How to make the most of intern and voluntary experience in your CV

content job application cv

Gaining valuable real work experience through internships is now a fairly standard way for early career professionals to build up their financial expertise. Likewise, voluntary experience has always been viewed positively by employers. Voluntary experience for a charity or community organisation helps build transferable skills and also demonstrates an active interest in working positively for a good cause.

Internships come in many shapes and sizes

From local accountancy practices to large multinational corporates offering virtual experience programs, there are lots of opportunities to gain insight and experience in the world of finance and accountancy. In the early stages of your career, it is advisable to include all of your intern experiences. Even if you have carried out 4 or 5 two week virtual experience programs, each of these will no doubt have had different themes and tasks involved. They all add to your experience of working in different environments and doing different types of work.

Describe the outcomes of your intern work

In your CV you should describe not just the tasks and activities you were involved in as part of your internship, but also the outcomes. Expressing outcomes in a CV shows the reader not just what you did, but how well you did it and what the impact was. The more you can get into this way of thinking at the early stage in your career, the better the CV will work for you now and later as you move onwards and upwards in your career.

…and include facts and figures

To really make the best of your outcomes and impacts, include facts and figures to support the positive results you have achieved. For example, if you were involved in analysing data that helped a client to achieve cost savings, then express this either as the actual amount or in percentage terms. It always looks more concrete to include facts and figures – even if this is an estimate. Most internships aim to give you real responsibility over certain projects or tasks so don’t be shy in stating the importance of the work you carried out.

Search hundreds of roles from all over the world on ACCA Careers

Sign up for a job alert tailored to your desired location and role

Voluntary work provides valuable experience

Voluntary work helps to build skills valuable both in your professional and personal life. There are lots of different types of work you can get involved in – from fundraising activities, to providing support at events or working in a charity shop, all of these experiences help to build skills valuable to work. The very act of carrying out voluntary work shows you are pro-active and care about society and the world around you. Voluntary work indicates you have sound values and are prepared to give something back.

Show the impacts of your volunteering

You can include a voluntary experience section in your CV including the name of the organisation and dates you worked there. You can include a specific job title such as ‘Fundraiser’ or simply title yourself a ‘Volunteer’. As per any paid  work experience you should describe the responsibilities and tasks you carried out and also the outcomes of your work. Tell the reader how you positively impacted on the charity you worked for with facts and figures to support.

Both internships and voluntary work are valuable experiences in your early careers CV. Maximise your employability by including all these experiences to show how you made a difference.

This article was written by Neville Rose, Director of CV Writers.

CV Writers are the official CV partner to ACCA Careers.

In addition to a CV writing service they can help with Career Counselling, LinkedIn profiles, cover letters and interview coaching. You can get things started with a Free CV Review

Back to listing