Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    How to boost your résumé with volunteer project management experience

    It’s hard to get a project manager or project coordinator position without already having project management experience. But how do you get that experience, without being able to get a job?

    This is a tricky catch-22 for getting project management experience. However, there’s one approach that can help you gain actual experience while doing something good for your community.

    Consider volunteer work as a way to gain project management experience.


    Benefits of Volunteer Project Management Experience

    If you’re able to find the right type of volunteer work, you can get actual project management experience, even if you’re not getting paid for it. Many organisations carry out projects and use volunteers to plan and execute them. Activities like carrying out a fundraiser or an event will need someone to coordinate the activities and team and ensure that the project is successful. If you’re leading or coordinating an effort like this, you’ll likely be doing activities that align with project management or project coordinator positions. This can be a legitimate experience to put on your résumé.

    How to Make the Most Out of Your Volunteering Experience

    Finding Project Management experience through volunteering has many benefits on your résumé but, as with most things, there are a couple of things to consider when finding an organisation right for you.


    • The organisation may be fuzzy or omit any metrics that define success. For example “raising awareness” is a vague goal. To address this: clearly define the project goal. Good examples are “achieved project goal of $100,000 in donations” and “4.9 / 5 volunteer satisfaction score.”
    • The organisation may be reluctant to give a volunteer meaningful control over the budget. To gain useful experience, seek work that aligns with project coordinator or project manager positions where possible. If you can gain trust with the organisation, you’ll be able to take on more responsibility.


    To make sure you get the most project management experience possible out of your volunteer activities, look for chances to do the following activities. Once you demonstrate your leadership ability and gain more trust, it may be possible to step into more of a leadership role, if desired.


    • Define project objectives and scope.
    • Clearly define success metrics.
    • Create a project schedule with identified milestones.
    • Coordinate project teams to execute project goals.
    • Clarify goals and focus for the team.
    • Identify and manage risks.
    • Maintain project documentation as needed.
    • Create and manage the project budget.
    • Coordinate and document processes.
    • Serve as the primary point of contact for the project.
    • Track progress and provide accountability.
    • Prepare status reports on progress and any anticipated issues.
    • Make presentations when needed.
    • Plan and lead project communications.
    • Coordinate and facilitate project meetings.
    • Build team consensus and resolve conflicts.
    • Providing frequency-based updates and communication to all involved parties.
    • Monitor for obstacles and potential problems.

    Related articles

    Scroll to Top
    Subscribe Now to Our Blog
    This is default text for notification bar