Typically we choose the things we volunteer at with more care than finding a job. Often you hear about people who hate their jobs, but you don’t often hear griping about how much someone hates where they volunteer. This is because we usually volunteer to work in areas that we are passionate about. In fact, looking at your passions and what you truly enjoy doing when you volunteer may help you turn finding a new job into finding a new career.
You should analyze the tasks you do when volunteering and describe them accurately. You may be a great event planner and capable of handling budgets and organization of large scale events. You may be an impressive team leader, who can motivate groups of individuals to work together for the common good. You may be an exceptional fundraiser, public relations representative, promotions director or recruiter. These may be things that you do well in your volunteering but have never done as a part of your paid work. They are still very valuable job skills that may be put to use in your next job for a position you are truly passionate about.
In addition, if you happen to have a rather patchy employment history with little job stability but have been volunteering at the same place for many years, you will definitely want to include your volunteer work on your resume. It shows that you are capable of stability. A strong volunteer history can help counteract a weaker employment history.
Showing all your work skills, whether you have actually done them as part of your employment or not, is critical to helping you find the best job possible. Be sure to mention your significant volunteer work on your resume. It just may help you get an even better job than the one you had.