Building A Resume Through Volunteer Opportunities And Hobbies

Including your volunteer work and hobbies on a resume can be the ticket to your dream job.

Many people shy away from placing volunteer work and hobbies on a resume. While they probably think that the work they do is important, they may also feel that a potential employer will not. Many worry that employers will view placing these kinds of tasks on a resume as the sign of someone who lacks any real skills at all.

However, quite the opposite can be true. If an individual is performing volunteer work on a regular basis or has turned a hobby into a nearly full-time job, these tasks can actually help you land the job of your dreams. Knowing how to explain these duties on your resume will show prospective employers the true depth of your skills and talents.

Volunteer Work

Most people know that volunteering can be a great way to network. You meet people from different industries and fields that you might not usually meet. In addition, volunteering often exposes us to tasks and responsibilities that are different from our daily routine. It is these new tasks that are learned through volunteer opportunities that can expand a resume.

For example, someone who is an accountant but who also volunteers in a nursing home on a regular basis is expanding his resume and his range of potential employers at the same time. By simply putting on his resume that he volunteers 15 hours a week in the business office of a nursing home, he has opened the doors to jobs that otherwise might be closed.

This individual can explain his accounting experience on his resume, but he can also explain that he understands the intricacies and details of maintaining financial records in a medical facility""which are often much more scrutinized than in some other venues. This piece of information would probably open up job opportunities working in the financial sector of the medical industry simply because this person already has a basic understanding of the responsibilities involved. Many employers look favorably on a person with prior experience because they require less on-the-job training.


A hobby may seem a little more difficult to work into a resume. The idea of tinkering with old cars in the garage may not seem very important at all. However, the skills acquired from fixing up and showing old cars might be just what your next employer is looking for.

For example, if you regularly fix up and show antique cars, you learn the internal workings of the cars. You also learn how to work within financial and mechanical limits to get the cars running. Finally, you learn how to show the car to other car enthusiasts""especially if you have ever won any awards.

For a person working in mechanics or engineering, these skills can be invaluable. In addition, for a person working in marketing or public relations, the idea of knowing how to present your cars and actually win awards can certainly show you understand the nuances of grabbing people's attention.

While restoring antique vehicles may bring enjoyment on the weekends, it could also help you land a job that you had never even thought about. The trick to using volunteer work or hobbies on your resume is to know how to explain them.

Writing the Resume

When placing volunteer work or a full-time hobby on your resume, include it in your work experience like any other job. Put the work in chronological order, listing your title (if any), along with your duties and responsibilities. Also, if you have received any awards because of your volunteer efforts or hobby, be sure to list those.

The real key to making your volunteering or hobby experience a part of your resume is to do just that: make it a part of your resume. Do not be ashamed of your volunteer work. The experience it gives you may just be what gets you the job of your dreams.

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