Value of volunteer work.

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The IMC now sends certifications to all Mosaic coordinators.

The IPP taskforce used to do this for all IPP participants and staff a few years ago - we gave up at some point because it was kind of a hassle. Also, we doubted, that anybody could use a certification issued from an organization to its own volunteers for future job applications. Personally, I received some sort of a certification when I finished my term as IPP chair (see below). But I never saw how I could have used it for anything, let alone to convince anybody to hire me. That's why I wonder whether this kind of a certificate is really of any value in society.


What I'd like to see in the future is an official valuation of volunteer work. I would like to have an account, to which "volunteer credits" are added by certified volunteer organizations. Of course you would need an extensive system of making sure somebody really donated time to a good cause. But anyway, I think it would be great to have my volunteer work properly measured and certified in my resume.

I thought I could remember an NGO providing exactly that, but my brief Internet search didn't reveal anything. Anybody up for starting such an organization?

(This reminds the that Sanna (SWE) once told me that one of the most popular talks at a Nordic Conference a few years ago was how to include CISV in your resume. How do you?)

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My call on this is that each experience has to be included in the resume with the appropriate "make up" accordingly to its goal.
I think that properly describing the volunteer work done and the addition of references that could proof what is stated is enough to "validate" the experienced claimed.

Agreeing with Teo, the purpose of your resume depends on its function - so the value of CISV is, in the end, in the fact that it is something that can mean anything.

For instance, I don't list CISV as "volunteer" experience because for many situations in the US the word "volunteer" means less than the word "internship" although both mean unpaid work. The implication is that vounteering is something anyone can do. Therefore, I leave aside that language.
For instance, Mosaic was, at one time (2004-2005)
"Trained international coordinators in project management, staff training, and experiential education methods, incorporated strategic planning and rebranding results into program, co-coordinated international committee in tasks including formulation of training modules, problem-solving and evaluation, marketing, and facilitation of projects in more than 50 countries."
ARM Coordinator was (2001-2002) "Worked closely with youth leaders in the Americas on capacity building projects based on their own socio-political interests. Directed international training workshops in Mexico, Canada, and El Salvador."
and, of course, IPP was (2006-2007) "Trained national coordinators of the Asia-Pacific Region in New Zealand in March, 2007, program directors for North America in November, 2007 and worked with the international taskforce to prepare projects and staff in Portugal, Italy, Egypt, Costa Rica, and Germany."

It's strange and interesting to see what people really respond to. In all of my applications, the things people responded to were IPP, the fact that I had traveled a lot, and the leadership roles I had been able to articulate. A certificate? Not useful. But being able to translate CISV into culturally relevant language? Very valuable.

Wow, Sarah, seems like you got it all figured out. Maybe you could give a workshop on adding CISV to one's resume - at least for US-people.

It should also be mentioned, that CISV-work also has a wide range of relevance depending on which kind of job you are looking for: If your applying to be the secretary general of an international NGO dealing with youth, CISV-stuff is more interesting than if your running for a residency in internal medicine (like me).

WoW Sarah! you really got it figured out. I have been hearing lately the words CISV and Resume come together a lot, and since I'm writing my first resume ever now, I have been wondering on where does CISV fit in their and how much of CISV does fit in the resume. A lot of people are interested in knowing how to include CISV in their CV because it is a must, but they don't know when it becomes too much. Maybe we should start a thread on JB Community or open a page on JBPedia about this subject and get everyone's experiences with their resumes. :)

Well, it certainly took awhile to figure out how CISV could be presented in a way that was useful to my career, since law isn't as close as NGO work or the like, but I think the key is really to look at the skills you got from CISV that are useful to your job and work backward.

I really agree that making the connection between CISV experiences and career experience should be a task for the organization both because it gives added legitimacy to our programs and because it is necessary and common.

On another note, you should check out in the CISV news about CISV being "certified" for school credits. This is another way we can recognize the very real educational contribution CISV makes, as well as on a personal skills level.

I would like to add that Im more and more experiencing (Especially in all the- now mandatory- soft skill courses I have to take as a Chemistry (!!) PhD student) that what many companies ask for is exactly the ASK that you gain in CISV experiences in addition to your field specific education... even in fields like natural sciences, etc...
So, I think that certifications about projects you have done, trainings you have absolved do make sense as long as theyre not a "hang on the toilet-wall" sheet of paper but describing the skills that you gained in this training...

But its really a good question on how to actually value volunteer work- is it all of the same quality? Would a kitchen staff get the same amount of points as the programme staff? Why? Why not?
And then, shouldnt there be something like a global system (or at least regional, like ECTS)that is normed in some way?
If we would make up such a system of our own, well, then its volunteer work valued by volunteers...

volunteer works are good for resumes, it shows your dedication and willingness to the job you want to apply for(provided that your volunteer work is in anyway related to the position you are applying) if you feel like pursuing a teaching career, look for volunteer teaching programs to glisten up that resume, for the resume part,visit, they write excellent resumes

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This page contains a single entry by Nick published on February 10, 2009 6:56 PM.

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