Highlighting Your Unpaid Work Experience on a Resume

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Are you currently job seeking? Considering a career change? Looking to earn some additional cash? Delve deep to find and describe your skills, so you can be hired for your dream job!

Regardless of your situation, you might want to showcase some of your unpaid work experience. So what is non-paid work experience?

These are a few examples:

  • You’ve got unpaid experience from leading a children’s group. Many skills are involved with being a Cub Scout Leader, Boy Scout Leader, or a Girl Scout Leader. More on that later.
  • Volunteer work definitely counts. If you’ve spent time volunteering, you certainly realize the skills and effort it requires.
  • Membership in your school’s Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) certainly counts as unpaid work experience.
  • You can certainly include your time volunteering on local boards and committees.
  • You may have been a popular babysitter in your neighborhood for a long time. Childcare illustrates many skills which can be focused on in an interview or on your resume.

Explore Your Experience and Skills – Delineating skills involved with each unpaid work experience can take a little while. Now let’s examine the previous examples and list sample responsibilities and skills demonstrated by each.

  1. What responsibilities did you have as a Scout Leader or in a similar leadership position for a children’s group? In what way could you describe them to make them relevant to a work environment?
    • Coordinated and led staff meetings.
    • Managed scheduling: coordinated schedules and meeting logistics • Used planning skills for weekly, monthly, and annual events.
    • Exhibited organizational skills: Assembled supplies, executed purchase orders and chose materials.
    • Budget development and review.
    • Wrote reports for the agency that supervises the team.
  2. In volunteering, there are a variety of experiences and skills depending on what kind of volunteer work was done. To illustrate this point, assume you volunteered for a local organization in the social services.
    • Attended and participated in every meeting and event punctually.
    • Sorted and delivered regular mail on a daily basis.
    • Organized and put together program mailing campaigns.
    • Acted as volunteer leader when the director was away.
    • Used desktop publisher to put out monthly newsletter.
  3. Being involved in a PTO can give you a variety of responsibilities that you can spotlight on a resume for unpaid work experience.
    • Chaired Committee Overseeing Activities Related to Fundraising
    • Planned and coordinated fundraisers
    • Acted as Co-Chair of Fundraising Committee
    • Created strategies designed to bring more parents into the PTO
    • Increased PTO membership by 3% each year over three years
  4. In this example, you were a volunteer for the fictitious group Welcome to Our Town.

    You could list the following responsibilities as unpaid work experience on your resume:

    • Created marketing flyers for our town.
    • Coordinated meetings of our fundraising team.
    • Oversaw four volunteers. Given the challenges inherent in managing an unpaid workforce, volunteer supervision is a huge strength for most hiring managers.
    • Provided information about the town and set up exhibits at local publicity events.

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