6 | Talking About Your Volunteer Experience
Discover strategies for sharing your volunteer experience with employers, friends, and family.
As a volunteer, you gain many transferable skills that can be applied to a number of related fields. Here are some ideas for how to incorporate them into your resume in a way that is specific to your career goals.
LinkedIn is a great place to promote your volunteer work. On your profile, you can add 826 Boston to the “Volunteer Experience” section and describe your experience as a tutor. Here’s some sample language you can adapt for your profile:
“As a volunteer at 826 Boston, I tutor Boston Public School students in [insert name of program(s)]. In my role as a writing tutor, I support students creatively and academically to help them develop their own voices and tell their stories.”
Be sure to select “826 Boston” from the drop-down list when choosing the volunteer organization, and connect with 826 Boston on LinkedIn for regular updates!
Whether you want to pitch a corporate volunteer day to your company or just explain 826 Boston to your friends, these tips can help you communicate the message effectively.
Let’s start with the basics! It’s helpful to explain why 826 Boston is called the Greater Boston Bigfoot Research Institute. 826 Boston is part of a larger 826 network, which includes nine chapters in cities across the United States. Every 826 chapter is dedicated to helping students write their own futures. The first chapter, which was founded in San Francisco at 826 Valencia Street, occupied a space zoned only for retail—not tutoring. So to get around the rules, 826 Valencia opened the Pirate Supply Store, equipped with mermaid bait, eye patches, wooden leg pegs, and more! This whimsical storefront not only satisfied zoning rules, but it also sparked students’ imaginations. Now, each 826 location follows this example.
In Boston, a major research town, we decided that the best and brightest minds should be tasked with tracking down Bigfoot—and the Greater Boston Bigfoot Research Institute was born! First-time visitors love to examine the cryptid artifacts in our storefront, and they’re always surprised when we reveal the Tutoring Center that lies behind it.
Always emphasize the awesome students you tutor. After all, they’re at the heart of our mission! 826 Boston works with Boston students ages 6–18, primarily in Roxbury, Dorchester, and Jamaica Plain. This is made possible due to our strong partnership with the Boston Public Schools. Our goal is to empower students to find their voices, tell their stories, and gain the communication skills they’ll need to succeed in school and in life.
Talk about specific experiences to illustrate the impact of volunteering. Describe a specific memory or piece of writing from a tutoring session. Maybe one student’s story stands out as being particularly impressive, descriptive, or funny; maybe you asked just the right question to get a student talking or help them make a breakthrough on long division; or maybe you saw how proud they were to have their name in print. Examples like these demonstrate the importance of individualized student support, which is a key benefit of 826 Boston’s programming.
Mention 826 Boston’s range of programs and locations—even if you’re only involved in one! We work with students in all grades, across a variety of subjects, both in and out of the classroom. Out-of-School tutoring and field trips take place at our main Tutoring Center in Egleston Square, and In-School tutoring takes place in Writers’ Rooms at our six partner schools. Volunteers are crucial to delivering all of our free programming.
Make a connection between 826 Boston and your employer, friend, or family member. Does your company do scientific writing? Does your friend love to illustrate comics? Do you have a retired family member who wants to get involved in the community? Whenever possible, make a connection between 826 Boston’s mission and the interests of whomever you’re speaking with.
If you’re interested in learning about other volunteer opportunities or careers in education, writing, or nonprofit organizations, these resources can help:
in service-learning. I learned patience, I learned gratitude, I learned how to communicate with kids.”
– Runyu (Ryan), After-School Tutoring Volunteer