As a refugee volunteer, you can work in many different areas such as fundraising, teaching, advisory, or event planning. For majority of volunteer jobs, you don’t need any specialised set of skills. You mainly need to be motivated, adaptable and willing to help others. Moreover, you should have good communication skills and empathy for the needs of refugees. However, there are some specific volunteer positions which require experience in the field like volunteer nursers, lawyers, or teachers.
People in Need is a non-profit organisation that operates in 29 countries on five continents. Their main goal is to provide humanitarian help and aid in critical regions around the world. They focus on development cooperation, run social integration programs, fight poverty and provide education for children and women in countries with low educational standards. You can either work for them full time or help as a volunteer.
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How to write your own Refugee Volunteer resume?
1. Treat your volunteer experience as regular jobs
Just because you aren’t getting paid, it doesn’t mean that it’s not a valuable experience. In fact, most hiring managers love volunteers and consider their work as valuable as paid jobs. Whether it’s a climate change campaigning or working for an NGO, these jobs show that you took on a new role and learned useful skills.
As a volunteer, feel free to include your volunteering jobs in the work experience section as you would full-time jobs. Detail your duties, learned skills and key accomplishments. The resume above does just that:
Refugee Volunteer Work Experience Example
Team Coordinator and Fundraiser
08/2018 - 11/2018
Pomáhame lidem na útěku, Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Served as a volunteer in refugee camps on the Croatian borders. I coordinated a team of volunteers and ensured cooperation with organisations in the field. I facilitated distributions in the camp, provided activities for children and youth. As a fundraiser I worked on securing funding and donations for the project’s activities.
2. Improve your resume with strengths
Including strengths on a resume as a separate section is kind of old school. But it can enhance your resume if soft skills are specifically required for the position you’re targeting. This is the case for volunteering. Even though majority of volunteer jobs don’t require any specialised skillset, you should have strong soft skills.
These are usually addressed in the job description. Highlight the required strengths and ask yourself following questions. Which of these do I have? Which of these are the most important? Create a list and ensure that your strengths are relevant. This will also help your resume to get past the ATS system.
Refugee Volunteer Strengths Example
Action oriented, Public speaking, Working under pressure, Empathetic, Flexible/Adaptable, Team leader
As a volunteer, you can write reports and articles about your volunteer experience or specific problems of your target group. If it’s relevant for the job you’re targeting, then your future employer would surely like to know. Include it in your resume as a separate section. Provide title, publication date and all authors. Ideally, you should include a short publication summary.
Notice how the resume above mentions a relevant publication along with a brief description. It also includes a hyperlink for an online source, so anyone reading the resume can access it:
Refugee Volunteer Publications Example
Lebanon: Education and Empowerment to #givehope to Young Girls
03/2018 Human Rights Without Frontiers
As a result of living in poor and unsafe conditions, the number of child marriages among Syrian refugees has been on the rise. This article looks at the issue of child bridges from the perspective of a teacher and a psychologist who work in a refugee education centre in Lebanon and whose students dropped out of school early due to marriage.