How to boost your resume with volunteer project management experience

    Article by Zaytoen Domingo

    Zaytoen Domingo

    Posted: November 12, 2019

    Looking to pursue a career in project management? Here’s how volunteer project management can help you build an outstanding resume

    It’s the classic catch 22 of the modern career: you can’t get a project management job without experience, but it’s difficult to get experience without having a job.

    If you’re wondering how to get into project management, consider volunteering abroad as a way of gaining the experience you need to get your foot in the door. 



    As well as looking great on your resume, international experience will give you the adventure of a lifetime and a global perspective. 

    Add project management experience to your resume

    Having project management experience on your resume will help to impress potential employers. 

    As well as showing that you already have desirable skills, you’ll be able to demonstrate that you are committed to your career path and willing to think creatively to get the right experience. 



    Project management skills are always a worthwhile addition to your CV, as they will hold you in good stead no matter which career path you choose to follow.

    For example, leadership, organisation, time management and communication skills are sought by most employers. 

    Having volunteer project management experience on your resume can therefore open up job opportunities in a range of fields. 

    How to get project management experience


    Professional experience is your golden ticket to an awesome project management job.

    If you’re struggling to find a project management position because you don’t have enough experience, volunteer project management might be the solution you are seeking. 

    GVI’s international volunteer programs offer a logical way to start gaining career experience. 

    Volunteering or interning abroad gives you the chance to gain practical skills in a challenging environment. 



    You’ll be able to demonstrate that you can manage your time and complete tasks. You can speak about the direct contribution you made to a project, and the hard and soft skills you gained along the way. 

    Through individual and group goals and objectives, you will develop your critical thinking, collaboration, problem-solving, and adaptability skills. These will enrich your resume and help improve your employability

    Interning abroad with GVI is also a great way to show that you are passionate about having a positive impact on the world. 

    GVI aims to help all program participants expand their career potential by creating a deeper awareness of local and global issues, and providing opportunities to get involved in long-term sustainable projects aligned with clearly defined impact goals. 



    Taking part in these projects is an opportunity to fill in the gaps on your CV, while making an impact where it counts.  

    What is the difference between volunteering and work experience?

    Volunteer experience is multi-faceted, giving you a broader range of experiences than working in a job at home. 

    As a volunteer, you’ll be making a positive contribution to communities while you strengthen and develop your professional skills. 

    Adding a volunteer program to your resume is a clear indication that you have explored personal, as well as professional growth. Overall, you will be able to present yourself to potential employers as a well-rounded individual with a strong sense of global citizenship. 



    Volunteer experience on your resume shows that you are passionate and knowledgeable about global issues. It also highlights your international experience, which is highly sought after in today’s increasingly multicultural workplaces. 

    In fact, international experience can massively improve your chances of finding employment. A survey by Kaplan, called Going Global, found that respondents with international experience on their resume were twice as likely to find a job within six months of graduation, compared to their peers who had not travelled abroad. 

    International volunteer project management experience sets you up for a globalised career by giving you the tools to succeed in an international context. 

    This includes being able to understand and influence people from a diverse range of backgrounds, and being able to approach the complexities of working across cultures and countries. This resourcefulness and resilience are ideal attributes for a career in project management. 


    Volunteer project management with GVI

    GVI’s international internships are specifically designed to develop teamwork and leadership skills, giving you the chance to gain practical experience while contributing to key global issues across a variety of fields

    GVI’s internships include an Institute of Leadership Management (ILM) training component. The ILM is an innovative research body consisting of more than 30,000 professionals.

    This leadership course will teach you the theoretical concepts involved in leading a team, and give you the chance to exercise this knowledge in real-world situations. You’ll be able to solidify your leadership skills through designated activities, presentations, assignments and reflection periods. 



    The ILM-endorsed leadership certificate you’ll receive at the end of your training is an excellent addition to your resume. 

    Internships abroad also offer portfolio-building opportunities for aspiring project managers. For example, our internships abroad require participants to take leadership of and coordinate a personal project. This will be a specific research-based project to be carried out in the field. 

    You will also have a mentor, who will help you review the project over the course of your internship. Weekly, one-on-one mentorship sessions and evaluations will provide you with expert guidance. 

    Plus you will go home with a professional recommendation upon the completion of your project. 



    The combination of training, hands-on experience, and skilled mentorship means you’ll have all the right ingredients for a successful CV. 

    Supercharge your resume and gain volunteer project management experience with GVI. Explore our internships and volunteer abroad opportunities today. 

    Article by Zaytoen Domingo

    By Zaytoen Domingo

    Zaytoen Domingo is a content writer and editor based in Cape Town, South Africa. She is currently enrolled in the Masters program in English at the University of the Western Cape. After graduating with an Honours Degree in English and Creative Writing, Zaytoen completed a skills-development program for writers and became an alum of the GVI Writing Academy.