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Hello everyone,

I have a resume question with respect to Volunteer work.

I am a volunteer firefighter for the town I live in. Should I include this on my resume even though it has nothing to do with my business life. I am in Finance and Accounting in the Logistics industry. My training has given me some real life experiences that some companies may find useful, (First aid, emergency management, hazardous materials training) and several soft skills, but would this scare off potential employers.

I am currently reworking my resume to the MT format and do admit I have to re-listen to the cast again, but want to know if this should be on there.

Thanks,

BBundy

wendii's picture

B

does it take up work time? If yes, then I'd include it, and if not, then not. I'd think twice about a candidate that does dangerous things (including basejumping and trainriding) in their spare time.

Wendii

bflynn's picture

A volunteer fireman? I'd like to see that on your resume and don't be shy about it. You get bonus points for it in my book for being willing to serve the community in such an important function.

Not everyone will feel that way. I think you recognize there could be concerns about the time commitment that it requires. You may get fewer interviews because some companies will pass you over if they've had a bad experience with a volunteer in the past. Be ready to answer the question - how much time commitment does it take? Work on that answer the best you can.

You might also try resumes with and without it. Track which way works better (and let us know?) If your other material is good, you might not need to mention it.

Brian

James Gutherson's picture

Volunteering could also speak to teamwork, leadership, getting things done on limited resources etc. Even better if you could show results that you have achieved - process improvements, efficiencies etc. Things that show you are results focused are always beneficial. (Don't go over a page though :wink: )

thaGUma's picture

Include it. It shows committment to the community. Firefighting does put you in danger. The ability to assess a dangerous situation and react positively when your brain says run is rare. I think it is a positive attribute that could raise you above others rather than bring you down.

The other candidates in Accounting and Finance in Logistcs field would, I think, trend towards S and C in DiSC. I also think you are more likely to be interviewed by more D and I personalities. Something that stands out as extrovert and decisive would be prized.

And (sorry Wendii) to a bloke - it's cool!

Chris

tomas's picture

I would vote for including it, although not exactly sure where on the Manager Tools format resume. It shows that are contributing to the community, and would suggest that you have good team skills.

The one downside would be that a potential employer might be scared off by the time committment, but surely it is better to deal with it up front. You don't want to spring on an employer after they have hired you only to be told that they don't support staff in contributing to the community.

asteriskrntt1's picture

To include volunteerism on your MT version resume, simply include it as a bullet under your bulleted accomplishments. If you can turn it into an accomplishment, all the better

* Slashed expense by 15% as Captain of 15 volunteer firefighters while maintaining performance rates
* Noted as best remover of cats from trees and powerlines, 2000-2006, nominated to world animal retrieval championships in 2006, won gold medal

RichRuh's picture

I'm personally biased towards volunteer firefighters. One of my directs is one, and he has successfully and repeatedly accomplished some programming tasks that many 10-year veterans avoid. Maybe because he's new and trying to make a name for himself. Or maybe it's because his hobby is to run inside burning buildings, and compared to that, programming challenges are pretty unintimidating.

That said, in general, I would be cautious about putting volunteering on your resume. If you are VERY ACTIVE I would consider it, but far too many people put useless filler on their resumes to appear "well-rounded."

--Rich

WillDuke's picture

We recently had a HUGE fire up here. If you were applying for a job and had firefighter on the resume, you'd probably get hired. Regardless of the rest of your qualifications. If nothing else, you'd get an interview, and that's what the resume is all about.

You never know what appeals to people. Community service is always a good thing.

Mark's picture

For me, it would depend upon the rest of your resume. I wouldn't say no, but I'd only include it if I felt that it was better than another bullet that could go there.

"Better" is a function of what the other bullets show, what level of success you've had, and what is needed in the job you're going after. Therefor, the decision depends on EACH JOB you'd be applying for.

Sorry this took me so long!

Mark

ProcReg's picture

Hello. It's now 6 years after the original poster!!!1

I'm struggling with this one now. Many companies want to know people participate in their communities and have paid leave for employees serving at the local whatever. It's asking the question, "Will this candidate reflect well of us?" I include it at the bottom of the resume, and it usually comes up somehow.

Most recently, I taught financial literacy to kindergartners, to which is on my resume, since i'm in finance. It's at the bottom, beneath computer skills.

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