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Background:

Not long after I finished school, I started volunteering at a community center while job searching. Turns out, it was the best thing I did. I networked with really great people, and they realized my love for computers and coding, which led me to work on project for them in my spare time. Eventually, I started working there as a computer trainer.

After that, I found a contract job at the bank, and completed it. We ended on a good relationship, and the manager told me I could use her as a reference.

I began job searching again, and a few months later, I decided to go back and volunteer at the same organization, because I didn't want the gap on my resume to be too long. Problem is, the people that I networked with and knew from the first time are no longer there. My hours aren't all that great either (4pm-6pm, but that was cut down to 4pm-5:30pm). The current manager is really friendly, as well as his assistant. Essentially, I'm filling in for the manager, he runs an after school program, and needs someone to cover the front desk. In simple terms, I'm a seat warmer for the manager.

I proposed a project to them to make registering future volunteers easier, but no one was interested.

My tasks right now are limited, I basically help people login to the computers and print, other than that, there isn't much else. There isn't even a chance to get more hours, preferably during the day, because he gets paid to cover the front desk.

Most of the other managers and employees are gone for the day, so there isn't that much people to talk with and build a network.

Question:

Should I include volunteering a second time on my resume?

My problem is, I already have the tasks I'm doing, currently listed under the previous time I volunteered.

If I do list it, do I just repeat the same two tasks again(printing for clients and logging in)? The only benefit I see is that I was doing something rather than just job searching.

If I don't, then I would have the explain the year gap(next month will be a year) in my resume.

What worries me the most is my reference from the bank might be out of date, as she could have moved on, leaving me with the community center manager as my only reference which means I would have to place my volunteering on my resume for the second time.

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A few ways I would consider approaching this:

  1. List it as a single job listing on your resume, but list the dates as such

Jan 2012 - February 2014; October 2017 - Present

Pros: simple and should be clear to the reader that you had the same position with a gap in the middle Cons: hard to enter into job board software

  1. List them as separate entries but try to find a truthful distinction between the two time periods - perhaps the focus of your latter work had some specific examples that were rewarding. If possible show growth from previous stint.

Pros: Shows that after fulfilling a contract position (make sure you say you were on a contract for that time period) you were welcomed back to do a similar role. It also highlights your dedication to help while further developing your skills. Con: If you really don't have a way to distinguish between the two time periods and put the same content for both it will be confusing and look like a possible error. (I'd highly recommend using examples of specific things you did that are noteworthy - not focussing on the mundane but showing how you helped individuals as a point of distinction).

  1. If the time period of the contract job was relatively short, then list the community center as

Starting date to present

And then after you put your experience there list the contract job (again indicate that it was a contract so it is clear why you left after a short period) with the time frame.

Pros: This is pretty standard and good as long as you had some involvement with the community center even as a volunteer. This is a good use if the contract job can be seen as a position in addition to what you were doing at the Community Center. Cons: If you really didn't work/volunteer at the Community center at all during the contract this is not a truthful statement.

Each of these examples depend on how well you can truthfully make distinctions of what you did, how you grew and what you want to do. Certainly don't lie on your resume, but also look for experiences you gained that aren't just a list of your responsibilities. Your prospective employers want to know what your potential is more than the day-to-day of previous jobs.

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    Option 1 is what I went with when listing assistantships at school. It doesn't seem to cause any confusion. – TheSoundDefense Jan 30 '18 at 23:01
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    Thanks for this, I didn't even think about that, Option 1 is the way to go! 2104, I must have been 1 hell of a volunteer. – user82343 Jan 31 '18 at 0:07
  • I fixed the date in the example (maybe don't have me proofread your resume) but in my defense I thought you volunteered at the Quantum Leap Community Center. ;-) – Bryan Turriff Jan 31 '18 at 16:28
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    @BryanTurriff - No worries :D. The example illustrated what you wanted were explaining. – user82343 Jan 31 '18 at 16:54

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