I am a research intern in the summer. I will be investigating my own research topic. I am planning to volunteer (not being paid) at the lab two months earlier for approximately 20 hours a week during that period - then I will be working 40 hours.

Is it reasonable to say under my 'experience' header of my resume that I've been there for:

X minus 2 months to present?

or should I say only: X to present?

  • So you are planning to start being paid in may but actually start in march but as an unpaid volenteer? Feb 24, 2015 at 17:28
  • Yeah. It is a research grant for me in the summer. But I want to get a head start to work on the project.
    – losty
    Feb 24, 2015 at 17:41
  • When you volunteer is this status arranged officially or does it mean you come to the lab which you have access to on your spare time
    – Brandin
    Feb 25, 2015 at 10:47
  • I talked with my supervisor and he allowed me to come anytime that I want. So I told him that I would work for 20 hours per week until my official start date.
    – losty
    Feb 26, 2015 at 21:20

2 Answers 2


I don't see what difference it makes whether or not you're being paid for it, if you're doing the job you're doing the job. Unless you will be doing something clearly different in those 2 months before your paid position, I would simply consider it all part of the same experience. If you really want to mention the two months you could mention it as X to present, preceded by 2 months of preliminary research or somesuch.


It really depends on how the employer documents it. If they put you start date as the date when you begin 40 hours, then you should represent it as such, and you can maybe have another section in your resume that lists volunteer work.m

I wouldn't represent volunteer time as part of the same time period (even with qualifying details), just to avoid having a misunderstanding and a potential employer thinking that you were trying to be sneaky.

  • Its a research grant; There isn't even a set number of hours I have to work.
    – losty
    Mar 6, 2015 at 0:55
  • Whne they check your refernces, it matters what the official start date is. Likely they will contact some HR person, bnot the lab directly who can only go by what is on the paperwork,
    – HLGEM
    Apr 2, 2015 at 19:51

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