Love helping others? Is nonprofit work not a job, but a calling? Let us help you create a professional nonprofit resume to showcase the work you have done.
You may be acquainted with putting your volunteer work on your resume, but have you ever created a resume just for all the volunteer and nonprofit work you do? Or maybe you're looking to start working in a nonprofit industry. Whatever the case may be, we're here to help.
A nonprofit resume is a resume that helps to highlight your volunteer and nonprofit work as well as your skills and your education. It's a way of showing employers the experiences you've gained in the nonprofit sector.
Unlike regular resumes, your nonprofit resume does not necessarily consist of your paying work experience, but of your experience volunteering and doing nonprofit work.
Moreover, within the nonprofit sector, there are a variety of professions, including:
Now, there are some details that your nonprofit resume does have that should be any kind of resume:
Tip: In addition, it is very important to include your volunteer experience on your nonprofit resume.
If you've never created a nonprofit resume before, you've come to the right place.
In this article, we're going to guide you through creating a nonprofit resume with only 6 steps:
Even though you're not writing a typical resume, it is still crucial to correctly format your resume.
Formatting your resume with professionalism is sure to impress employers and show them that you can be the perfect candidate for the position.
Now, as we previously mentioned, there are elements you should include in a nonprofit resume that you would in any other resume, like the following:
However, it is also important to include your volunteering experience and be sure that the work experience you are describing relates to the position you are applying for.
Tip: If you have done a lot of nonprofit work, just put that information in your work experience section and title the section "Experience."
Now, when it comes to choosing the format of your resume, we recommend to use the reverse-chronological format. In other words, your resume will emphasize your previous experience in reverse-chronological order from your latest relevant experience to your earliest relevant experience.
Tip: You should use reverse-chronological format throughout your entire resume, including your volunteer experience and your education.
If you're wanting to learn more information about formatting your resume, we have a guide that can help.
Not everyone writes a resume summary and/or objective, but it is extremely helpful and may even increase your chances of getting the job.
Like for any kind of resume, your resume summary and/or objective is a 1-2 sentence blurb that highlights what you have done in your career and what your goals are.
Resume summaries and objectives oftentimes include the following:
Tip: Feel free to include any relevant achievements or certifications in your resume summary and/or objective.
Here's an example of a resume summary and objective you would use in a nonprofit resume:
Friendly and innovative lawyer with 10+ years of experience drafting and reviewing policies for companies with a love for helping the community. Seeking to leverage skills and love for nonprofit missions to raise the quality of financial processes at various organizations.
Tip: Sometimes, it's easier to write your resume summary after you have already written your resume. That way, you can pick and choose what you want to include.
If you're looking for more help, our guide on writing resume summaries has tons of examples.
Unlike in other resumes, in nonprofit resumes, you're more likely to be describing the nonprofit experience you've done, or work that can relate to the nonprofit profession you are applying for. These experiences will look very different depending on the individual and the work they have done.
Regardless of the specifics, it's always a good idea to include the following detail in a nonprofit resume:
Tip: As aforementioned be sure to title this section of your resume "Experience."
Here's an example of what your experience section can look like for your nonprofit resume:
Assistant Nonprofit Attorney, Americans for Immigrant Justice
New York, NY • January 2019 — May 2021
Litigation/Legal Practice Assistant, Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund
New York, NY • March 2017 — November 2018
Want more tips and tricks on how to write your experience description? Check out our guide on describing your work experience.
Like in any other resume, it's important to list your key skills. This will help employers to determine if you've got what they need for the job.
Tip: Listing impressive and relevant skills gives employers more reasons to hire you because, based on your resume, they know you have the qualities they may be looking for.
Here are some examples of key interpersonal skills you can include in your resume:
Moreover, be sure to include skills you learned on jobs that are relevant to the nonprofit work you are applying for.
Tip: If you haven't got the additional space, include the languages and specific certifications, like first aid and CPR as key skills in your resume.
Having trouble identifying your skills? We have a guide with 100+ key skills you can include in your resume.
The volunteer experience section of your resume is like a continuation of your nonprofit work experience section. Having a volunteer section on your resume shows employers that you are passionate about the work you do.
When it comes to describing your volunteer experience, it's important to include the following:
Tip: You can also include dates and locations if you only did this volunteer work for a short amount of time and in one place.
Here's an example of what your volunteer experience section of your resume can look like:
Lawyers for Children America
Volunteer twice a week to help provide justice for children in the foster care system.
CABA Pro Bono
Weekend volunteer providing justice and assistance to minorities and underpaid workers working in high-volume companies.
Need more help writing the perfect resume? We have a guide that can help you do just that.
Just because it's at the bottom of our list doesn't mean it is not important. Including your education on your resume shows employers that you have the technical and educational background to complete certain nonprofit professions.
For example, if you're applying to do pro bono work as a lawyer, it's necessary to have a degree in law so employers know they can trust you to do good work.
When including your education, be sure to mention the following when listing your education:
Tip: If you've attended multiple schools, be sure to put them in reverse-chronological order.
Here's what adding your education can look like:
Yeshiva University | Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
New York City, NY
2005 — 2009
Juris Doctor Degree (J.D.)
2004 — 2008
B.A. Political Science and Government
Need more helping listing your education? We have a guide that will help you list your education in 2021 with examples and tips.
Before we summarize everything we've covered, we want to let you know that we're proud of you for helping your community and finding this work to not even be a job, but instead, a passion.
With our guide, your nonprofit resume is sure to help you get into helping any kind of nonprofit industry. Here's a summary of what we've discussed:
Best of luck out there helping others!