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Should my resume include Community Involvement

By mcelhineycs ·
I am currently in the process of changing careers from US Navy to the IT industry. I have rewritten my resume at least 45 times. Each version is slightly to extremely different from the other based on outside input. I thought I was finally finished rewriting it when someone told me that I should include community invovlement as well. HELP!!! Is this something that employers really want to know at the initial stage or something for reserved for the interview process???

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My Approach

by FirstPeter In reply to Should my resume include ...

My approach has always been not to include it unless I can apply it to the position I'm looking for. For instance, if you're looking for a position in management include those community service events that speak to how you were in a position of management. Same thing with leadership.

In all cases I would include situations where you can speak to being creative ("I helped streamline processes for Harvester's food donations") and getting something done above and beyond what you were expected to do, ESPECIALLY if there really wasn't any sort of "external incentive" (e.g., money, a promotion, etc.) involved.

I, personally, don't see much value in putting "member of Southside PTA" on there (as an example) unless it ties to the above. My first question is how that relates to what I want to hire you for. There may be a good link ("I led the team that helped restructure the district and consolidate sixteen schools into fourteen in two years"), but if there's no good link it looks like you were just trying to fill space and LOOK important.

Don't get me wrong - I think there's tremendous value in community service, even if all we're doing is the "grunt" work (stacking boxes in the soup kitchen, for instance). Where I don't think it applies, though, is on a business resume unless it shows me that you can do the job you're applying for.

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Good Points, But...

by DMambo In reply to My Approach

A lot of companies like to see the community involvement activities just to get some insight into the personality of the candidate. In some cases, it can demonstrate "fit". For example, if you are on a local school board and the company invests heavily in employee education, they might see parallel interests.

In other cases, prospective employers like to know that candidates are invested in the local community. I typically include a very short list. It takes very little space, and can often get conversation going during an interview. I also ask about community involvement or personal interests when I see them on the resume of someone I interview.

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so maybe like a one liner

by mcelhineycs In reply to Good Points, But...

to gain the interviewers interest?

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That was kind of my line of thinking

by mcelhineycs In reply to My Approach

I pretty much thought the same thing. My resume is already two pages long with very little room to spare and I didn't think it was relevant to put on there (for example) Habitat for Humanity or k-9 search and rescue, but others seemed to think it was important, especially to larger employers.

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No one should have just one resume

by gene.fellner In reply to Should my resume include ...

You have a boilerplate resume that you send to the headhunters and the job boards. If you're applying for a specific job, you rewrite that resume completely, giving the people at that company all of what they are interested in and nothing extraneous.

You should know enough about the company and perhaps even the hiring manager to know whether they want to hear about your community service.

As a hiring manager my interest would only be piqued if you happen to support the same causes I do, and it's doubtful that you could know me well enough at this point to figure that out.

Still, if it's briefly stated--no more than two lines total--I won't hold it against you. If your charity involvement is an important component of who you are and you are proud to state it, then do so concisely. But don't do it because somebody else thought it was a good idea. It wasn't.

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