Resume Skills For Volunteering: Definition And Examples

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 7 March 2023

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Volunteering experience can give you a competitive advantage during your job search. It shows your willingness to help others and exhibits teamwork and compassion. The skills you may develop as a volunteer can apply to several career paths, making it important that you know how to list them effectively on your resume to show your efficiency and impress potential hiring managers. In this article, we define resume skills for volunteering, review some examples, discuss how to improve your skills, show their use in the workplace and outline the steps to highlight your volunteering skills during the job application process.

Related: 20 People Skills To Use In The Workplace And Include On A Resume

What Are Resume Skills For Volunteering?

Resume skills for volunteering are your abilities related to helping others or supporting a cause that you can list on your resume. It is important for volunteers to work and collaborate with others and have strong work ethics. When you work as a volunteer, you are essentially doing work for free, so it is important that you can stay motivated to complete your tasks and projects. You can apply many of the skills you learn while volunteering in your workplace.

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Examples Of Skills For Volunteering

Here are some examples of skills for volunteers:

Time management

Many volunteer projects are time-sensitive. It is important you have the skills to meet deadlines and can work on new tasks upon the completion of the former tasks. You may also multi-task as part of your responsibilities. Time-management skills can help you organise your tasks, prioritise them and complete them within the stipulated period to fulfil client or project requirements successfully.

Related: Time Management Skills: Definition And Examples


Written and verbal communication is an important skill to have as a volunteer because you likely work closely with fellow volunteers and the people to whom you cater. For instance, if you volunteer as a tutor, it is important that you can provide instructions clearly to your students. Likewise, if you lead a team of volunteers, you are going to communicate volunteer schedules, project requirements and other important information to your team to help them identify responsibilities or tasks and execute them.

Related: Communication Skills: Definitions And Examples


As a volunteer, it is important that you commit to your cause or charity. It is important you choose to volunteer for something for which you truly care. Many volunteer programmes require you to put in certain shifts or hours during a period. It is important that you can plan around and honour this commitment.


If you supervise a team of volunteers or manage a project, you require strong leadership skills. As a leader, it is important you can motivate others and make sure they stay productive. It is also important that you ensure your team remains focused on fulfilling organisational goals through collaboration and cooperation. It is also essential for you to delegate work effectively, meet deadlines and make sure your team has the resources they require.

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Helping others or supporting a cause is the basic fundamental of volunteering. It is important for you to have compassion when catering to others by considering their perspectives and situations. A compassionate approach can help you realise everyone has different perspectives and understand them. This can significantly increase the connection between a leader and a team.


Many of your tasks require you to work with others, so it is important that you have the teamwork skills to function efficiently with a group. Things such as team-building exercises can help each team member work on their teamwork skills. Attempt to get to know fellow volunteers and learn why they support the same cause.

Related: 10 Powerful Tips For Successful Teamwork

Strong work ethic

Certain volunteer tasks require you to have a strong work ethic. Keeping a strong work ethic allows you to continue to help others while maintaining a positive attitude. For instance, if you are building houses, it is important you can maintain your stamina throughout a volunteer shift. Similarly, if you are serving many people, you require the ability to interact with people for longer periods to be successful at such jobs.

Related: Strong Work Ethic Skills: Top 10 Values To Develop

How To Improve Skills For Volunteering?

Follow these steps to improve your volunteering skills:

1. Offer to lead more projects

If you are interested in developing your leadership and time-management skills, offer to lead more projects. This gives you a chance to learn more about a particular area of your organisation. Previous project managers can help you if you have questions.

Related: 19 Essential Project Management Skills To Master

2. Volunteer more often

One way to improve any skills is by practising. As you volunteer more, you can understand which skills you can improve. Signing up for more shifts gives you opportunities to develop these skills in a practical setting. Soon, you may get comfortable volunteering and even help new volunteers improve their skills.

3. Look to others for support

Other volunteers are usually happy to help you improve your skills. Many volunteers are likely to appreciate your efforts to learn new skills to contribute more. If you are unsure about a new task, you can ask one of your team members for instructions or advice. The organisation may also have a volunteer handbook that you may consult.

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4. Try a new task

Many organisations have all kinds of tasks for which they require volunteers. Enhance and expand your skill set by showing your interest in new tasks. For instance, if you work at a college canteen as a billing counter manager, you may express your interest in restocking food items. Showing your organisation that you want to try new things can increase the likelihood of them assigning you a variety of tasks.

Skills For Volunteering In The Workplace

The skills you develop as a volunteer are transferable to the workplace. Here are some ways you can use your volunteering skills at work:

  • Find ways for your work to give back. Offer to plan a volunteer day, or maybe you can use your work specialities for charity. For instance, if you work at an advertising agency, you may do pro bono work, such as logo design for a non-profit organisation.

  • Be willing to try new things. If your manager looks for someone to do a new task, volunteer for the opportunity. Volunteering helps you be more dynamic and versatile with your skill set.

  • Help your colleagues when they experience a challenge. If a colleague ever shares that they find difficulty with a certain task, you can use your volunteering skills to offer to help them. Ask them if they require your assistance and make yourself available to help them if they do.

Ways To Highlight Your Resume Skills For Volunteering

Here are some ways to highlight your skills when applying for a job:

Volunteering skills for a resume

If you apply to a nonprofit organisation, then your volunteering skills are especially important to include on your resume. Your volunteering skills can show that you are a compassionate person who assists others willingly, which can be an excellent trait for many industries and roles. When applying for a job, think about which volunteering skills are relevant for the position. Then, list them on the skills section of your resume. Employers often look for candidates with communication, time-management and teamwork skills.

Related: What Is A Resume? (Types, Essentials And Examples)

Volunteering skills for a cover letter

When writing your cover letter, think about a specific volunteering experience that applies to the position for which you are applying. Write about how that experience helped you develop any skills related to the role. You can also explain where you believe you can contribute the best efficiently upon joining to help the recruiting managers assess how you may benefit the company.

Volunteering skills for the job interview

During a job interview, you can talk about your volunteer experiences and how they relate to the role. Show that these experiences have made a positive impact on your professional growth. You may use the STAR technique, which includes the situation, tasks, actions and results, to describe the volunteer experiences that relate to this role to explain how you managed unique problems and resolved them efficiently.

Related: How To Describe Volunteer Experience In An Interview

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