Most often, volunteer work appears toward the end of a resume, after work history.
However, if you have been out of the workforce for a while, are a recent college graduate or are changing careers, your volunteer activities may be the showcase for your most important skills and accomplishments.
As a recent college graduate or a career changer, you might hone new skills as a volunteer in your field, in preparation for a full-time job.
For example, if you want to work in the healthcare industry, you might volunteer at a hospital; if you want to become a graphic designer, you might lend your skills to a nonprofit in search of a logo.
If you’ve been out of the workforce for a while, volunteering may be an excellent way to keep your skills sharp. An IT professional might volunteer to help a nonprofit organization maintain its computers; develop a program to track donors or clients; or enhance their website.
In all those cases, it might be worthwhile to mention your volunteer work early in the resume.
Wherever it is placed in a resume, even a brief mention of volunteer work is important. Most companies are conscious that they need a thriving community around them in order to succeed, both as employers and as providers of products and services.
Hiring managers and recruiters know companies appreciate a spirit of “giving back” in their employees.
Your volunteer work identifies you as someone who also appreciates that spirit.