I worked as a System Administrator for a small religious nonprofit. I helped setup a server and a database to help keep donation info backed up and digitized how donations worked by making a simple software that charged donors a monthly donation. Before they were using just books to keep information. I worked 10-15 hours a week and I did this for a year to make sure the board members were familiar with the software and knew how to use it.

I just graduated four months ago and looking for IT work and was wondering if including this under my work experience is a good idea? It is basically the type of work I'll be doing.


4 Answers 4


Yes include it, you don't have much else and work experience is work experience and this is more relevant than digging ditches. The key though is to use your contacts there to get a good reference legitimising your work and singing your praises in general.

One thing about non profits (although unsure in the USA where volunteers actually get paid) is they're often the pet projects of some highly connected people or their spouses and you can get some pretty powerful references sometimes.

  • I will be including it under work experience. Should college projects related to my field be put in as well?
    – Noah
    Sep 16, 2016 at 14:46
  • not under work experience, that's education
    – Kilisi
    Sep 16, 2016 at 14:51
  • @Killer066 While searching for my first development job I included a section in my resume that briefly outlined my school projects. What they did, what technologies they used. I would not use that resume anymore as I have work experience developing, but I do believe that it helped me to get my first dev job. Put it at the end and if they're not interested they can skip it.
    – user36614
    Sep 16, 2016 at 18:28
  • @rogerdeuce I actually did two big projects in object oriented and mobile application for the university. One was a room management program and the other was a full fledge mobile application used by students for ride sharing (I was told the university owned the rights so I couldn't go forward with it lol) but anyway, my problem is where to list it and how would I list the types of codes, programs, diagrams etc..I used.
    – Noah
    Sep 16, 2016 at 20:05

Volunteer work experience is a great addition to your CV if you don't have any, or only limited, track record of paid employment in the field where you are seeking employment. It may also be useful if you plan to switch careers, but have little or nothing to show in the way of employment in the field you are interested in.

It is less useful if you already have a significant record of employment in the field where you are planning to use your CV. In this case, adding your volunteering experience may feel like you are "stuffing up" your CV.

Volunteering for an ideal (and/or non-profit) organization is generally regarded more highly than volunteering for a commercial activity, and in the case of volunteering for a well-recognized non-profit organization it does not really matter whether your volunteering is in the same field where you are looking for employment.


You should. If it's relevant work experience of the sort you'd expect to be doing in an actual job, then it goes on the resume. That you didn't get paid to do it doesn't make the work done and experience gained any less real.


You don't have too, but it might help. Chances are you'll land a better job. This is experience after all, even if you haven't been paid for it. You probably have learnt how to meet customer expectations, how to work with other people etc. If you don't have any other professional experience this might show you potential employer that you aren't lazy and are willing to work. Especially if you have documents to prove it upon asking.

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