Who are the referees on a resume

Voluntary work in the résumé

The application is the first business card that an applicant presents to the potential employer. The cover letter, curriculum vitae, certificates, references and possibly a letter of motivation are essential components. What many job seekers do not know: HR managers very often first look at the resume when making a preselection and then decide whether they should continue reading at all or whether there will be an interview.

The résumé is therefore of crucial importance: What has the applicant achieved so far professionally, what qualifications and skills does he have? The focus also shifts to the heading “voluntary work”, which in specific cases can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. So what about volunteering? Should these be mentioned and if so, when? Should the decision be made to name these, the question naturally arises as to how they can be optimally integrated into the résumé.

Should I mention volunteering on my resume?

Writing applications is a science in itself and opinions differ here because every recruiter has different preferences to some extent. Basically, however, it can be said that the résumé is an indispensable element and the naming of voluntary activities can also be useful - but not always. But when does it make sense?

In general, volunteering is a testimony to the fact that the person concerned is a committed and socially integrated person. Volunteering in an association, for example, shows that the applicant is ready to take on responsibility. This is a plus in the eyes of potential employers. It is particularly advantageous to mention such a commitment if it fits the profile of the future employer. Anyone who applies for a position at the Arbeiterwohlfahrt, for example, benefits from volunteering in a party like the SPD, because both organizations are politically and ideologically close. Conversely, membership in the works council is not advantageous when applying for a management position, as there may be conflicts of loyalty. It is therefore necessary to weigh up what kind of position it is and whether the voluntary work fits it, among other things, ideologically and politically.

How can I use voluntary activities on my résumé?

From what has been said so far, it can be deduced how voluntary activities in the résumé can be used for the application. Neutral honorary positions, such as involvement in sports clubs, are always beneficial and should be named accordingly because they demonstrate a sense of responsibility and social integration. In other cases it is important to consider whether it makes sense to mention it. The questions that arise are the following: What kind of employer / what kind of position is it? What skills and social competencies are expected for this position? What kind of volunteer work would you like to do?

For example, anyone who has taken on managerial positions in an association and is applying for a managerial position is well advised to mention this. If someone has worked a lot with children on a voluntary basis and would like to work professionally in the field of upbringing, then naming them is also very advantageous here. It is important to consider whether the voluntary work and the desired position correspond and whether the voluntary work reveals competencies that could be of interest to the potential employer.

How can I show my voluntary work on my résumé?

A curriculum vitae is generally structured in tabular form with the precise specification of periods. On the left are the times, on the right the naming of the activities and a brief description of the same. The same should be done when it comes to the rubric “voluntary work”. The data is on the left and the organization on the right shows which volunteer position has been taken on. In addition, there is a short description of what the activity included or still contains. The performance of honorary posts can follow, for example, after mentioning the professional career, the school career and studies / training, further training and special qualifications (e.g. languages ​​or IT skills). Specifically, it can look like this:

since June 2005: Treasurer at Heimatverein Pfullendorf; Supervision of the income and expenses of the association, preparation of the annual balance sheet for the tax office and preparation of the annual report for the general assembly of the association, making transfers and logging of income in coordination with the board of directors, cooperation with those responsible for the association

Such voluntary work is ideally suited, for example, if the applicant is interested in a position in a financial institution, as it reveals professional competence, experience, interest in the subject and social skills. The long period also proves that others have confidence in the applicant's abilities and re-elect him as treasurer on a regular basis. Anyone who works as a banker and invests a lot of time in the topic of finances seems to be thrilled with his job with body and soul. What more can an employer expect? Of course, the explanations should not be too lengthy, because a résumé is always a condensed representation that is only deepened in the interview. However, you should specifically let the future employer know what skills and experience you have and confidently stand by your skills - if they should fit the job profile.