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How to position volunteer work on your resume and LinkedIn profile

Career tip: rebrand your volunteer contributions as Community Leadership on your resume

Youth Soccer Coach, Girl Scout Cookie Manager, and PTA President are just a few of the roles that you should label in a Community Leadership section in your resume.

Any work that you do to make your community a better place should be in this section. No contribution is too small. List any specific results to show transferable skills for future roles.

Different people choose to put volunteer contributions in different spots on LinkedIn. I think it's fine to put this work in your Experience section if you have major contributions and have developed transferable skills that you can offer to a future employer.

For example, I served as Board President of my community swimming pool for several years. I position myself as a "Community Board Leader" in my LinkedIn headline and outline this work in my LinkedIn Experience section.

I also served as a Girl Scout Cookie Manager for my daughters' Girl Scout troops. I put this in the LinkedIn Volunteer section since it wasn't quite as much work as the Board President work. I do spell out that I managed $25K worth of inventory for 2 troops to give additional detail around what I contributed.

Think about the transferable skills that you gained from this experience and brand yourself accordingly for future employers. For example, if you coached your child's soccer team for 5 years, I would position this as leading and mentoring a team of 10 - skills that you can use as you transition from an individual contributor to management role.

Make sure that you are giving yourself the proper credit for all of the things that you are doing to make your community a better place to live (and in turn, show employers how you can use these skills to deliver real results to their organization).

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