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How Volunteering Can Help Your Resume

By Heather Brown
June 08, 2015

Volunteering at a local nonprofit organization has a wide variety of benefits. The nonprofit realm covers many sectors, spanning from social service agencies to advocacy and awareness projects on a grassroots level. By serving at a local nonprofit, you can help the nonprofit achieve its mission as well as gain some benefits for yourself in the process.

Benefits of Volunteering with a Nonprofit Agency

The benefits of serving with a nonprofit agency in a voluntary capacity span beyond simply looking good on a professional resume. By serving as a nonprofit volunteer, you most probably will reap some of the inherent benefits associated with such service. Some of these benefits include but are not limited to:

  • Increased experience within the nonprofit service sector
  • Engagement with service to a diverse population of people
  • Exposure to the inner workings of direct service to the nonprofit’s clients
  • Depth of knowledge in nonprofit procedures and policies for administering programs, projects and services
  • Specific hands-on experience with numerous tasks instrumental in the accomplishment of the mission of a nonprofit agency
  • Extensive exposure to various communications and multimedia messages utilized by nonprofit agencies directed to different types of recipients such as:
    • Clients
    • Donors and sponsors
    • Vendors and suppliers
    • Partners, staff members and volunteer staff members
    • Press and media outlets, including journalists and editors
  • Task management and skills necessary working with both diverse and complex teams of staff members, volunteers and others

Utilizing Your Voluntary Experience to Your Own Advantage

Aside from simply serving as a space filler for your resume, nonprofit volunteer experience can serve as a demonstration of your ability to adapt. Unlike the for-profit sector, your experience volunteering at a nonprofit agency can provide opportunities to work on certain tasks that you might not get a chance to do normally. While your lack of experience or education might limit you within the for-profit sector, you can gain valued experience and exposure through your voluntary service at a nonprofit agency.

Focus on what you learned while volunteering. Take into account what you did beyond the scope of your previous work or volunteer experience. Make note of leadership opportunities garnered while serving. Also, list any technical assistance or training received while serving.

Volunteering at nonprofit can help your resume, but your focus should remain on how your volunteer service can help local nonprofits.After all, getting things done is at the core of nonprofit volunteerism.

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