Work Experience is one of the most important sections of your CV so it’s essential that you use proactive language when describing your achievements, e.g: achieved, formulated, planned, broadened, generated, managed, represented.
When you haven’t got much paid work experience, or your paid work experience is less relevant to the role you’re applying to, the most effective way of showcasing your volunteering work is by adding these placements or voluntary work as equivalent to paid work.
If your CV is chronological, include voluntary or work experience places in the correct chronological order with your other work, but make sure you flag up that it was voluntary. If it was a fixed length placement, e.g. a two week internship, make sure this is made clear too.
You can also include work experience in a separate heading, but this is more appropriate when you have a lot of relevant paid work experience on your CV already.
What information should you include?
- Include the name of the organisation, your title and the duration of the placement.
- Outline your duties responsibilities, and what skills you acquired, for example leadership.
- Describe volunteer work in terms of what you achieved, or the personal progress made by those you were working to help.
Avoid making the mistake of simply listing tasks. You want to use this section to highlight your abilities and accomplishments. Use action words and focus on demonstrating that you helped the company solve its problems and achieve its goals.
4. Highlight the communications, planning, team working or time management skills that you may have gained during this period
5. Always tailor your CV to each company and job role you are applying for; this includes any volunteering you may have done. Emphasise the placements and skills most appropriate to each role.
Ideally, you want the experience section of your CV to demonstrate growth. Over the course of your career so far, you’ve almost certainly added skills, experience, and responsibility. This section will demonstrate how you’ve developed as a candidate, as well as providing a sense that you’re an ambitious person who’s always learning.