Volunteer Experience

There’s a time and a place

Before you consider putting down volunteer experience on your resume - which we definitely think you should if it applies - make sure to ask yourself these questions.

  • Does this volunteer experience fit into the company culture? If you have a large amount of volunteer experience, it needs to be relevant to your current field or potentially with non-profits that the company also woks with. For example, DTE does a lot of work with Habitat for Humanity. 

  • What are the most relevant experiences? Again, if you have a lot of volunteer experience, pick the most relevant to your field and cut the rest out.

  • Will it make my resume too busy, long or messy? Unless it’s specifically applicable to the job you’re trying to get, we don’t suggest adding a whole second page of volunteer experience. Just add it if it fits. 

  • Am I applying for a job with a non-profit? If you work for a non-profit, you may want to trade out irrelevant work experience for experience with other non-profits. This is going to really depend on the job you’re applying to and how it all lines up specifically with that non-profit and their mission.

When writing out descriptions for your volunteer experience, you still want to showcase what you accomplished. Remember: Consider a specific problem, situation or challenge in your work. What did you do to improve upon that problem, situation or challenge? What was the outcome of how you improved? Is it possible to show what you did in some sort of quantity or metric?
— Elarie Tip