5 Ways to Boost Your Resume Through Volunteer Service Abroad

by Published

Do you feel called to make an impact and have a passion for traveling, but also want to advance your career? You can accomplish all of the above through volunteer service abroad. While volunteering abroad, you can help a local community, quench your thirst for adventure, AND refine your professional skills so you can land your dream job (after exploring the world, of course), all at the same time.

Wait...that is really possible? Yep, it is. Here are five ways you’ll boost your resume through almost any kind of volunteer service abroad:

1. Show Future Employers Your Dedication

Whatever type of job you might want to have in the future, be it non-profit, business, or public service, your employer will want to see dedication. By volunteering abroad with an organization, such as an NGO, your future interviewers will see your commitment to service and your willingness to put the needs of others before your own. Any organization will want someone who will dedicate themselves to their mission, whether it’s helping end world hunger, providing financial services to their clients, or making the perfect latte -- there is dedication needed in any job.

2. Include More Than Just Microsoft Word Under “Skills”

While volunteering with an NGO, you will not only have the chance to serve your new community, you can also add valuable skills to your resume. Depending on the volunteer program, you could work in anything from editing important documents, capturing photographs in the field, learning website management, or writing blog posts for NGO websites. Compared to life back home, you will have an infinite number of changes to learn new skills while working with an NGO abroad.

Volunteer service abroad is the perfect opportunity to add depth to your resume while making an impact on the world.

3. Learn A Second Language

A growing number of the world’s top professionals identify as bilingual, trilingual, or even fluent in over three languages. As societies globalize, companies and organizations will need more and more employees who have foreign language skills. While many people might take courses in university, experiential language learning abroad is unmatched. Use your volunteer service abroad to gain work experience as well as learn a new language or sharpen your existing language skills to ensure you have a more competitive resume, and of course, connect with the local community on a deeper level.

4. Gain Cross-Cultural Experience

Someone going on a vacation to another country could easily avoid contact with the local people if they just go to a resort and only interact with their travel companions. However, as an international volunteer, a large part of your work will be directly helping your host community and engaging in cultural exchange. This is what makes volunteer service abroad so special, after all. Even if you aren’t familiar with the local customs when you arrive, an international volunteer knows (or learns) how to respect the local culture. Every employer wants to hire someone who can work well with others, and one of the benefits of volunteering is being able to show that you have the skills to interact with people from different backgrounds.

5. Become a Citizen of the World

Overall, having volunteer work on a resume means you think on a global scale. For you, news from your hometown or country isn’t enough – you follow current events from around the world. With exposure to other cultures, you bring new ideas from your experiences that those who have never traveled simply don’t have. You know the struggles of those in other places, not just your own. And above all, you have an unrelenting desire to learn.

Being a citizen of the world will make you both a better person and a better employee.

Ready to get started?

Jump in to volunteer service abroad with one of these five volunteer opportunities:

  1. Help Local Organizations in India
  2. Promote Development in Peru
  3. Become a Volunteer in Laos
  4. Support Communities in Vietnam
  5. Improve NGO Capacity in Cambodia

Having volunteer work on a resume will most definitely set you apart from the competition and put you on track to start a bright and prosperous career, no matter what field you choose.

Find a volunteer program that sparks your interest & go abroad!


This article was contributed by UBELONG, an organization dedicated to providing impactful volunteer experiences abroad for thousands of volunteers annually. Name a location and a field you’re interested in, and they’re nearly guaranteed to offer the perfect placement for you.