Volunteer Resumes: Overview
Volunteers in the field of social services provide support and assistance to individuals and communities in need, promoting well-being, equity, and positive change. They play a crucial role in various settings, including:
- Nonprofit organizations
- Community centers
- Homeless shelters
- Healthcare facilities
- Educational institutions
As a volunteer, you must have essential qualities such as empathy, strong communication, cultural sensitivity, and problem-solving skills. In some cases, be prepared to work in diverse and challenging environments, so stay flexible and keep an open mind!
Help transform lives and take the first step by crafting a compelling resume to get your next volunteer experience. With our excellent collection of downloadable templates and professional resume examples, you can be sure to showcase your best volunteering traits.
Volunteer Resume Example: Volunteer Manager
This resume is excellent example because it effectively highlights the key attributes that make the applicant a strong volunteer candidate in social services.
This resume uses a clean and organized template, with a chronological format to detail the candidate’s extensive volunteer experience and highlight relevant skills such as program management.
This volunteer’s resume demonstrates the applicant's enthusiasm for volunteer work through a clear, compelling professional summary.
The resume showcases skills such as conflict resolution and teamwork, which are essential for social service volunteer work, and they stand out for applicant tracking systems (ATS) and readers.
This social services volunteer resume features a clean, organized layout that makes it easy for hiring managers to read and understand the applicant's qualifications and interest in the position.
Volunteer Resume Example: Volunteer Counselor
Here we have another example that is ideal for a social services volunteer position because it combines a professional layout with compelling content that highlights the applicants passion and qualifications.
With a clear, concise professional summary that outlines the applicant's qualifications and commitment to volunteer work, this resume example grabs the reader's attention right away!
The colorful design of this resume, with clear organization between sections of work experience and other volunteer qualifications, makes it an easy and engaging reading experience.
The applicant uses quantifiable metrics to emphasize the impact of their volunteer work. For example, “coordinated food, clothing and household items for approximately 200 disadvantaged individuals and families.”
The resume includes a comprehensive list of skills sought-after in the social services field. By using the combination format, it allows the candidate to showcase their skills prominently at the top of the resume to highlight their abilities.
How to Write a Volunteer Resume: A Step-by-Step Guide
Writing a volunteer resume is very similar to any other resume for a job position. You want to outline your qualifications so that they are easy to read and bring to attention your best attributes!
Choose a Format:
The first step to writing a volunteer resume is knowing which resume format you will want to use. This depends on your level of experience. If you have either professional or volunteer experience that is relevant, then you will want to use the chronological resume format, which focuses on your work/volunteer history. If you don't have a lot of experience, for example, if you are recent graduate of school, then consider the functional resume which highlights your skills. A combination resume is also a good choice if you want to balance the focus between skills and experience.
Like all resumes, include your full name, phone number, email address, and location (city/town and state) at the top of your resume. Always ensure your information is accurate and up-to-date so the volunteer organization can get a hold of you.
Summary or Objective:
Start your resume off with a professional summary or objective statement that highlights your key qualifications for volunteering as a social service worker. An professional summary is a great choice if you have previous relevant experience that you want to discuss. An objective statement is helpful when you don't have a lot of experience, but want to show that you are passionate to get involved.
Detail your volunteering experience (or relevant professional experience), highlighting your roles, responsibilities, and specific achievements. List your volunteer title if you had one, otherwise just list "volunteer", and make sure to include the name of the organization you volunteered for, the location, and dates you volunteered. Remember to use bullet points to make this section easy to read, and quantify your achievements as much as possible to highlight your value.
List the key skills that make you a valuable volunteer, such as empathy, communication, problem-solving, and cultural competence, in a separate skills section to bring your qualifications to the attention of the reader and applicant tracking systems (ATS).
If you have relevant education, include it on your resume, highlighting degrees, certifications, and any courses or training related to your volunteer work.
Additional Sections (optional):
If space allows, include additional sections, like memberships in social service organizations or awards and honors related to your volunteer activities.
Key Skills For Volunteer Resumes
Having the right combination of skills is crucial to being an effective volunteer. Most organizations don’t have the resources to train volunteers extensively; they rely on your skills to help get the job done!
Top 5 Hard Skills for Volunteer Resumes
- Crisis Intervention: Being prepared to handle crisis situations is essential when working in social services.
- Data Entry: Volunteers are often tasked with collecting and maintaining data for program evaluation and reporting.
- Grant Writing: Knowledge of grant writing can be invaluable when working with nonprofits or fundraising for social causes.
- Community Outreach: Effective community outreach and engagement are vital skills for social services volunteers.
- Program Management: The ability to manage programs and projects is a valuable skill in the field of social services.
Top 5 Soft Skills for Volunteer Resumes
- Empathy: The ability to connect with individuals and understand their needs is crucial for social services volunteers.
- Communication: Clear and compassionate communication is vital when working with diverse populations.
- Teamwork: Volunteers often collaborate with other professionals and community members to achieve common goals.
- Cultural Competence: Cultural sensitivity and awareness are essential for respecting diverse backgrounds.
- Problem-Solving: Effective problem-solving skills enable volunteers to address complex challenges and provide solutions.
Remember that specific hard skills and soft skills depend on the volunteering opportunity. Some organizations may seek transferable soft skills while others may be in need of robust technical skills, like computer skills, to help them with their goals. Always check the volunteer job description to know what is being sought after!
Key Certifications For Volunteer Resumes
Having relevant certifications is a great way to boost your volunteer credentials. If you have them, definitely consider finding space on your resume to include them! Although the type of certification will vary between opportunities, here are some of the most popular:
Top 5 Certifications for Volunteer Resumes
- First Aid and CPR: These certifications are essential for volunteers in settings where emergencies may arise.
- Social Work License: A social work license can be valuable for those involved in case management and counseling.
- Nonprofit Management Certificate: This certification is beneficial if you plan to volunteer with nonprofit organizations.
- Conflict Resolution Training: Training in conflict resolution equips volunteers to handle disputes and disagreements effectively.
- Mental Health First Aid: This certification can be crucial for volunteers assisting individuals with mental health challenges.
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8 Tips For Writing A Volunteer Resume
When you write your next resume for a social service volunteer opportunity, consider what you can do to effectively showcase your dedication and qualifications for helping out. Some tips include:
- Customize Your Resume: Always tailor your resume for each volunteering opportunity to highlight the skills and experiences most relevant to the position so that your resume speaks directly to the reader (and the ATS).
- Focus on Impact: Show why you would make a greater volunteer by emphasizing the positive impact of your volunteer work, using quantifiable metrics whenever possible. For example, “led 20+ sessions a week” or “oversaw training and mentoring of 25 new team members.” This gives organizations helpful context and informs their decision-making.
- Use Action Words: Start your bullet points with strong action verbs to convey your contributions effectively. For example, use words like assisted, supported, collaborated or advocated.
- Stay Concise: Be concise and to the point, using bullet points and short sentences to make your resume easy to skim.
- Highlight Relevant Skills: Ensure your resume showcases skills and qualities that align with the specific needs of the volunteer role, clarifying that you are the right person for the job.
- Show Your Commitment: Clearly express your commitment to making a difference in your resume summary or objective so that the reader is driven to learn more about you.
- Use a Professional Design: Maintain a clean, easy-to-read format with clear headings and bullet points. A well-organized resume will grab the attention of volunteer coordinators and separate you from the competition.
- Community Involvement: Highlight your involvement in community organizations or social causes to showcase your dedication and passion for the field you want to volunteer in.
Save Time With Hloom's Resume Builder!
Use the summary or objective on your resume to clearly state your volunteering goals and qualifications.
Highlight your most relevant volunteer or professional experience and bring attention to your impact.
Keep your volunteer resume focused and organized, making it easy to read for organizations.
Be passionate in your approach, let the reader know you care!