You've been busy with your kids for years and now it's time to head back to work. Well, back to a paying position. You've actually been working hard, even if you don't have the paycheck to show for it. PTO meetings, school, sports team and community fundraisers. The question as you start to polish up that resume: does all that volunteer work count? We asked GALTime's career guru Linda Waters. She's a pro at helping women re-enter the workforce. Here's what she had to say:
Hiring Managers, HR professionals, and recruiters all agree- Volunteer work absolutely does count!
You simply have to present it in the right light.
They really don't mind seeing a "gap" in employment, but they do want to know what you have been doing, and what skills you've been using in your volunteer work that are relevant and transferable to the job you're applying for.
The key is to present your relevant volunteer activities as things you've done to keep your skills sharp while out of the workforce, or to build/develop new skills.
1. If you're a Mom returning to work, do not hesitate to place current and relevant skills at the very top of your resume to make your change. According to hiring managers and resume screeners, one of the biggest mistakes career changers and Moms returning to work make is putting their current volunteer activities at the end of the resume.
2. If you're out of the workforce now, but your volunteer work isn't in a capacity that uses the skills you'll want to highlight when you re-enter, focus on your future and choose your volunteer work more strategically.
3. Research jobs you're interested in and take stock of the skills they're looking for; then, construct a volunteer strategy that aligns with using those skills.
4. Keep a file where you keep track of your numbers and results: how many people you managed, how many dollars you raised, number of hours you worked, the differences you/your group made, and the results you achieved. Include any other facts, figures, references, and information that might be useful.
For how to present your skills and how to prepare for an interview, CLICK HERE!
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