How to Spice Up Your Resume with Community Work

Landing your dream job or career path straight after graduating from universities, like the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), College of Southern Nevada (CSN), or Nevada State University (NSU) is often a challenge due to the competitiveness of recent grads or current industry professionals switching careers.

According to 2023 data from Gusto, 40% of recent graduates are considered “underemployed”. This refers to college graduates who work in industries that do not require a degree. In addition to a pool of new graduates looking for jobs in their industry, over 50% of current industry professionals are looking to change careers, based on a report by FlexJobs.

To compete in a competitive job market, you will need to pack some special sauce into your resume in order to differentiate yourself from the job market. If you’ve been focused on academics during your postsecondary education, here are a couple of pathways below:

  • Competing in competitions related to your career path
  • Completing an internship program with the ideal company you want to work for or taking part in a summer research program in a specific field
  • Showing exemplary or standout performance in a specific field (i.e research papers)
  • Making Connections or references from faculty

Another way to make you a standout candidate is to engage in community work with local non-profit organizations, such as those within the Las Vegas Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

Community work is equivalent to work experience

According to a LinkedIn survey, 41% of hiring managers consider volunteer experience to be equivalent to paid work. With almost half of the hiring managers who completed the survey, it’s important to include in your resume or LinkedIn profile quantitative results generated from your community work. You should be able to answer these questions when it comes to your volunteer experience.

  • What kind of work do/did you do, and how many people did your work have a positive impact?
  • Are there other quantitative metrics you can share to highlight your impact?
  • Was there a lasting end result with your work for the non-profit organization (e.g. starting and establishing a program, pivoting the organization’s communication channels)?
  • Can you position or share how your community work is related to your industry?

Answering these questions can be a helpful guide to structuring your community work as paid work experience.

There are a lot of Asian American and Pacific Islander non-profits looking for volunteers to help with their organization. Here are some helpful tips for you to consider when volunteering with an Asian American and Pacific Islander non-profit organization based in Las Vegas.

Tip 1: Research the Las Vegas Non-Profit Organization’s Mission and History

It’s important to show several months or years of volunteering for a local Las Vegas non-profit organization, as it can show retention and dedication to stay committed as most employers are looking to see how long you would stay in a company.

To find the right Las Vegas Asian American and Pacific Islander non-profit organization, look into their mission and their history of events and programs. If there are opportunities to align your career aspirations, reach out to a staff member or coordinator to see how you can get involved. 

Tip 2: Explore Beyond Donating Your Time at Events

While many Asian American and Pacific Islander non-profit organizations in Las Vegas are looking for volunteers to help keep their events running as smoothly as possible, there are other initiatives that a Las Vegas non-profit organization needs volunteers for. These would include the following: 

  • Marketing (designing graphics, marketing strategies for promoting services/programs, increasing marketing exposure to the services/programs)
  • Event Logistics (e.g. pre-planning, understanding how to improve communication between different teams)
  • Data collection (surveys, collecting internal data)

Many Asian American and Pacific Islander organizations are looking for new ways to improve the current way of planning their programs and events they usually do but often require an outsider perspective. This would be an opportunity for you to help lead new ideas.

Tip 3: Research the Leadership Team

Many Asian American and Pacific Islander non-profit organizations are led by individuals who have connections to a variety of industries. If you’re trying to enter a certain career field, run a LinkedIn check to find out if the company or industry you want to work for is tied to the leaders in specific Asian American and Pacific Islander non-profit organizations.

As you get involved with the non-profit organization, it’ll be easier to connect with other industry professionals who can become personal references for your ideal career job. 

Start your Community Involvement with OCA

Be a part of a national organization focused on community building and serving the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. Since 1996, OCA Las Vegas has been focused on community building in the Las Vegas Asian American and Pacific Islander community. Become an OCA Las Vegas member by purchasing your membership. Annual membership pricing starts as low as $10/year.