by Lisa McGrimmon
This sample administrative assistant resume shows what to do if you have relevant paid experience, but your most current relevant experience was obtained through volunteer work.
This situation occurs frequently when someone takes some time out of the paid workforce (to raise children, for example), but makes a point of staying active in his or her industry through volunteer work.
It is extremely smart to find a way to be active in your field when you are not working for an extended time period. Those who do, find it much easier to return to paid employment. However, it can be tricky to know how to show your experience on your resume when it is a combination of paid and volunteer work and the volunteer work is the most recent.
In the example below, the paid and volunteer experience is all combined into one section called "Relevant Experience". It allows the job seeker to bring her volunteer work up to the top of the resume to minimize the gap in her work history.
If you use this strategy, it is important to clearly mark the volunteer work as being volunteer work. The point is not to be dishonest and trick the employer into thinking volunteer work was a paid job, but, rather, to group all relevant experience together into one, easy to read section, and bring the most recent relevant experience up to the top of the resume.