3 Ways to Highlight Your Volunteer Work on Applications
As a Red Cross volunteer, you work hard to help your community through countless hours of service. Not only is this work important to your personal growth, it is also beneficial to you when applying to college and graduate school. These institutions want students who give back to their communities, and your Red Cross volunteer work is a great way to show them you are the applicant they need in their program!
Here are 3 ways to highlight your volunteer work on applications:
- Activities/Service Section of Application
This section of the application is used to quickly highlight your extracurricular activities and life experiences in a clear and concise manner. Many application readers skim this section first in hopes of getting a broad, yet informed, view of the applicant.
*Key Tip: be sure to include the number of hours you volunteered, dates of involvement, and a supervisor/reference if needed. These can be downloaded from Volunteer Connection using the “Print Hours” tab on the Hours Tool
Example: American Red Cross of Greater New York Volunteer; 2012-2015; 5 hours/week; Reference: Jane Smith (555)-555-5555, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Resume and Curriculum Vitae (CV)
This supplemental piece of your application should include all professional, extracurricular, and educational experiences in your life thus far. Many application readers only get a chance to see this part of your application or spend most of their time reviewing this, since it captures the essence of your involvement most completely.
*Key Tip: be sure to include all leadership roles, specific responsibilities, and useful metrics to communicate the extent of your involvement with the activity.
Example: President, NY High School Red Cross Club; 2014-2015
- Facilitated monthly meetings for club of 50 members
- Grew number of average club events per month from 1 to 3
- Led team of 4 volunteers for annual volunteer recognition banquet
This part of your application is your chance to focus on how your volunteer experience has helped shape who you are. Rather than reiterate your positions and responsibilities, focus on the emotional aspects of your volunteer work and reflect on the impact your involvement had on others.
*Key Tip: be sure to include a story of when you volunteered with the Red Cross. Sharing a specific moment helps application readers get a better understanding of who you are and why you do what you do.
Example: When teaching middle school students about disaster preparedness, I learned about the value of investing in younger generations and communicating valuable information in a way in which children find fun. The Pillowcase Project introduced me to teaching and helped inform my decision to major in Early Childhood Education in college.
Take Home Message
Your Red Cross volunteer work is important to you, your community, and your future! While your volunteer work will likely pop up in several sections of your application, highlight different aspects of your involvement in a way which is both comprehensive and consistent.