How to spin volunteer work?

Long time lurker first time poster on this great website!

As I am preparing for SA 2013 recruiting, I am building my S&T CV but I am having trouble spinning a volunteer experience that is utterly unrelated to finance. I taught English as a foreign language to immigrants some of whom had disabilities. I don't know how I could frame it best so I am coming to you for your expert advice.

Thanks in advance.

Comments (29)

Sep 9, 2012 - 8:47am

Isnt it enough to say that you care? All traders aren't heartless bastards

PS - The extracurriculars won't get more than a passing glance. Just say "volunteer language teacher for disabled immigrants"

Sep 9, 2012 - 1:47pm

<span><a href=/company/goldman-sachs><abbr title=Goldman Sachs>GS</abbr></a></span>:
Isnt it enough to say that you care? All traders aren't heartless bastards

PS - The extracurriculars won't get more than a passing glance. Just say "volunteer language teacher for disabled immigrants"


I am much more interesting in your volunteer work and other quirky things in your resume then your 4.0 GPA
"Um so let's talk about that 4.0 GPA and the leadership finance club you have here on your resume"
Or "How was it to teach to disabled immigrants? What type of program was it? Who is sponsoring it? How did you become involve in that? WHere do you get the funding? Etc...."
You get the gist...

Sep 9, 2012 - 10:36am

Put it as one of your last experiences - at the bottom of your "work & relevant experience" section. Include maybe 2 bullet points, one explaining what the thing's about and the other your accomplishments.

I think it's good that you're including a volunteer (a non-finance) experience. It makes you not look like one of those "I-wanted-to-be-on-wall-street-since-freshman-year" people.

Sep 9, 2012 - 11:21am

Most people know volunteer work on resume is something between creative fiction and complete lies, so don't overdo it

The Auto Show
Sep 9, 2012 - 1:19pm

Volunteering shows you don't just sit around and think like a robot. No spin should be necessary; giving back speaks for itself.

Metal. Music. Life.
Sep 9, 2012 - 2:50pm

Is volunteer work looked down upon or is it a plus? (Originally Posted: 03/22/2013)

Hey everyone,
I volunteered at a hospital and a library for quite sometime,
I know were not here to save the whales nor am I a leftist.

Volunteer work:
Hospital - Elderly & Ultrasound, 1 year
Library - Teacher - 1 summer

Would putting hospital & library volunteer work be looked down upon or is it a plus?

Applying for S&T

Sep 9, 2012 - 2:52pm

Might suggest you can feel empathy. Probably best you didn't.

Love this. Good traders don't have emotions, just money.

"They are all former investment bankers that were laid off in the economic collapse that Nancy Pelosi caused. They have no marketable skills, but by God they work hard."
Sep 9, 2012 - 2:56pm

Volunteering on resume (Originally Posted: 04/24/2014)

If I'm a part of an Alumni association that helps students find jobs should I put it on my resume?

[quote=Matrick][in reply to Tony Snark"]

Why aren't you blogging for WSO and become the date doctor for WSO? There seems to be demand.

[/quote] [quote=BatMasterson][in reply to Tony Snark's dating tip]

Sensible advice.

Sep 9, 2012 - 2:57pm

A single line if you have room


Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.
  • 1
Sep 9, 2012 - 2:58pm

Volunteer Experience (Originally Posted: 11/06/2013)

If you volunteer in a third world country, like Africa, can that help your chances of breaking into investment banking at a top BB? Would it be looked upon favorably by BB's?

Sep 9, 2012 - 2:59pm

Not gonna make much difference.

"I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature."
Sep 9, 2012 - 3:01pm

I'd agree with the above. It's hard to see how that alone would be the difference between interview or none. I've got a friend in IB who spent time teaching in rural villages in Africa and it was something the interviewers were impressed by. It can certainly serve as an interesting discussion point during your interview. Perhaps weave into your story and they may ask about it.

Sep 9, 2012 - 3:02pm

I think it would help get you the interview if you are already qualified without it and they are deciding between two qualified candidates and one has this experience. It definitely won't make up for a lack of relevant experience/qualifications.

Sep 9, 2012 - 3:03pm

If you haven't done this yet and are considering something like this during a summer, keep in mind relevant experience/an internship will be infinitely more beneficial (career-wise; perhaps this will be better for you as a person/your life haha).

Sep 9, 2012 - 3:07pm

Volunteering/service work (Originally Posted: 06/08/2009)

Hey guys,
I spent a lot of my time last year (freshman year) volunteering and doing service work. I really enjoy it and strongly believe that we should help those less fortunate than we are. However, I'm not sure if it will continue to be a good use of my time career-wise. How do firms (IB & consulting) see nonprofit/volunteer work? Not to be cynical but am I right to believe that they don't give a shit?

I am considering interning at a nonprofit/charity fund over winter break. This is what I want to do eventually (way down the line) How well will this be looked upon? Aka, would I be spending my time more wisely by networking?


Sep 9, 2012 - 3:08pm

I would think it can only work in your favor- it shows you actually accomplished something over winter break while most other college students slept in until noon. And I'd guess the experience would offer at least decent networking opportunities, but then again I'm not the best person to answer that question.

Either way, if you really enjoy that type of work, don't let how it would look on your resume affect your decision.

Sep 9, 2012 - 3:09pm

hi friend, i think i can hlp you... if you like free work why don`t you just to that instead????? why do you want to work at a investment banking if its not what you want to do???? i work in a financial services before and it really suck so i think that you should do what you like and not what you think is most popular or make the most money.... anyways, this is my advice and i hope that you find it helpful!!

Sep 9, 2012 - 3:10pm

Would be looked upon very favourably.
BBs like to think they are hiring people with well rounded balanced personalities. Plus, you'll have something interesting to talk about during your interviews. One of my interviewers at a BB spent a good five minutes going through the volunteering experience on my CV.

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