Introducing the voluntary sector
Introducing the voluntary sector

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Introducing the voluntary sector

3.3 Making the most of your volunteering

If you already volunteer, you may wish to include your volunteering experience as part of your CV – and many job application forms do specify to do this. The next activity gives you some suggestions on how to think about this. Even if you are not planning a job application, it is still useful to do this activity as it gives you a chance to reflect on any experience you have. If you want to learn more about creating a CV, you might want to take a look at another badged free course on OpenLearn, Succeed in the workplace [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

Activity 7 Putting volunteering on your CV

Timing: Allow approximately 5 minutes

Make notes on the following (you could also incorporate the first three aspects into a practice CV):

  • What did you do while volunteering and what have you achieved?
  • What did you learn and what skills did you develop?
  • What training or induction did you receive?
  • How do you want to improve from here?
To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).


It is often not till you try to incorporate volunteering into your CV that you realise how many different skills you have learned or what valuable experience you have gained. Things like working in a team, working with customers, clients or visitors, organising an event, using social media to promote an organisation, writing a newsletter, mentoring new volunteers, chairing a meeting, and so on are all important skills and experiences. Not all volunteers receive formal training or an induction, although this is likely to be important (and relevant to a CV) in health and social care volunteer roles, especially if you work directly with service users.

You may know that you would like to be paid to work in the voluntary sector but are unsure what you would like to do. To begin by volunteering will give you the opportunity to explore different roles and to find out about different organisations. You may not get a sense of what the more specialist or senior roles are like but you would get to meet different staff members and talk to them about their jobs. Also, it is useful to know what it is like to be a volunteer and be managed by paid staff. Then, if later on you are in a position of managing or supervising volunteers, you will have experience of the ‘front line’.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371