid training for volunteers and assisted shelter staff in all aspects of animal care. Under my guidance our foster program’s capacity has doubled. I am certified in pet first aid and CPR, and have two furry family members that found me through my work at the shelter.
By the way, my personal preference is to be less formal on LinkedIn than on a resume. But there are many “right” ways to do this. Experiment with what works best for you. The important point is to keep your volunteer work in mind. If it’s relevant, your prospective employer or clients will want to know about it.
If you’re looking for skill-based volunteer opportunities you can find them on SHARE Charlotte. We’ve included a few below to get you started. Remember that a local nonprofit may need your services, but they just haven’t realized it yet! If you have a specialty area – event planning, accounting, office management – search our database of over 300 local organizations, find one you love, and contact them to see if they could use your help (we make it easy by including contact info right on their profile). Odds are they would love your help, and the experience will benefit both of you.