I am looking for volunteering experience that I can highlight on my resume or LinkedIn for an IT help-desk job, but mostly I find ones for a specific day, such as "Volunteers required for Garden Cleaning on this day".

Is it a good idea to mention the date of that one day volunteering for a whole month like "Nov-2016", although it was actually only one day?

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    I don't think one-day volunteering is going to make that much difference on your resume, especially if it's garden cleaning.... Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 13:24
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    Why stop at describing your one day's work (was it even a whole day?) as "Nov-2016", when you could describe it as "21st century" or even "third millennium"? Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 16:50
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    Probably not a good idea if your only talking about a single day. Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 20:24
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    Occasional days of volunteering to do garden work is not at all related to IT, even IT help-desk. Why... how... what would make you think that it is? What do you think it would demonstrate, that someone hiring for such a position would want in a candidate? Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 23:08
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    Avoid padding your resume/CV with little things. The interviewers have a nose for things like that.... something like "I have volunteered my spare time at the local bike-coop for the last three years" doesn't mean you work 40 hour weeks there.
    – Criggie
    Commented Nov 19, 2016 at 7:06

5 Answers 5


Specifying that you volunteered for one event on one day that has no real connection to your job does not really add much to your resume. Even worse, as mentioned in the other answers, lying about the duration or making it unclear would be a very bad move.

However, if there were multiple one day events similar to this that you participated, you can mention something like "volunteered in multiple events of my community, such as ...", which makes it clear that there were short events, but also suggests your implication in the community.


If your date of volunteering was given as Nov-2016 then I would assume that you volunteered for the whole month. If I found out that you actually volunteered for one day only, I would assume that you were intentionally misleading me, that you were totally dishonest, and that you couldn't be trusted. That would greatly reduce your chances of being hired.

If you were hired, and part of the reason for taking you and not someone else was the volunteering, then your job would be in extreme danger if this was found out. You'd be better off not mentioning the volunteering at all. And seriously, if I read "volunteering for one day" I would have questions about your state of mind.

  • Yeah! but what if I actually do for a full month, but not every day? I mean 1 or 2 days a week. Thanks!
    – Anonymous
    Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 9:06
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    "Volunteering (part time): Nov-2016" Although unless that volunteering is career related, I would not write it down until you have accumulated at least a month or so of actual work time (about 160 hours).
    – SJuan76
    Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 9:32
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    @SJuan76 You may want to make that an answer, it's valuable advice.
    – Mast
    Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 14:08

Can I list one day of volunteer work as “Month-Year”?

Well no. Not at all. What you're suggesting isn't just simplifying your resume or cherry-picking what experience to list. You're talking about substantially inflating your experience, i.e. lying on your resume.

Unless specified, listing anything on your resume as "Month - Year" will imply that you spent the majority of that month doing something. If you were volunteering somewhere for a week you'd either list it as "January - Year // Taught week-long training course for children" or, less commonly, "W3 - Year // Taught children's training course".

There is some wiggle room when it comes to rounding off months but that's only when the interval involved is long ehough. So if you officially started on the 31st of July in 2012 it's fine to list "July 2012 - March 2015" on your resume. But doing that if you left after less than a year or two would come across as misrepresenting your experience.

Lying on your resume is such an immense breach of trust that if it was discovered in the interview process you'd be immediately dropped from consideration. If it was found out after you started the job you'd risk being fired for cause in many companies but even in companies that don't immediately go that far it would be a giant black mark on your record and reputation. The only time where this wouldn't have such a dramatic impact was if it was just an honest mistake or a typo, but that would typically be discovered in an interview. If you actually lied about it during an interview, you'll suddenly have plenty of time to write a new resume.

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    Yes, this. I once interviewed somebody whose resume only listed years, and had something like "Job A, 2008-2011, Job B, 2012-present". During the interview we learned that Job A had ended in January 2011 and Job B had started in December 2012, so this person was concealing a nearly-two-year gap. That was one of the fastest "no hires" I've ever been part of. Don't lie. Don't do anything that looks like lying. It will not end well. Commented Dec 12, 2017 at 19:17

Why indicate the date? You could simply indicate the action you took voluntier avoiding that issue.

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    If you've got several records of volunteering - Volunteered at 3 events between Nov 2022 and Dec 2022 - saying that there were X distinct events makes it quite clear, that the dates don't refer to the duration of the event, but the timespan in which they have occurred. And having more than a single one-day event makes it more mention-worthy, as long as you don't boast about it at the top of your CV
    – Sebi
    Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 18:16

Is it a good idea to mention the date of that one day volunteering for a whole month like "Nov-2016", although it was actually only one day?

There's absolutely no need to mention any dates in volunteer activities.

Normally, you'd list your volunteer work under a heading of "Volunteer Work" or such. Just list the activities with no dates attached.

The duration of some will be self-evident

  • Participated in Town Green-up Day
  • Marched in the Annual March for Autism

Others will just be non-specific

  • Chaired the Scholarship Committee
  • President of the Youth Services Society

You seem to be intending to deceive the reader into thinking your single-day volunteer work was actually more than that. You would be embarrassed if you are asked about it and only then have to admit it was only a day. Better not to put yourself in that position.

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